Halo: The Master Chief Collection Is "Black Eye For Us," Franchise Director Says

Frank O'Connor assures fans Halo 5 won't have the same problems.

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been described by Franchise Development Director Frank O'Connor as a "black eye" for series stewards 343 Industries.

Speaking to Xbox Achievements, O'Connor addressed the tumultuous launch of Microsoft's ambitious Halo anthology, which brought together improved versions of the first three games in the series into one package, but was unfortunately plagued by various matchmaking and other network issues.

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"Halo: The Master Chief Collection is definitely a black eye for us," he said. "We're not going to rest on our laurels or hide from the mistake we made."

O'Connor went on to attribute some of the woes to the complexities of bringing multiple engines together and trying to make them work harmoniously, as well as the multi-studio development effort.

"I will say that the nature of The Master Chief Collection - you've got five different game engines, you've got different studios working on it, you've got 343 working on putting it all together - the footprint and complexity was outrageous."

Continuing, the 343 exec said having the game in the hands of players threw up hurdles that the studio "simply didn't see in a test environment."

O'Connor went on to provide assurances that the issues that contributed to The Master Chief Collection's problems would not be stumbling blocks for Halo 5: Guardians.

"Halo 5 is being made by a completely different team. It's a singular product," he said. "It was built from the ground up for this new technology, rather than being sort of dragged kicking and screaming from 2001 and forced and shoehorned into a 2014 console.

"The problem spaces are still very challenging but they're radically different. I think the beta is already a decent first step, in a retail environment, showing that we don't have the same problems."

The Halo 5 release date has been confirmed as October 27. Producer Josh Holmes recently confirmed that the game will use dedicated servers for all multiplayer, including custom games.

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Avatar image for silpheedx
SilpheedX

He should not have said that. It makes it sound as if the entire game didn't work and that's not the case.

He should have said that Halo MCC multiplayer was a black eye for them. The campaign part of the game is excellent!

Avatar image for deathstream
deathstream

It is so nice to see a developer openly and honestly admit that they made a mistake. He explained the complexities that allowed it to happen without sounding like he was trying to justify the problems.


The only thing worse that making mistakes is not learning from them. Look at Gearbox, which trashed its reputation with the awful outsourced Aliens game and then followed that up by trashing its reputation further with a cheaply outsourced Borderlands remaster that has appalling framerate and screen tear issues.

Avatar image for killdot1335
killdot1335

They should give Halo 5 to people who wasted their money on the collection at half price if you ask me. What a joke.

Avatar image for blackothh
blackothh

@killdot1335: or you could research a game after it comes out before blindly throwing money at it.

Avatar image for killdot1335
killdot1335

Fan's that purchased The collection should receive Halo 5 at half price or something if they truly care about the fans they screwed.

Avatar image for xenomorphalien
XenomorphAlien

@killdot1335: They gave people a month of gold and ODST for free. Stop thinking you need more, you spoiled brat.

Avatar image for nights_team2k7
nights_team2k7

@xenomorphalien@killdot1335: pretty much this. Although, I would happioly pay for Halo Reah remaster. It's my favorite campaign by far and I would love to play it at 60fps.

Avatar image for wrangleractual
WranglerActual

I know it had/has some bugs esp in multiplayer. But HALO is the reason I moved from PC to Xbox in the first place. You took 4 individual titles put them in one collective title, which included anniversary editions for 1 and 2. You brought Halo to the Xbox 1 so users don't have to go back over to X360 to play them. Halo MCC was my first preorder and predownload on X1. I am still thrilled to have it on X1. I've played the SP campaigns from H1 to H4 again and fell in love with Halo all over again. Sure, it has had it issues with MP, but I disagree that's it a black eye. I remain an 343 fan and Bungie can go suck on Destiny... :) - WranglerActual

Avatar image for Vodoo
Vodoo

I really do sympathize. Taking all those different games and engines and having them all work together as a singular cohesive game must have been extremely difficult, ESPECIALLY the networking part.

It was just cool to have all the main Halo games on the XB1. The single player at least.

Avatar image for JRLennis
JRLennis

Sounds like this game was simply released too soon. Microsoft wanted their money and set unrealistic goals for a project that proved more complicated than expected. Face it, if the X-Box One had a smoother launch Microsoft wouldn't have been pressured to push TMCC out before it was ready. You can't always pin the blame on the developer, even if said developer takes responsibility for the problems.

Avatar image for Stogin
Stogin

This game was one of my biggest disappointments last fall, bought it to play with my best friend in another state and we had nothing but problems. He's sworn off the Halo franchise from now on, I'm still interested in this game and have high hopes, but I'm going to wait for reviews to make sure that it's functioning properly on release.

Avatar image for skrilla99
skrilla99

4 great single player games, 2 remastered for a great price is a black eye? I was never interested in the multiplayer this go round so it didn't matter to me. I have played all of the campaigns multiple times over the years. Such a great saga.

Avatar image for edwardnygma
EdwardNygma

So the guy at the studio that did not do a good job on the Halo collection is saying they will do a good job on the NEXT Halo? Seems legit and impartial.

Avatar image for codju
codju

Did you read the article? MCC was made by different studios...

Avatar image for imkayv
imKayv

Frank's comments are complete shit. You should never feel sorry for anyone who can't deliver a working product months post-release while being paid millions just in pre-orders alone. I have bought every single Halo title before, and the Master Chief Collection by far ruined all fun and feelings I ever had for the series.


I will not be buying Halo 5, as they are obviously trying to sweep their faux-pas under the rug while pretending it didn't happen. The fact that they were shamelessly promoting the next title during MCC's initial launch period is what lost 343i their credibility, and myself as a loyal customer.


It was fun while it lasted.

Avatar image for cejay0813
cejay0813

Redemption is at hand. If Halo 5 is even a fraction of what I played in the beta, it will be great

Avatar image for cejay0813
cejay0813

Really dropped the ball on this but I've been enjoying it more and more lately... Things are starting to stabilize.

Avatar image for Whitescarver
Whitescarver

That's our Frankie, he's always been one to look us in the eye and tell us what's up. 343i was built from the ground up to be a killer Halo developer, MCC was the result of outsourcing that while profitable, failed. Nuffsaid.


No doubt that Halo 5 will be a sight to see, juuuust waiting to see who has the best pre-order bonus. Not too interested in Gamestops Hunter class junk.

Avatar image for Evil_Sidekick
Evil_Sidekick

"Frank O'Connor assures fans Halo 5 won't have the same problems".....oh man, say it isn't so....bugs are part of gaming now.

/ sarcasm

Avatar image for Vodoo
Vodoo

I don't think any one Halo game has ever had any problems whatsoever. The MCC was a huuuge compilation with over 100+ multiplayer maps. It was overly ambitious. But 343's Halo 4 game blew the pants off anything Bungie ever did.

Bungie's greatest Halo achievements were the original Halo single player and Halo 2's multiplayer. After that it went down hill.

Avatar image for deon99
deon99

For once i think gamers should give 343 a little break on some of the problems they had.Like he said, they had to bring all five engines together and more then one team was working on it.I'm surprised it came out as good as it did.

Avatar image for beckerjr
beckerjr

@deon99: This dumb attitude is why developers and publishers can release so many broken games. Fools will just keep buying them and then trying justify it.

Avatar image for geralsmith0286
geralsmith0286

@deon99: Nope, give any developer a break and we will end up with more games being broken like driveclub and the master chief collection. When developers don't crank out a finished and working product, they need to be held accountable regardless of the scope of a project.

Avatar image for deon99
deon99

@geralsmith0286@deon99: We've been complain and every game coming out is still broken ,and needs day one updates. so either way seems to be getting us anywhere.

Avatar image for canuckbiker
canuckbiker

No matter how hard I try, I just can't get into these games. I've tried almost everyone, I even bought a 360 almost entirely just to play them, and while the gameplay is solid and fun, the storyline is just not doing it for me. I find the lore to be a bad sci-fi cliché, and masterchief has about as much personality as a dead moth, and at the end of the day it's usually a games story that keeps me interested all the way to the end. Oh well, I'm not going to enjoy every staple in the gaming world, and I still consider these games to be great classics, that helped mold the fps genre. I really hope Halo 5 delivers for this franchises fans.

Avatar image for supremeultra
SupremeUltra

Halo MCC is probably the best game ever!

Avatar image for domiddian
Domiddian

Don't care. Loved playing through the single player campaigns. This collection wasn't a failure for me.

Avatar image for MigGui
MigGui

@domiddian: the collection wasn't a failure for anyone who played it a month or two after release. the problem is, the game shouldn't be a failure at release either.

Avatar image for canuckbiker
canuckbiker

@domiddian: I take it you must have played through the campaign after #2's gamebreaking bugs were fixed. From what I understand all of the single player campaigns had some issues as well.

Avatar image for domiddian
Domiddian

@canuckbiker Got it Christmas 2014 so it had already been out a while at that point. There were no problems with the Halo 2 campaign.

Avatar image for canuckbiker
canuckbiker

That's good to hear. I actually held off on playing bloodborne for a few weeks, until they solved some of the worst bugs in it. I'm actually planning on delaying most of my gaming purchases now, because they all have a few bugs to work out after launch.

Avatar image for domiddian
Domiddian

@canuckbiker I wholeheartedly agree. I hardly ever buy games at launch and never pre-order. Day one bugs are sadly far too common. Thinking about getting Bloodborne, just not sure if I'll enjoy it. Never played any of the Souls games, so...

Avatar image for Metallicwolf29
Metallicwolf29

Good job fanboy

Avatar image for domiddian
Domiddian

@metallicwolf29 Really? What am I a fanboy of exactly?

Someone who leaves a reactive, salty comment like yours is usually classified as a fanboy.

Just so you know, I also own (and actually prefer) the PS4. The last thing I am is a fanboy. I just like games, regardless of platform.

Avatar image for bfcochran16
bfcochran16

honestly....why? they managed to put every halo game on one console in hd at 60 fps. that's an accomplishment. the multiplayer took a bit to get up and running but its wicked fast now. they should not be ashamed of this collection

Avatar image for PSYCHOV3N0M
PSYCHOV3N0M

@bfcochran16: They should BECAUSE they shipped it broken to begin with. Then they took like 4-5 MONTHS to fix it. This is what delays are for: to deliver a FIXED working game with very few minor problems at most. They along with Microsoft cared MORE about MONEY FIRST instead of delivering a great working experience to the LOYAL FANS.

Avatar image for canuckbiker
canuckbiker

@bfcochran16: I think what they're getting at is they're ashamed of the state it launched in. The multiplayer was practically unplayable, and some of the single player campaigns were bugged out as well. I'm sure they knew it had some time to go before it was ready for launch, but Microsoft wanted a pre-holiday release, and we saw the results. I am very impressed with their commitment to make it up to the fans, even going as far as to release odst for free in a patch. I think they can safely hold their heads up high now for what they've managed to achieve.

Avatar image for codju
codju

It wasn't about time. There were problems in the wild that they couldn't see in the test environment, as stated in the article.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

The last two games we released were a disappointment, but TRUST US, the next game won't be! Preorder now!

Avatar image for xenomorphalien
XenomorphAlien

@Thanatos2k: Halo 4 was great.

Avatar image for cejay0813
cejay0813

Halo 4 was a disappointment?? News to me

Avatar image for supremeultra
SupremeUltra

@Thanatos2k:

Halo 4 was amazing!

Avatar image for PSYCHOV3N0M
PSYCHOV3N0M

@supremeultra@Thanatos2k: CORRECTION: Halo 4's campaign was amazing! NOT the multiplayer.


The online MP was COD-fied big time by making it way too noob friendly & introducing an unbalanced perk system. Halo Reach remains the most skillful Halo game (some argue Halo 3's multiplayer was the best) but Halo 4's multiplayer is by far the worst.

Avatar image for solokingxrobert
SoloKingxRobert

Best Masterchief collection ever! I put hundreds of hours in to the campaign. Obviously Halo 5 is gonna be a day one purchase for me

Avatar image for digidv85
digidv85

I too am also one of the many who got the collection only to be gravely disappointed with the final product. I feel a bit comforted that someone from a gaming company admitted that they know the game lacked charisma and the consumer fan base largely disapproving of it. But it worries me that in the same statement, he assures us history won't repeat itself with Halo 5. I've seen such promises before and while I like to believe them if Halo 5 does in fact fail to impress, than that would likely be the end for the franchise considering no one will want to touch another game involving the word Halo ever again. We will find out soon enough.