TGS '07: Bungie triples Halo 3 server capacity

Studio's head of production says that feedback from multiplayer beta testing was crucial to preparing for the 360 shooter's release next week.

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TOKYO--Halo 3 is all set for launch on September 25 in the US and September 26 in Europe--even though the game was briefly available early in the UK. The Xbox 360-exclusive title's launch will be backed up by midnight launch events, with merchandising and advertising already in motion.

Speaking at the CoFesta Forum at the Tokyo Game Show 2007, Bungie Studios' head of production, Jonty Barnes, told attendees at an Xbox 360 session that beta testing the product over Xbox Live had thrown up some interesting surprises.

Barnes said, "The amount of polish feedback was especially helpful, and we also found we had to triple our server capacity." As with any beta test, the company also found numerous bugs, which needed fixing, and solved some usability issues.

Another thing Bungie found was that beta testing the product gave it a push, as it heard feedback from fans who were excited about the game. Barnes said, "And, I have to say, our graphical ambitions were pushed harder in response to our community expectations."

Other technical issues, which the company fixed during the online beta, were balancing the sandbox design and changing network configurations. Barnes said he believes that solid beta testing is vital to ensuring a successful product and added, "The nice thing about it was that we also actually proved that some systems worked."

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