The franchise director Frank O’Connor and 343 boss Kiki Wolfkill talked about their experiences with GamesTM Magazine and the lack of Master Chief in Halo 5. The decision turned out to be the wrong one – the players did want more Chief. Much more, it would seem. As O’Connor says, “It was a big learning.”
It is not secret that the launch of Halo: The Master Chief Collection was highly troubled. Online matchmaking remained broken for several weeks and it had other technical issues. Wolkfill remembers the hard times for the team: “From a purely tactical reason sourcing the issues after all of the testing that we had done, it was a pretty jarring moment. Just working through that with the team while at the same time working through all of the feedback and the valid responses from the community was emotionally difficult. We worked so hard to build trust with our audience and with the community as a new studio and developer for Halo that to lose that trust was pretty heartbreaking for us.”
Hopefully the team has learned from their mistakes and they plan to do better in the future. They have taken the torch over from Bungie and it is a huge responsibility to continue one of the best known franchises in gaming. Halo 6 is in the works, but unfortunately, we will not be seeing it this year. As O’Connor notes, “This holiday we don’t have a huge triple-A individual game coming out, so this year can be a good year to get our heads down on the next big things.”
If nothing else, it seems that their heart is in the right place – the interview shows that the negative response really felt humbling. “That was a big threshold moment for the studio in terms of how we go through something like that, both from an emotional and morale standpoint and from how do we learn and move forward and not have this happen again”, Wolfkill remembers.
Hopefully they will be out of the dumps by E3 to show off some goodies on Halo 6.