The biggest Xbox One exclusive of 2014 was Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Collecting Master Chief’s first four adventures in one package with better graphics and the most extensive Halo multiplayer experience ever, The Master Chief Collection was supposed to move Xbox One consoles off of store shelves and into living rooms. In that regard, it succeeded. In other areas, well…
At launch, Halo: The Master Chief Collection was basically unplayable online. Microsoft and 343 Industries completely and utterly botched the game’s launch, and the two companies lost a considerable amount of consumer trust. To this day, despite the fact that 343 Industries has madea number of improvements, The Master Chief Collection’s online multiplayer still doesn’t always work.
Speaking to Xbox Achievements, Frank O’Connor, the Development Director for the Halo franchise, acknowledged that The Master Chief collection has suffered some issues since its fall release. O’Connor finally offered an explanation for the problems, stating, “[…] the nature of The Master Chief Collection – you’ve got five different game engines, you’ve got five different studios working on it, you’ve got 343 working on putting it all together – the footprint and complexity was outrageous.”
Basically, the scope of the collection and all the different game engines involved made it difficult for 343 to get the online code running correctly. However, O’Connor doesn’t expect that Halo 5: Guardians will run into the same problems when it launches later this year.
O’Connor’s reasoning is that Halo 5: Guardians is being built from the ground up for a single console, the Xbox One, whereas Halo: The Master Chief Collection was comprised of different games spanning two separate console generations. As O’Connor himself explains, “[Halo 5] 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.”
Another way that Halo 5: Guardians has an advantage over The Master Chief Collection is that Halo 5 featured an open beta last December, which included anyone who purchased The Master Chief Collection. Betas allow developers to test servers and better prepare for a stable launch. A beta was not held for The Master Chief Collection.
O’Connor’s comments about the difficulties of working on Halo: The Master Chief Collection may also offer some insight into what is going on with the rumored Gears of War Collection. Initial rumors indicated that Gears of War: The Marcus Fenix Collection was in development for Xbox One at Black Tusk Studios, but those rumors were debunked by franchise producer Rod Fergusson.
Since then, new evidence strongly suggests that instead of a complete Gears of War Collection, Microsoft will release a remastered version of the original game. Perhaps the tumultuous launch of Halo: The Master Chief Collection convinced Microsoft to work on smaller scale remaster projects, and that bringing old games to new hardware is not as easy as many believe.
In the meantime, 343 will attempt to make up for The Master Chief Collection’s problems by giving away a free game. People who played The Master Chief Collection online between its launch and December 20th of last year will be given the campaign for Halo 3: ODST later this month.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection is currently available as an Xbox One exclusive. Halo 5: Guardians releases October 27th, also as an Xbox One exclusive.
Source: Xbox Achievements