Although sales for Halo: The Master Chief Collection have likely been fine, the game's matchmaking problems have cast a dark shadow over the franchise as a whole. Just this week, for example, Microsoft drew harsh criticism from fans for unveiling a Halo promotion; all the while MCC remained relatively unplayable in some online circles.
Luckily, Microsoft has heard those complaints loud and clear and decided not to push the issue any farther. They know that Master Chief Collection is a major priority and have therefore decided to delay the upcoming Halo: Spartan Strike until 343 Industries can fix the former game's matchmaking issues.
For those who may not know, Halo: Spartan Strike is a follow-up to last year's Halo: Spartan Assault, a twin stick shooter that was developed for Windows Phone and Windows 8. Eventually, the game did come to Xbox platforms, but since it wasn't very well received in any incarnation, Spartan Assault was mostly overlooked.
With Spartan Strike, Microsoft is expanding the game's reach to include Steam at launch – along with Windows 8 and Windows Phone – alongside a promise to deliver a more engaging Halo product. The original plan was to get the game out before the holidays, December 12th to be exact, but Microsoft has decided to push the game to early 2015 so as to ensure Master Chief Collection works properly first.
Earlier this year, we announced Halo: Spartan Strike, our latest touch-based top-down shooter for Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Steam, will be available on Dec. 12. While we’re excited about this all-new Halo experience, our commitment to resolving the current matchmaking issues in Halo: The Master Chief Collection remains the top priority. As a result, we have decided to move the release of Halo: Spartan Strike to early 2015.
While it's a smart move on Microsoft's part to delay Halo: Spartan Strike, the game's delay speaks volumes about Master Chief Collection's shortcomings. We are almost a month removed from that Xbox One exclusive's launch and still many are reporting problems with matchmaking. Just this week 343 released a new patch for the game, but if Microsoft is making the announcement today it sounds as if Master Chief Collection owners' problems might not be completely fixed.
It's also possible that Spartan Strike is part of Microsoft's goodwill gesture towards those who purchased Master Chief Collection at launch. 343 Industries has said time and time again that their focus is on fixing the game first, but also promised fans that they would "make it right."
Is it a smart move by Microsoft to delay Halo: Spartan Strike? Have the recent Master Chief Collection problems impacted your interest in the Halo franchise?