Monday, September 15, 2014
343 Industries Talks Halo Future, Hints At Next-Gen

343 Industries Talks Halo Future, Hints At Next-Gen

Halo franchise development director Frank O’Connor couldn’t spill the beans on what they’re up to on the next Xbox, but he, gushing with excitement about what’s to come for the Halo brand, gave some telling hints abut what 343 Industries is now working on, namely the next Halo game on the next Xbox console.

In an open letter to fans on Halo Waypoint, O’Connor spoke of the difficulty of stepping into Bungie’s oversized shoes, the success of Halo 4, and the future of the franchise on the current, and next Xbox.

Halo 4, despite being the seventh or eighth game in the Halo series (depending on how you count them), was our first game. That is to say, our first-ever fully fledged title, built from the ground up creatively and technologically. So let me save you the trouble of trolling my statement: We have a lot to learn. We made a lot of mistakes. We can do better. And we know this, and we will. But I don’t want to spend the first moments of the year thinking about the negatives, because frankly, I am incredibly proud of both the team and the game that team created.

And for a first effort, it wasn’t half bad.

Stepping into Bungie’s oversized shoes would have been difficult, even for a well-established team. The challenge of wrangling that engine, that universe and that community was dizzying, even withering. Four years ago when our charter began, the challenge of starting the seed of a development team and then creating a sequel to Halo terrified us. A small group of us – names you know, like Kiki Wolfkill, Bonnie Ross, Kenneth Scott Josh Holmes and other characters who have moved on to different projects, different places – was tasked with doing something that was almost impossible.

But the team grew. And we learned. And we’re still learning. And the game arrived and it succeeded. Halo 4 is the best and fastest-selling Halo game in the series. It won critical acclaim. It won awards, from Best Graphics at the VGAs to Game of the Year at the Inside Gaming Awards. We altered the engine. We expanded the universe. We innovated in storytelling, technology, and even marketing. It wasn’t flawless by any stretch of the imagination, but by most objective criteria, it was a resounding success. So we know we have a lot to do. And we know we have a lot to learn. But we also know that we now have the capacity, the teamwork, the technology and the experience to do much better next time.

There are a ton of things we wish we’d done better: Features that didn’t make it into the final game. Glitches that emerged. Missteps made. DLC fiascos. Communication breakdowns. But there were things that went astonishingly well – the creation of a genuinely competitive AAA studio chief among them. A collection of talent and souls that can do something genuinely amazing on this and next-generation hardware. The overhaul of an amazing game engine – but one that really needed to be overhauled – and an amassed education on systems, people, code and audience that will stand us in great stead for the future.

I’m more excited about the future than the past. Excited about what this team is already working on. Excited about what this team is capable of. And excited about the future of Halo. A future we want you to be a part of. A future we’re building for you.

About Ernice Gilbert

Ernice Gilbert here. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Gamesthirst. Thanks for stopping by, make yourself at home!
  • nick

    for the first effort, it was better than not half bad!
    its THE best halo game EVER made!
    cant wait to see what they can do with more forgiving hardware……..
    but, please, for the love of god none of this kinect BS!