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343 Industries Publicly Acknowledges Halo 5 Campaign Mistakes

With 343 industries turning 10 years old (I feel old), studio head Kiki Wolfkill and franchise director Frank O’ Connor sat down with Game TM Magazine for a lengthy interview for their 186th edition. A section of the interview includes acknowledgements towards the publicly unfavorable and flawed Halo 5 campaign [Editor’s Note: That shit was wack yo].

We took some digs for storytelling in Halo 5, but they were absolutely merited. We very much realized that people wanted Master Chief’s story of Halo 5.

We definitely marketed in a way that we hoped was going to bring surprise, but for some fans and certainly fans of Master Chief, it was a huge disappointment because they wanted more Chief.

They loved Blue Team, they liked Osiris, but they wanted Chief. And that has been a big learning. Chief we tend to think of as kind of a vessel for your adventure rather than necessarily this major character in the universe. He’s really just your entry into the universe.

But people have become attached to him over the last fifteen years and they’ve started to sort of fill in the gaps that the character deliberately has for gameplay reasons with a genuine emotional attachment. We certainly underestimated that with Halo 5.

The effect that the character has on his surroundings and ‘the fate of the galaxy’ has had a resonant effect on fans over the years. It wasn’t that surprising to me, but the volume of ‘give us more Chief’ at the end of Halo 5 was significant and so I think if anything he’s slightly more important now than he has ever been, certainly to our franchise. Instead of focusing on bringing new characters into the world and expanding the playable characters we’ve sort of shifted the focus a little bit to making the world a little bit more realistic and compelling and, I would say, more fun for players who get to inhabit the Chief in the future, pretty much as they demanded.

There’s always a call and response element of shipping a game, you have to ship improvements, you have to ship tweaks and you have to ship changes and sometimes you have to walk some of those back.

Doubling down on Master Chief story and the amount of focus on him was probably the easiest learning from Halo 5. That was a really simple thing to absorb and embrace.

So in summary, people like Master Chief. A few personal notes: I’m sure they’re aware, as well as most of 343, at this point about the PLETHORA of other flaws with the campaign. On that note it’s just nice to see some acknowledgment towards the campaign’s flaws and to see that they’ve actually taken something from the community’s  feedback. While this is definitely a good step in the right direction – easier said than done. I’m happy to see this, but I’ll be skeptical with dick in hand.

Furthermore, E3 is coming up, and while Halo 3 Anniversary rumors are being squashed left and right and Phil Spencer has come out and said that there’s no Halo game set to come out this year. Halo has always had something to reveal at E3 for the past 15 years so expect this year to be no different, my guess is either a trailer for Halo 6 or the scheduled Halo Wars 2 campaign DLC; a first for any Halo game.

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A multi-ethnic, racially confused hermaphrodite commonly referred to by his online alias "A Bad Password" - real name Kevin - slightly selfishly and completely uncreatively named the gaming news and related content website ABadPassword.com after himself.