For those who aren’t aware, 2017 isn’t just the 10th anniversary of Halo 3. It’s alsoy the 10th anniversary of 343 Industries. To celebrate this important milestone, Studio Head Kiki Wolfkill and Franchise Director Frank O’Connor have given an interview in issue #186 of GamesTM magazine to speak about some lessons learned from Halo 5, and how the story can progress future.
Frank was eager to talk about the feedback they’d received from Halo 5, and how they plan to implement that feedback into the storytelling of Halo, and the upcoming Halo 6. The following was said by Frank in his interview with GamesTM Magazine:
“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.“
As you can tell, 343 industries as a whole has taken Halo 5 and its approach to storytelling and marketing as a learning curve, and plan to avoid making similar mistakes in the future. Giving fans what they want has always been central to 343 Industries, and it’s very nice to see that even after 10 years, they’re still listening to feedback and implementing it as much as they possibly can.
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