During a speech at DICE Summit 2017, 343 Industries Studio Head Bonnie Ross talked about the Halo franchise, and about some of the things the studio learned the hard way over the years.
Ross mentioned that she is “incredibly proud” of the work that the team has done on the Halo series over the last nine years, and she wants them to “continue pushing forward and taking risks,” even if it means that some they’ll fail.
While it’s important to honor the core of the universe and gameplay, but the studio still needs to evolve that. Ross loves the story of Halo 4, and she believes that the studio did a really good job on the multiplayer of Halo 5, but there have been a “lot of learnings” along the way.
One was when 343 “fell down” with the multiplayer launch of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, another example is when they didn’t put split-screen multiplayer in Halo 5. Ross admits those examples were “incredibly painful” for both the community and the developers, and that kind of problems “erodes trust” with the community.
That said, she promised that any FPS in the Halo franchise going forward will always have split-screen multiplayer.
She also mentioned that every story needs to have reasons to go back and pay homage to the lore, but also reasons to move things forward. In addition to that, she explained that some times the studio tends to tell “a bit too much story” in their games, as it’s hard to digest a lot of story when you’re being shot at in the game. She hopes that Halo Wars 2 showcased that learning with a simpler story and the use of transmedia to tell the deeper story.
If you’re interested in the Halo franchise, you can also read our full review of Halo Wars 2.