Back in June of this year, 343 Industries announced Halo: The Master Chief Collection to rapturous applause. Hashtags, articles, Tweets, posts and comments hearkening the “return” of Halo began to emerge all over the place, the community was in a sheer state of joy, amazement and excitement.
These last three weeks have been a very different story. Check literally any of Halo’s recent Tweet replies and you’ll likely see complaints about the current state of MCC matchmaking, some of which are unnecessarily vulgar and nonconstructive.
This article is something of a personal plea of mine to the community, asking for us to be understanding. To be constructive. To channel any frustrations and anger into a drive to help improve this recent release, and prove that the Halo community is more than just a room filled with heckling revolutionaries. I realise that many of us are already being as understanding and supportive as we can be, but some are not and it’s frankly disappointing & disgraceful to see some people behaving as they are. Note here that I am not referring to those complaining about the issues, rather those who are taking it a step further.
I believe that 343i have made mistakes. I believe that they are well aware that they have made mistakes. I know that they are working around the clock and are likely not sleeping in order to get this fixed.
Yes, the MCC should have had a beta. It didn’t, and we now have matchmaking issues. This is the only error with the game that makes it stand out from pretty much any AAA game launch that has had issues. An entire section of the game is unplayable for some. Little campaign glitches, UI errors and achievement issues crop up in virtually every game launch. It’s not necessarily acceptable, but it’s the current “norm” in terms of game launches. Having an unplayable multiplayer is a very big issue, and I’m not diminishing that in any way.
However… This is the first game of it’s kind. No game in history has combined the multiplayers of games across 3 console generations and made them all function online in one seamless experience. Especially with one game never being online-playable in the first place. (On Xbox, at least)
This was a very big project. I would go so far as to say it is one of the most ambitious ideas in the history of gaming. 343 Industries made it happen. Yes, they made a mistake in not having a beta to test server functionality. We all make mistakes. Granted, they are providing a faulty product and received money in exchange for it, but they are fixing it. A lot of people are seeing improvements and they are not going to stop until the game is at an acceptable level of functionality. Bonnie Ross has said that the team will make it up to the community once the game is fixed. That’s all I would expect from anywhere else if I had purchased a faulty product.
“While our team works on continual improvements and towards solutions, my commitment to you is that we will take care of all owners of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Our primary and continued focus is first on fixing the issues at hand. Once we’ve done that, we will detail how we will make this right with our fans.” – Bonnie Ross, 343i Studio Head
In Paul’s excellent recent article on whether we should keep our broken games, he used the example of a pen. If I were to buy a pen, and it didn’t work, I would report it to the manufacturer and ask them to fix it. If they gave me a new cartridge and it didn’t work, I’d tell them again and ask them to fix it. If they then gave me a new, redesigned cartridge, and that didn’t work, I’d report it again. If I then got a differently redesigned cartridge from them, plus a voucher for my local stationery store as a good-will gesture, I would be content as a consumer.
343i are doing just that, they’re fixing the game, and will then make it up to the community in some way. Now, I work in retail customer services, so maybe this is coming from me being on 343i’s end of the spectrum and simply how I expect a consumer to act – and in turn, how I act as a consumer. I also realise I’m not the only one who works in retail, so I’m curious to see whether people in similar roles have a similar perspective to me.
I’m not asking you to be happy about the issues with Halo: MCC, but I am asking you to try and be understanding of the situation, and be patient. Instead of telling 343i how much you hate them and how you could do a much better job, tell them what issues you’re having and what improvements you’re seeing. Send them encouraging Tweets, get behind them and help them realise that they’re fixing a game that millions of passionate Halo fans want to play. Those who already are doing that, I tip my hat to you.
This is one of the biggest projects in gaming history. Mistakes were made, and we all do that. It’s okay to be upset. It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to feel ripped-off. What’s happened has happened, we can’t change that. What we can change is how quickly it is resolved. The MP portion of game will be fixed soon, but if you’re desperate for Halo, there is plenty to do in MCC other than multiplayer. Why not try out the new H2A Forge and create some epic custom games, get started on that frankly ridiculous quantity of Achievements in the game or tackle a bunch of the campaign playlists and take advantage of the new campaign experience MCC’s unified design facilitates?
Stay strong, Spartans. The MCC is a very big production, and fixing it is no small task. The improvements already implemented are making a big difference to many, and regular updates are still coming. It’ll be fixed soon, and when it is, we can all get in the fray, shoot each other in the face, Boltshot-camp to our heart’s content and teabag corpses until the sun goes down…