Frank O’Connor Calls Halo: MCC “A Black Eye For Us,” Halo 5: Guardians Will Be “Radically Different”

Explaining what went wrong with what was supposed to be last year’s hardest hitting launch on Xbox One, 343 Industries’ Frank O’Connor is confident the studio’s next project won’t succumb to the same fate Halo: The Master Chief Collection did.

In an interview with XBA, the Franchise Development Director called The Master Chief Collection’s development process an “outrageous” affair that was perhaps too complex of an undertaking to begin with.

“Halo: The Master Chief Collection is definitely a black eye for us,” O’Connor said. “We’re not going to rest on our laurels or hide from the mistakes we made. However, I will say that the nature of The Master Chief Collection – you’ve got five different game engines, you’ve got five different studios working on it, you’ve got 343 working on putting it all together – the footprint and complexity was outrageous.

“To be perfectly honest, there were a lot of things that happened when we got it into a retail environment that we simply didn’t see in a test environment, so that’s what really caught us by surprise. We’ve been sort of scrambling to get it first in a playable stage and now we’re going to get it in a polished stage, so that people are getting what they deserved in the first place. We’re never going to back away from that or shy away from that.”

It’ll be a rough road ahead convincing fans that this year’s Halo title won’t launch with the same game-breaking issues The Master Chief Collection did, but O’Connor says the challenges associated with Halo 5: Guardians are “radically different.”

“However, Halo 5 is being made by a completely different team, he explained. “It’s a singular product. It was built from the ground up for this new technology, rather than being sort of dragged kicking and screaming from 2001 and forced and shoehorned into a 2014 console. So the problem spaces are still very challenging but they’re radically different. I think the beta is already a decent first step, in a retail environment, showing that we don’t have the same problems.

“[…] It’s mostly something I’ve taken very personally as a sort of big challenge in my career just in terms of communication. And, again, when you take it personally, you feel it personally, but Halo 5 simply won’t suffer the same indignities because it’s being developed very differently.”

Next month, 343 Industries is delivering on their promise of offering a remade Halo 3: ODST campaign and Halo 2 Relic multiplayer map to those fans affected by The Master Chief Collection’s troubled launch for free.

What’s your outlook on Halo 5: Guardians? Do you have faith in 343 Industries to deliver a killer Halo title this year?

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