By Kurtis Kendall
Halo: The Master Chief Collection (MCC) originally released back in 2014 and was immediately greeted with a tumultuous launch. The multiplayer aspect of the game was arguably unplayable, with 30 minute wait times for games, game breaking bugs, and complete crashes sending players back to their home menus.
“The game was terrible at launch,” said sophomore Andrew Carlson, a game design major at Fitchburg State. 343 Industries, the game’s developer, tried to address these issues, but weeks and months went by with the game still failing to work for a large portion of players. Parties of players would get disbanded for no reason when playing together, and the hit detection wouldn’t register for some games, causing frustration among fans.
In this day and age, video games are often churned out at a fast pace, at times being released unfinished and partly broken. Examples include Mass Effect: Andromeda and Fallout 76, games that were abandoned by their developers soon after their rocky release. “Shigeru Miyamoto is a developer at Nintendo famous for saying ‘A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad,’ which I completely agree with,” continued Carlson. It initially seemed as though the Master Chief Collection was another title set to join this graveyard.
But in a dramatic shift from the industry norm, 343 Industries continued to work on MCC. Instead of letting their game die, updates were applied that fixed many of the bugs and connectivity problems that plagued the game’s early days.
Eventually, a full rebuild of MCC’s multiplayer engine was undertaken, completed in the summer of 2018. This solved all of the games former problems, with no more glitches, breaks or long wait times at all. In other words, the game people expected had finally arrived.
“Most companies use downloadable content or micro-transactions to add to their game, making the player have to pay more for content that should have originally been in the game,” says computer science major Michael Etsy, class of 2021, an avid gamer and a game design minor at Fitchburg State. “It’s nice to see some games like Grand Theft Auto V Online by Rockstar Games and Halo: MCC by 343 Industries, continue to update their games frequently.”
To this day, 343 continues to improve the MCC, with a January update that enhanced the aiming functionality in the game and adds new abilities and difficulty multipliers for the title’s campaign.
343 Industries made a rare move in the gaming industry by sticking with their title long term. More than four years after Master Chief Collection’s launch, the game is as good and fun to play as ever. Hopefully, this is only the start of this type of commitment to a game by its developers.