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Turning the Ship Around - "Cooperation"
Date: 5/25/13 2:19 pm

One of the great things about Halo was the direct community involvement. Bungie was a company that was connected to their fans at multiple levels, and most followed them into the commercial success that the game was. While Halo's success in large part was due to the quality of the game and Microsoft's advertising budget, the fanbase's word of mouth also helped it grow.

Fan creations helped grow Halo's presence - with no extra money spent by Microsoft - and community creations often ended up being referenced or used in later games

For the most part, 343 and Microsoft continued this idea.. and then something changed a while after they took over Reach. While Bungie converted a popular Skeeball minigame made by a community member into a proper gametype called Haloball. 343.. hasn't done anything like that at all a while after taking over Reach. Microsoft shut down the stats API, claiming they didn't have the resources to do it.. but the work had already been done by Bungie and all they had to do was re-deploy the API servers. And they did.. but only for themselves for use with their app.

Overnight, a wealth of apps were killed off and community challenge / game stat sites had to resort to screenscraping or shut down. Which is strange, since Microsoft now essentially had to pay for MORE bandwidth to handle the screenscrapers. They would go on to require you to sign in and agree to the TOS on the console before you could even pull up the stats. Sites like HaloCharts and the like were forced to eventually shut down, and even though HC eventually came back, it didn't have anywhere near the features it originally pulled off. If people didn't like a feature missing in 343's official stats app, they could program it themselves or get someone else to - and this cost Microsoft nothing. Why did they throw this away?

They even had a pretty cool idea with the custom challenges for Reach you could make. BSAngel would even deploy changes per week that would multiply the payouts for certain kill types or medals. And this functionality, for some reason, didn't make it over to Halo 4.

Double EXP weekends in Halo 3 were playlists made in response (mostly) to community requests. Reach didn't have double EXP weekends, but it did have Super Jackpots. What did Halo 4 have for the hardcore fans? Double EXP.. as long as you bought some Mountain Dew. And this feature has mostly just been left to gather dust after the promotion ended, being used only once so far outside of the Dew promotion.

At some point Halo went from working heavily with it's fans and letting them bounce off each other to become heavily MS-centric and promotional only. In H3 and most of Reach, playlists would just happen because someone at Bungie or 343 or a community thread would get together and say 'let's try this!'. In Halo 4, playlists are made in advance and tied to DLC when they debut. They're not longer organic reactions but promotional stages. Double EXP was used to market a product outside of the game.

The lack of campaign and spartan ops films means "water cooler" talk simply couldn't happen - once you played a mission or Spartan Ops, the experience was forever lost unless you had hundreds of dollars in capture hardware. In the Reach era, 343 gladly shared test TU gametypes and ran a beta playlist with the community well before Anniversary was actually released. In Halo 4's era, 343 now sits on the gametypes and waits to debut them after they've done a song and dance with bringing community members in for a playdate, when it would make a lot more sense to share the gametypes that the community should be directly involved in (they're the ones still playing your game!) and do the playdate at the same time, with the same amount of promotional value.

The lack of being able to search for files at all or even obtain them in-game for the first months of launch also had a heavy negative impact on the game. Nobody could really do much to share their experiences with the game, while everyone who jumped to Call of Duty after the first week were happily sharing highlight reels, brag clips and tournament broadcasts.

I'm aware Halo is a product sold to make money. But it feels that at some point, Microsoft and 343 shifted to a harsh "do it our way, or don't do it". They became heavily top down in how content makes it into Halo. The organic connection between the hardcore base and the company is stretched thin. It comes across as the marketing team making more decisions to build 343's brand than 343 building a legacy with it's fans. While you sign the Spielbergs and Virgin Entertainments and Mountan Dews contracts, don't forget your Firestreams, your Kornmans, and your MigChavezeseseses. They may not be responsible for moving the same units the big names do, but they do afford your universe a more human quality.

The community wants to help you, Microsoft. Let's build Halo together again.

Next day's topic: Tools

Messages In This Thread

Turning the Ship Around - "Cooperation"FyreWulff5/25/13 2:19 pm
     HBO: We've got your MigChavezesesesesGrimBrother One5/25/13 4:24 pm
           Re: HBO: We've got your MigChavezesesesesFyreWulff5/26/13 2:58 am
     Re: Turning the Ship Around - "Cooperation"DEEP NNN5/25/13 5:58 pm
     PragmatismRC Master5/26/13 9:49 am
     One exception...Kal5/26/13 11:36 am
           Re: One exception...Hyokin5/26/13 1:04 pm
                 Re: One exception...SEspider5/29/13 1:53 am
           Re: One exception...General Vagueness5/28/13 1:40 pm
                 Re: One exception...Kal5/28/13 3:43 pm
                       Re: One exception...RC Master5/28/13 6:03 pm
                             Re: One exception...Kal5/28/13 7:58 pm
                       Re: One exception...General Vagueness5/29/13 11:06 am
                             Re: One exception...Kal5/29/13 11:57 am
                                   Re: One exception...General Vagueness5/29/13 1:11 pm
                                         Re: One exception...Kal5/29/13 1:26 pm
                                               Re: One exception...General Vagueness5/31/13 10:52 am
                                                     Re: One exception...Kal5/31/13 3:32 pm
     DisagreeSchooly D5/26/13 12:04 pm
           roflmao *NM*GrimBrother One5/26/13 2:37 pm
     Re: Turning the Ship Around - "Cooperation"Cody Miller5/26/13 2:20 pm
           Re: Turning the Ship Around - "Cooperation"General Vagueness5/28/13 1:29 pm
     Re: Turning the Ship Around - "Cooperation"General Vagueness5/28/13 1:25 pm
           Re: Turning the Ship Around - "Cooperation"padraig085/28/13 2:42 pm
                 Re: Turning the Ship Around - "Cooperation"uberfoop5/28/13 4:04 pm
                       Re: Turning the Ship Around - "Cooperation"padraig085/28/13 4:19 pm
                       Re: Turning the Ship Around - "Cooperation"General Vagueness5/29/13 11:11 am
                             Re: Turning the Ship Around - "Cooperation"padraig085/29/13 11:22 am
                                   Re: Turning the Ship Around - "Cooperation"General Vagueness5/29/13 11:31 am
                                         Re: Turning the Ship Around - "Cooperation"padraig085/29/13 11:46 am
                                               Re: Turning the Ship Around - "Cooperation"General Vagueness5/31/13 11:05 am
                                         Re: Turning the Ship Around - "Cooperation"RC Master5/29/13 2:39 pm
                                               Re: Turning the Ship Around - "Cooperation"General Vagueness5/31/13 11:06 am
                                                     Re: Turning the Ship Around - "Cooperation"uberfoop5/31/13 1:11 pm
           Re: Turning the Ship Around - "Cooperation"SEspider5/29/13 2:30 am

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