Halo: The Master Chief Collection was announced for PC back in March of this year. Not only would it be releasing on the windows store as expected, it would also be coming to steam.
The excitement was incredible. Not only did it quickly become one of the most wish listed games on steam, it became one of the most talked about games on various sites and forums, and it felt like Halo was building excitement like it hadn’t in years
Nearly 5 months later, the game doesn’t look any closer to releasing than it did when it was announced. There was a small “flight” for a campaign level from REACH, and there’s still a firefight “flight” that is supposed to be coming soon.
Maybe expectations were too high, but it felt like the game would be coming sooner rather than later when the excitement was at it’s peak. Now, it feels like the game may take longer than anyone could have imagined to release.
343 recently released a pretty lengthy, honest, and transparent article about what it takes to release a quality flight test. You can read that here. In that, they talk about why the firefight test for PC missed it’s July window. They explained that there was a “blocking bug”. They explain what that means by saying that “‘Blocking Bugs” are “blockers” in that they are deemed severe enough to prevent a flight from functioning as needed.”
So basically, they decided that there was something in the test that was severe enough that it wasn’t ready for public consumption. Fair.
They also go on to talk about how they determine the levels of who participates in these tests, where they are now, what happens next, the status of the tests for the Xbox version of REACH, and more. Transparency is a good thing, and the article does a good job of explaining where the team is at right now.
It’s also fair to point out that while MCC to PC and REACH to the Xbox and PC versions of the game is a big deal, they have a much larger game releasing next year. So it’s safe to assume not all possible resources are being put into this project.
With all of that said, this still leaves me and other fans feeling a little bit dissatisfied. I can completely understand that games take time to develop, and there are bound to be unexpected issues.
However, I think it’s fair to say this entire process hasn’t gone as smoothly as many hoped. It’s also fair to say fans were expecting the process of the games being released to be quicker than it has been.
We are in month 5 since the game was announced, and the first game out of the 7 (including Halo 3 ODST and Halo 2 Anniversary) is still in early tests. Now, I don’t think this means that each game is going to take half a year or more to be added to the collection on PC, but it does beg the question why the game was announced when it feels like it was still in the early period of development.
There’s also the possibility that they are simultaneously working on all 7 games at the same time and are only publicly talking about REACH, and that all 7 games will be ready at the same time. But I don’t think that’s likely, so we might see a slow drip of games coming out when they’re finished.
I’m not saying that 343 has made a critical error or anything. I still would bet that when the game is finally out, that it will meet fans expectations. That may be the biggest reason why this is all taking so long, 343 wants to nail this game and give fans what they’ve been craving
But Halo needs a home run. Halo finally coming to PC, and steam in a shocking surprise, after years of fans asking for it was supposed to be that home run. Right now, it feels like a really draining process where fans are constantly asking when the next test is. Maybe the game comes out sooner than I think and it’s what everyone dreamed of. But right now, it feels slightly off.
Maybe hopes were too high and I should have expected this to take a lot of time to get right. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens, and hope that the game is what fans hope for.