343 Explains Why Halo 5 Won't Have Split-Screen

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343 Explains Why Halo 5 Won't Have Split-Screen

halo 5 inline

Developer 343 Industries explains the unpopular decision to remove split-screen from Halo 5: Guardians.

When 343 Industries revealed that Halo 5: Guardians would not include split-screen, fan reaction ranged from disappointment to anger. In a blog post on Halo Waypoint, the developer explained that while the decision was difficult, they felt it was a necessary big picture determination.

"The decision to remove split-screen support from Halo 5: Guardians was one of the most difficult ones we've ever had to make as a studio," the blog post reads. "We know that for many of our fans, Halo has meant playing together with friends in the same room. We all have great memories of past Halo split-screen multiplayer matches. To move Halo's gameplay forward and deliver a true next-gen experience, tough choices had to be made."

343 states that the decision to remove split-screen from Halo 5 was "driven by a desire for scale, fidelity, and focus," and that many of their goals for the game would be compromised in a split-screen setting. In addition, they say that spending the time addressing split-screen specific issues would take focus away from building other parts of the game.

"Game development is a balancing act of resources, time and technology, and in this case we made the tough decision to sacrifice something that's been near and dear to us all."

"We are telling a story at a truly galactic scale with Halo 5's campaign. A story big enough to fill the worlds we've created for it. This is a campaign that has been designed from the ground up to support co-operative play with an ensemble cast of characters, and is supported by the gameplay mechanics, scale, features and technology required to make it sing. We're really pleased with the way it's shaping up and we can't wait for you guys to try it, and hopefully enjoy it as much as we are."

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tldr: we couldn't get the game running at a solid framerate with all of the graphics so we said screw it.

"many of their goals for the game would be compromised in a split-screen setting"

Primarily their goal of making sure everyone who wants to play the game buys their own damn copy rather than just playing it at a friend's house like some kind of communist.

I understand why they got rid of split screen, but I just find it kinda funny that Halo 5 is the first Halo game to be built with co-op in mind, but also be the first Halo game[1] to not feature local co-op.

[1] Barring Halo Wars, which was an RTS.

Oh! So they're just spending all their time and money on DLC maps and equipment microtransactions!
Well why didn't you just say so, 343? We would have understood and simply told you to go screw yourself.

kat-pottz:
tldr: we couldn't get the game running at a solid framerate with all of the graphics so we said screw it.

Right? Pretty much had the same thought.
Basically it sounds like they're tight on time, and ditched something everybody loves and came up with a semi-believable excuse. I've loved Halo since it first came out, and I really feel like 343 is going to butcher Halo entirely. :(

I love how they're just skimming over how there won't be any splitscreen in the game, PERIOD. Much less co-op.

image

Split screen co-op will now be DLC or better yet a microtransaction that forces you to pay each time you want to use split screen.

warlordofpeace:
Split screen co-op will now be DLC or better yet a microtransaction that forces you to pay each time you want to use split screen.

Or they could release co-op mode as a completely separate stand alone full priced game, that incidentally is attached to every single copy of Halo 5 as a 'bundle' option raising the price to double that of the individual Halo 5 game (because you are buying 2 games)

And there is no option to buy a Halo 5 game without the co-op bundled together.

Ahh see, if you just developed on PC and maybe PS4 instead, you wouldn't have to comprimise for your extra shiny space sparkle graphics truly next-gen experience now, would you?

This again? First, they give us the technical reason: the xbone can barely even handle the single player graphics they're forcing through the 'bones chips. ("Also, please buy an xbox One and a copy of Halo 5 for each member of your household.")

Now, they're giving us the "artistic" reason: "Oooo, the story is too grand for the screen to be split." Bull. Halo is an FPS, with a story that is barely a step above a cheap Saturday morning cartoon made to promote a toyline. And from what I've heard about Halo 4's plot, it not even as good as the Bungie games' narative.

If someone really wants to experience the story, they'll play it alone first or really pay attention with their friend/roommate/relative/SO sitting next to them. Good coop takes priority over story in games like this, and 343/MS failed on that part. I don't even know which is worse, MCC (and more games, I'm guessing) needing a solid connection to Xbox Live be able to play on a LAN, or removing a feature, that has been in the series since day one, that many people relied on to be able to play with others without breaking the bank.

A "true next-gen experience" must mean buying more unnecessary hardware to get old-gen features. I've watched the situation get this bad since the early years of the previous generation.

Well I'm sold.

Now if you will excuse me I'm gonna go dust off my PS3 and play some Resistance CooP with friends since that's a game series that actually (mostly) stayed true to it's roots.

Yeah fuck you 343.

This feels like a No Win situation.

Only 30FPS and Splitscreen? People complain, make petitions and complain about the hardware.

60FPS but no Splitscreen? People complain, make petitions and complain about the hardware.

I'm on the fence about this. On one hand 60FPS is something I always want and since I rarely play with actual people in the same room it doesn't affect me. But then I think about whenever I see my cousin and we do actually play co-op Halo sometimes.

Edit: There is a petition here if people want to try a make a change to this.

Dalek Caan:
Only 30FPS and Splitscreen? People complain, make petitions and complain about the hardware.

60FPS but no Splitscreen? People complain, make petitions and complain about the hardware.

Or they could've done what Nintendo did with Mario Kart 8, and run the game at 60fps in single player and 30fps in splitscreen. Pretty much nobody would've complained about this.

P.S. Thanks

Ahhh AAA development, put the cart before the horse and focus on graphics to the detriment of all else...

Covarr:

Or they could've done what Nintendo did with Mario Kart 8, and run the game at 60fps in single player and 30fps in splitscreen. Pretty much nobody would've complained about this.

P.S. Thanks

Wasn't even aware something like that existed. While I don't work at 343 and so I cannot actually know if something like that would be possible with Halo 5 I hope that it happens, either before release or through a post-release patch.

P.S. Who are you thanking?

Hairless Mammoth:
"Oooo, the story is too grand for the screen to be split." Bull. Halo is an FPS, with a story that is barely a step above a cheap Saturday morning cartoon made to promote a toyline. And from what I've heard about Halo 4's plot, it not even as good as the Bungie games' narrative.

speaking devils advocate here it was incredibly goofy in the first halo when two master chiefs stepped out of cryostasis at the same time, however! the split screen was not what made that goofy, so if they are saying that you play as this new jameson locke character and chief in the co-op there should be no reason that split screen could detract from this. (unless it's going to pull that weird dead space 3 asynchronous co-op, in which case I might let them off the hook for that.)

Dalek Caan:

P.S. Who are you thanking?

Ever since Sony trademarked P.S. Thanks, I have ended all my posts here with that in an act of mild rebellion that ultimately won't matter at all.

P.S. Thanks

In other words, visual quality apparently trumps gameplay now.

Hairless Mammoth:
Bull. Halo is an FPS, with a story that is barely a step above a cheap Saturday morning cartoon made to promote a toyline. And from what I've heard about Halo 4's plot, it not even as good as the Bungie games' narative.

Why do you feel like you're in a position to criticize 343 when you know nothing about Halo?

What other areas are you not-an-expert-but-also-an-expert in?

No one loves (loved) the Halo brand more than I. But I just really can't get past this one. I've stuck by the franchise post-Bungie, but it's starting to seem like the formation of 343i was also the formation of Halo's ruin.

I cancelled my pre-order the day this news hit (don't believe me, check my Twitter). It felt less like deciding not to buy a game and more like losing an old friend. I've played every Halo game, even the non shooter ones. Read their books and comics. Watched their short films. I even spent a couple of years working on a fan comic (AHCS, if you care). But this is just a step too far for me. It's a real shame too.

Dalek Caan:
This feels like a No Win situation.

Only 30FPS and Splitscreen? People complain, make petitions and complain about the hardware.

60FPS but no Splitscreen? People complain, make petitions and complain about the hardware.

I'm on the fence about this. On one hand 60FPS is something I always want and since I rarely play with actual people in the same room it doesn't affect me. But then I think about whenever I see my cousin and we do actually play co-op Halo sometimes.

I may be the minority, but honestly, I've loathed the art direction of the Halo games ever since they had enough processing power to just start shoving pointless random details on everything (namely, Reach started this, but it was REAL bad in Halo 4). The armor designs, weapon designs - to me - all look horrendous and ALSO mindbogglingly generically sci-fi.

Them having dial back on all that pointless greebling on weapons and armor would not only make them focus on better art aesthetics rather than 100 billion polies on screen, but it'd also mean you could do more enemies at a time, larger multiplayer fights or, yes, local coop.

But that's just my opinion.

I, like most of you, read enough of these Developer posts to develop some Bullshit Barometers.

Key phrases usually trigger it. Such as

tough choices had to be made.

We are telling a story...

I've noticed Developers normally say the story line in a response to why something is removed or left out.

the decision was difficult, they felt it was a necessary big picture determination

we can't wait for you guys to try it

But this idea gets me most of all.

In addition, they say that spending the time addressing split-screen specific issues would take focus away from building other parts of the game.

We live in a Post "Ship it out and patch the bugs out later", Batman-Arkham-Knight Climate, where we as gamers rather have it functional and working right out of the box than broken now and sitting with a 60 dollar virtual space block to be fixed later. And we are willing to wait the months to have it ready. Hell, a lot of us wait that long to have a playable experience anyway.

It is the publishers who put these deadlines that they need to be shipped now, now, now.

I'm absolutely sure if 343 put up a poll, just a simple poll and asked its fans if it would rather have split screen and wait, or multiplayer only co-op, they would have gotten an overwhelming response to take the time to give us the Halo Experience we've known for all this time. I do not want to be spun. I do not want to be lied to. And I personally don't care what you as a developer want to show.

If that sounds elitist, yes, yes it does. Because as a person who pays for a product, I either have my desires met or I don't buy. If I came to your brand because of a need I could only get from you, and you decide that you're not doing it any more, then you decided that you don't want my money. Simple as that. I don't owe you money for your artistic journey. I give you my money if your vision matches up with my wants.

Coming from a technical background, the amount of backlash decisions like this get always baffles me. Mostly as the outrage tends to be morally based, when it seems to me to be a simple technical problem. There's only so much they can do with the crappy tech that is the xbone, and something had to give. Choosing split-screen makes sense if there's a small enough user base for it compared to cutting something else.

Of course, what am I saying. Raaagggeee ebul corporations only care about money.

Halo Wars continues to be the only Halo game that can properly justify not including Splitscreen Co-Op.

Halo 4 was a laggy nightmare and that still had Split Screen Co-Op on the frigging Xbox 360.

On the bright side, Epic Games are keeping quiet about Gears 4's splitscreen status (but we have seen another character accompanying the player in the trailer).

Covarr:

Dalek Caan:
Only 30FPS and Splitscreen? People complain, make petitions and complain about the hardware.

60FPS but no Splitscreen? People complain, make petitions and complain about the hardware.

Or they could've done what Nintendo did with Mario Kart 8, and run the game at 60fps in single player and 30fps in splitscreen. Pretty much nobody would've complained about this.

P.S. Thanks

Unless I'm mistaken that's not how Mario Kart 8 works.

Its 60 fps on both splitscreen and single player, however the graphics are heavily downgraded in splitscreen to keep that 60 fps.

kat-pottz:
speaking devils advocate here it was incredibly goofy in the first halo when two master chiefs stepped out of cryostasis at the same time, however! the split screen was not what made that goofy, so if they are saying that you play as this new jameson locke character and chief in the co-op there should be no reason that split screen could detract from this. (unless it's going to pull that weird dead space 3 asynchronous co-op, in which case I might let them off the hook for that.)

The Dead Space example is a good point. If a game did have asynchronous co-op, where the already taxed Xbox One had to try rendering two completely separate areas at the same time in split-screen, it would be understandable to require an xbox per player. As far as I know, Halo 5's campaign doesn't feature anything like that.

The Bandit:

Hairless Mammoth:
Bull. Halo is an FPS, with a story that is barely a step above a cheap Saturday morning cartoon made to promote a toyline. And from what I've heard about Halo 4's plot, it not even as good as the Bungie games' narative.

Why do you feel like you're in a position to criticize 343 when you know nothing about Halo?

What other areas are you not-an-expert-but-also-an-expert in?

Well, I'm sorry I ruffled your feathers about something.

I've played and have been a fan of the games since the before the second game was out, and only stopped at Reach. I also fully read the first 3 books, so I guess that might give me some stupid reason to believe I can criticize a franchise I am at least somewhat familiar with.

Outside the Easter egg terminals hidden in the second half of Halo 3, the story doesn't have any more depth than something like Transformers Generation 1. You can't count the books, since the games will retcon them when ever they please and most players probably haven't read the must richer lore in those tomes. That's not an insult to the franchise nor the fanbase. The story doesn't need that depth to be interesting and fulfill its purpose.

Sounds like 343 screwed themselves again.

Xeorm:
Coming from a technical background, the amount of backlash decisions like this get always baffles me. Mostly as the outrage tends to be morally based, when it seems to me to be a simple technical problem. There's only so much they can do with the crappy tech that is the xbone, and something had to give. Choosing split-screen makes sense if there's a small enough user base for it compared to cutting something else.

Of course, what am I saying. Raaagggeee ebul corporations only care about money.

It's because they spent several years telling us that we NEEDED this generation jump and that the new consoles would completely blow us away with what they could do. Ever since the new generation released though, it's been cuts this and limitations that. This was supposed to the generation without limits, but instead it's the generation that's shown us just how washed-up the so-called "Triple-A" market has gotten. It's like, if they need to cut things because of machine limitations, then fine, but then it just begs the question of why we all paid $400 for these brand new machines that don't seem to be any better than the ones we already had.

Okay stop hiding behind the PR bullshit. Just come out and say, "The hardware isn't strong enough to support the graphics we want with split-screen gameplay." That's ALL you have to do. We're not stupid, and yes we'd be annoyed, but at least we wouldn't feel like you're insulting our intelligence. A little honesty goes a LONG way.

This is one of those explanations that can only offer up vague bullshit.

As a result I'm gonna chalk it up to laziness.

Typical BS answer when people get up in arms about a franchise removing its good parts and replacing it with further BS cotton candy replacements. There may be issues with the system limitations, but the idiots then decide well we only have so much power to dedicate, lets up the graphics and remove one of the major corner stone ways to play this game so we dont have to limit how shiny our lense flare is. Seriously, the real issue here I think is the continued trend of AAA game developers not being happy unless they beat CoD sales records, so allowing two people to play the game at once with a single copy? No sir, you cant enjoy the game with your friend unless you buy your own four hundred dollar piece of crap brick, then shell out another 8 dollars or whatever it is a month for live, and 60 dollars for the most basic copy of the game.

Just continuing the usual efforts to suck up more of people's money for less actual work.

shintakie10:

Unless I'm mistaken that's not how Mario Kart 8 works.

Its 60 fps on both splitscreen and single player, however the graphics are heavily downgraded in splitscreen to keep that 60 fps.

That's how it works for two player. For three or four player, it also halves the framerate.

P.S. Thanks.

I like how devs and publisher use the term "next gen experience". What does it actually mean? What is the next generation experience? More of the same with better graphics or a some actually new experience? Because making the same as before, but less isn't next gen experience if you ask me, althought it's looking more and more to be the new definition of "next gen".

And suggesting that you dropped the co-op because of " telling a story at a truly galactic scale built from the ground up for co-op" certainly isn't doing you a favor for dropping local co-op.

I will go with few other people said. All the moneyz into graphics and wanting to force everyone to buy their own game instead of playing with a friend one copy. After all, it's just a soft version of the same thing MS tried with the Xbone DRM before the removed it.

Considering iv played the games with friends on split screen more then I have by myself im going to say this game will most likely never be played by me unless ported to PC because I have no plans to buy a xbone

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