When it was announced that Halo 5: Guardians would not be supporting split-screen, fans became outraged. 343 Industries was listening to this outrage. In a new interview, franchise director Frank O’Conner says the blowback from this decision was “huge.” For those hoping, split-screen won’t be coming to Halo 5 in a patch. That doesn’t mean that Halo 6 won’t include this feature.
In an interview with GamesRadar, O’Conner said that adding split-screen to Halo 5 in a patch would be technically impossible. The team wanted the game to run at a locked 60 FPS. Making this a reality created “some issues” and technical impossibilities for the game.
“Realistically, for Halo 5, it’s not something we can just throw in a patch,” O’Connor said. “The simulation the game runs at is 60 frames per second; you’ve seen how big the vistas are; you’ve seen things like the Kraken and so on and so on and so on. It’s just not feasible with the engine works. The blowback from it has been huge within reason.”
“We know what the real numbers are [of people who play split-screen] and I’m not even going to give them out. But suffice it to say, like most things, they’re not as big as you think they are,” he said. “Split-screen is fun for me, too. It’s not something that I object to. We would have loved to put it in; if we could have, we would have.”
O’Conner also teased Halo 6 in the interview with the possibility of that game including split-screen functionality. However, nothing has been decided on yet.
“It’s certainly a conversation we’ll have about the next game,” he said. “We haven’t said, ‘Split-screen is done and we’ve abandoned it.’ Making a game is about finding a schedule and a list of priorities and technical features that you can actually achieve. And the commitment to 60 frames per second, we knew was going to create some issues. And one of those, unfortunately–and we don’t feel good about this–one of those, unfortunately, is split-screen. So we’ll talk about it for the next game and we’ll talk about it for the future. But it really is a giant technical hurdle and not a trivial thing.”
Halo 5: Guardians is now available exclusively on the Xbox One.