Split-screen gaming has been a staple for the Halo franchise since its inception. It is a feature that fans hold in high regards. So the decision to remove it from the upcoming title, Halo 5: Guardians, was a bit baffling for some Halo fans.
In a post on Halo Waypoint (Halo’s official website), executive producer for the game, Josh Holmes, explained why developer 343 industries was removing the option for split-screen.
“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. 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.”
Holmes went on to add that split-screen would have taken away time and focus from the game. 343 industries wanted to add the best quality to the game in terms of graphics, gameplay, and set pieces; just to name a few.
“Our decision was driven by a desire for scale, fidelity and focus to ensure that we would deliver the best quality experience possible. With Halo 5 we are delivering massive scale environments, improved AI behavior, increased visual and gameplay fidelity… something that truly takes advantage of a new platform. Many of our ambitious goals for Halo 5 would be compromised in a split-screen setting and the time spent optimizing and addressing split-screen-specific issues would take focus 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.”
For those wondering, the co-operative mode is still available. Holmes noted in the blog that solo and co-operative modes will have separate save files, and co-op will also include dedicated servers.
This is not the first time 343 industries has caught the ire from longtime Halo fans. Changes made to the multiplayer for Halo 4 was criticized due to its similarities to Call of Duty’s multiplayer. Halo 5 addresses those concerns, but still has a unique take on Halo multiplayer.
Halo 5: Guardians is set to release this year on October 27, exclusively on Xbox One.
What are your thoughts on the lack of split-screen from Halo 5? Let us know in the comments section.
Harman is a freelance writer from California. He likes action-rpgs and long walks on the beach.