Griesemer & Marty: Bungie, 343i and H5

Gameinformer not only had the honor to do a podcast including Josh Holmes and Tim Longo – in the later segment they also talked with Jaime Griesemer and Marty O’Donnell (who have founded a new game company) about Halo’s past and Halo’s future.
Hearing those two Halo legends talk about their creative past and future really made me think. Here are some key points I took away:

  • The Bungie of old is no more – as is the will to produce more Halo games.
    I think many people realized that already. But with lots of people still comparing the Bungie of old with the 343i of now or asking for this or that Bungie legend to return this podcast is a real eye opener. First of all Bungie has changed dramatically with the success of the studio. The Bungie of now has very little to do with the Bungie that produced HCE or H2. While Jaime and Marty (understandably) couldn’t or didn’t want to say more it was quite obvious that they weren’t happy with the direction the studio is taking.
    Both of them thought about joining 343i – but decided otherwise as (in Jaime’s words) they probably felt burnt out in terms of creativity.
  • Both make it very clear that the one thing 343i should do is following their own vision for what Halo should be like. I don’t remember the exact words but either Jaime or Marty said that constantly looking back would make looking forward impossible. I think what both wanted to express (and what is important for them now in their careers too) was that artists and teams need a certain creative freedom or otherwise risk burning out. HCE was created because an incredible (and relatively small) team of artists formed to achieve something extraordinary.
  • As they talk about the development processes of previous Halo titles it’s quite obvious that development is often a big gamble in terms of features. Jaime explained that Halo would have almost launched without a MP mode as that came in hot. He even explains quite well why they thought about scratching Split-Screen a couple of times and why it’s understandable that 343i finally made that hard decision with Xbox Live / Dedicated Servers as an option.
    As with all The Sprint videos too this gives a lot of perspective.

I’m thankful that the people at 343i really want to create new Halo experiences - but I have a lot of respect for Jaime and Marty too who say good-bye to that blown up AAA industry and to that studio that once was their creative home but doesn’t feel like that anymore.

Queued up to listen to, thanks!

Yeah it was a great watch. I like watching Tim Longo and Josh (James?) Holmes speak. You can tell they are fun people and have a lot of passion and respect for the community. Seeing Marty and Jaime was also a dream come true. I’ve often wondered what Bungie vets think of the direction Halo is taking.

In terms of Marty and Jaime leaving AAA, I just wanted to point out that Ken Levine and Cliff Bleszinski have also left AAA development. It’s crazy to me but it seems like all of the veterans are leaving to form their own studios now.

I think that’s Great that they are doing their own thing and Creating their own Studio, And I respect their Decisions to do so. I understand where they’re coming from and I am currently Loving the Direction Halo is taking, and this coming from a Halo Vet since Halo:CE that came out when I was in High School. I will but Halo 5 and Continue to buy Halo until 343 starts going in the direction of Bungie.

I definitely have a lot of respect for those two. I think the biggest reason for the success that they and the rest of that team had was the leeway they were given to do what they wanted with the series. It’s rare for a AAA franchise to have the kind of freedom of experimentation that games like Halo got early in the series. I think we see some of these great talents in the field leaving AAA development because they aren’t allowed to take those risks anymore. There is also the fear that if you create a hit, whoever controls the money is just going to want you to iterate the heck out of it (e.g. Bioshock, GoW, Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted). Even when a developer shows that they should be trusted with creating new IP or just a stand alone game that explores experimentation in game types (looking at Naughty Dog especially here), they get forced right back into doing yet another sequel, and rarely do those companies get to experiment with that sequel.

Of course, part of the reason is the fear of backlash from the community. Look at how a lot of us have been reacting to changes in Halo 5. It all comes down to creative vision, creative freedom from the publisher, and the ability to make that vision a reality. Most AAA titles these days fail on one or more of these points… or they take the wrong risks…

> 2533274793332039;1:
> Gameinformer not only had the honor to do a podcast including Josh Holmes and Tim Longo – in the later segment they also talked with Jaime Griesemer and Marty O’Donnell (who have founded a new game company) about Halo’s past and Halo’s future.
> Hearing those two Halo legends talk about their creative past and future really made me think. Here are some key points I took away:
>
> - The Bungie of old is no more – as is the will to produce more Halo games.
> I think many people realized that already. But with lots of people still comparing the Bungie of old with the 343i of now or asking for this or that Bungie legend to return this podcast is a real eye opener. First of all Bungie has changed dramatically with the success of the studio. The Bungie of now has very little to do with the Bungie that produced HCE or H2. While Jaime and Marty (understandably) couldn’t or didn’t want to say more it was quite obvious that they weren’t happy with the direction the studio is taking.
> Both of them thought about joining 343i – but decided otherwise as (in Jaime’s words) they probably felt burnt out in terms of creativity.
> - Both make it very clear that the one thing 343i should do is following their own vision for what Halo should be like. I don’t remember the exact words but either Jaime or Marty said that constantly looking back would make looking forward impossible. I think what both wanted to express (and what is important for them now in their careers too) was that artists and teams need a certain creative freedom or otherwise risk burning out. HCE was created because an incredible (and relatively small) team of artists formed to achieve something extraordinary.
> - As they talk about the development processes of previous Halo titles it’s quite obvious that development is often a big gamble in terms of features. Jaime explained that Halo would have almost launched without a MP mode as that came in hot. He even explains quite well why they thought about scratching Split-Screen a couple of times and why it’s understandable that 343i finally made that hard decision with Xbox Live / Dedicated Servers as an option.
> As with all The Sprint videos too this gives a lot of perspective.
>
> I’m thankful that the people at 343i really want to create new Halo experiences - but I have a lot of respect for Jaime and Marty too who say good-bye to that blown up AAA industry and to that studio that once was their creative home but doesn’t feel like that anymore.

Bungie Rocks!

> 2535456130096737;6:
> > 2533274793332039;1:
> > Gameinformer not only had the honor to do a podcast including Josh Holmes and Tim Longo – in the later segment they also talked with Jaime Griesemer and Marty O’Donnell (who have founded a new game company) about Halo’s past and Halo’s future.
> > Hearing those two Halo legends talk about their creative past and future really made me think. Here are some key points I took away:
> >
> > - The Bungie of old is no more – as is the will to produce more Halo games.
> > I think many people realized that already. But with lots of people still comparing the Bungie of old with the 343i of now or asking for this or that Bungie legend to return this podcast is a real eye opener. First of all Bungie has changed dramatically with the success of the studio. The Bungie of now has very little to do with the Bungie that produced HCE or H2. While Jaime and Marty (understandably) couldn’t or didn’t want to say more it was quite obvious that they weren’t happy with the direction the studio is taking.
> > Both of them thought about joining 343i – but decided otherwise as (in Jaime’s words) they probably felt burnt out in terms of creativity.
> > - Both make it very clear that the one thing 343i should do is following their own vision for what Halo should be like. I don’t remember the exact words but either Jaime or Marty said that constantly looking back would make looking forward impossible. I think what both wanted to express (and what is important for them now in their careers too) was that artists and teams need a certain creative freedom or otherwise risk burning out. HCE was created because an incredible (and relatively small) team of artists formed to achieve something extraordinary.
> > - As they talk about the development processes of previous Halo titles it’s quite obvious that development is often a big gamble in terms of features. Jaime explained that Halo would have almost launched without a MP mode as that came in hot. He even explains quite well why they thought about scratching Split-Screen a couple of times and why it’s understandable that 343i finally made that hard decision with Xbox Live / Dedicated Servers as an option.
> > As with all The Sprint videos too this gives a lot of perspective.
> >
> > I’m thankful that the people at 343i really want to create new Halo experiences - but I have a lot of respect for Jaime and Marty too who say good-bye to that blown up AAA industry and to that studio that once was their creative home but doesn’t feel like that anymore.
>
>
> Bungie Rocks!

Not anymore, they lost Their gaming soul, destiny had so much potential but after certain people left it went a different direction.

Honestly i am glad 343 took over, otherwise halo would have turned into destiny. The old bungie was awesome, whatever they are now is… different.

I wish Marty the best and look forward to what they do next

It was a really good interview with the 2 of them; clearly more to them leaving Bungie than we’ve been told. And the statement about how they nearly dropped MP and split screen from Halo 2 was interesting