Halo is dead. Long live Halo

Okay the title is rather misleading, since Halo Infinite and whatever Certain Affinity is working on and the MCC will still be supported, but let’s be real.

If there’s anything in the near future we’re looking forward to, it’s what the mod community can do.

MCC already has plenty of cool mods and eventually there will be mods so complete and intricate it will be like playing a new Halo game- hell I’m certain they already exist.

And apparently Infinite’s Forge is compatible with Blender, so even if Forge doesn’t save the game it will at least afford us lots of new opportunities.

So when I say Halo is dead, I mean we shouldn’t expect too much of anything substantial from a development side and just put our faith in the fans- people who want to make Halo stuff because they like it and have real passion for it.

Sure, plenty will likely suck- but just as many will be interesting and unique while still being faithfully Halo.

So basically the future of Halo is with the modding community.

343 is too busy putting out the dumpster fire that is the Slipspace Engine, Bungie is having too much fun making their MMO shenanigans, and Certain Affinity can literally only do so much.

WE are the shepherds of the franchise now. For better or worse. It may not be official, but we are literally incapable of being that much worse to it than Microsoft has been.

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What does bungie have to with this, like at all? And how do mmo shenanigans factor into any of this?

With joe at the helm of the next UE5 game there is hope although Jamie and Marcus would be a sight for swore eyes.

CA is exciting cant wait to see max show it off in time.

modding is great and the community rocks but this is the first time since halo 4 I have hope for a real return to form.

I mostly put that there because even to this day I occasionally see “bring back bungie” and the like here and there. But the dudes have literally no reason to want to come back as they are now, therefore bringing them back would likely not help because they’re done.

And MMO shenanigans are in reference to their current game which 343 allegedly wanted to compete with directly, which is dumb as hell because as an MMO it has an entirely different model and attempting to copy it is folly. It’s part of why the rarity system is a thing in Infinite- because it’s a thing in Destiny, except due to the nature of that game it makes total sense where as in Infinite it’s effectively just a loose justification to charge more money for that item in particular.

But even if I will concede that that was a less than relevant tangent beyond the intention to chase a trend they didn’t fully understand or care to, Halo Infinite was supposed to last like 10 years. Making another game in UE5 may be a necessary evil, but it effectively means that anyone who got into Infinite expecting it to be regularly updated and given a constant flow of content (like me) has to now pay for yet another entire game for said content- assuming of course that Infinite ends up getting neglected as a result, which I sincerely hope it doesn’t.

I want to be wrong so desperately, but 343 has yet to prove anything to me beyond “We want you to wait. FOREVER.” with this game, and as much as I love the MCC that took years to get right. Halo is effectively in a vegetative state, it jerks and moves a little here and there to remind you that they’re still alive and not all is lost but it’s been so long that it’s safe to assume it will just stay that way. Profitable, but never again truly alive.

The mods are the future of Halo, because the official offerings simply aren’t up to snuff by comparison as of yet. Halo was born from the desire to make a a party game with shooter mechanics and an epic story that knew when not to take itself too seriously. 343 barely seems interested in continuing that idea, which sucks because that’s what got me hooked to CE, 2, and 3. But the community seems more than interested in this idea, and for better or worse I will look to them for the future until I am hopefully proven wrong.

Official Halo is dying, but fan-made Halo mods and content will keep it alive as a franchise until 343 figures out their situation, hopefully before it’s too late.

Ah got ya.
I mean all that aside a sony company eont be working on a halo game.

Honestly anyone who thought that shoulf take it as a teachavle moment destiny and anthem have already made it clear you cant buy a game with the belief of it lasting a decade.

It is but i believe its in the best position for recovery it has been in 15 years

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Honestly I believe Destiny could, but only because as I said it is an MMO. MMOs lasting 10 years isn’t unheard of. 10 years for a shooter, especially one like Halo, is a significantly harder task and one that 343 can’t quite manage.

After all, that kind of mission goal requires forward thinking and a consistent team, but 343 seems terrible at the former and incapable of the latter.

I do agree that Halo is in the best position for a comeback, but my belief (personally) is that this is because of the release of mod tools on MCC and Forge in Infinite. The future of Halo is not 343i- at least not solely. It is in the fans who were inspired by the franchise and want more so badly that they threw up their hands and said “I’m tired of waiting, Imma do it myself.”

Destiny aint really an mmo and lacks the core base that would grant it the ability to last a decade imo.

The fans arguement is popular but i see it as limiting if im honest.

Id rather fans make their own experiences not just mods or projects destined for S&DOs.

The jrpg and doom clone era inspired indie scenes are showcases of why.

343i aside the reality MS is halos future and this the fans will do it attitude while it has merit will never replicate traction from actual releases.
Ive been a part of enough dwindling and niche fanbases to acknowledge noatter how good the stewardship of fans is it cant be considered a franchises future. More just a slowing of its death.

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Even if it’s just barely an MMO, it at least checks the boxes- It’s an RPG that is played exclusively online and has raids and dungeons and seasonal content and a level system. It’s an extremely stripped down MMO, but it is one as far as I can tell. I will concede that right now it doesn’t look like it will last the decade, the player base is falling off, but my point is even if it’s not strictly an MMO by traditional standards, a 10 year plan at least makes some sort of sense for that kind of game. Even if it’s not likely, it’s feasible. The same can not be said of Halo Infinite.

And I do agree that experiences inspired by popular works are often ideal. For example, Hedon is a great Hexen-ish game running on the DOOM engine but is distinct enough from both to have its own appeal. The same can be said for Ultrakill, whose website was literally called DevilMayQuake, or Splitgate which is literally just throwing Halo mechanics and Valve’s Portal mechanic in a blender to epic effect.

But then we have stuff like Marathon Rubicon X which was an attempt at a 4th game made by fans, or Black Mesa which was a 10 year love letter to Half-Life and a defiant statement towards Half-Life Source because they saw it and thought “This game deserved a better remake.” Or Sonic Robo Blast which might be the most ingenious use of the DOOM engine in a non FPS usage I’ve ever seen solely for its simplicity- replace gun sprite with Sonic, tweak accordingly. Or the ever infamous AM2R, a fan remake of Metroid 2 that was so good that even getting a C&D couldn’t kill it permanently.

Fan works can just be the last flickering flame of a dying fandom, but even when that is the case it can sometimes lead to some of the most inspired and impressive works around that sometimes even top official offerings. I truly believe Halo has this power too, even now we’re Halo CE being remade in Halo 3 and some INSANE Forge stuff. Whether it will save Halo or not I can not be truly certain, and yet I believe it anyway because I’ve seen it with my own eyes elsewhere.

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I guess although id definitely argue it that being online isnt enough or that raids and rpg elements make it one.

It for lacks the first M in MMO.
Im a freak played most the content in destiny1 offline because i had bad connection at that time.

But my concern is the more that if you consider MMOs that persist they do so in a large part down to being quite low maintenance most of the time for the player. They are the fishing mini game of games.
While destinys big selling point is its gunplayand so the more active loop in engaging but also more exhausting.
It lacks the larger community aspects of traditional mmos also.
In that we are all guardians. We all have a single role. Yes their are sub classes but as te goes on they all are over powered and they only need teammates to make raids go faster.
Wheres that guy who sells his fish at market every day?
The healer who needs another player to cross the world maps to new hub locations, the active evonomy, etc.
And we saw one fail to last ten years and released a sequel was dropped to do a hard reset despite multiple soft resets to breathe longevity.
Then theres the pipeline issues.
The maps, up close textures, enemie AI etc. It all has to be as good as other FPS games a much higher level of polish and work than you need in a framework of turnbased isometric design just by their different natures.
Its much hsrder to sustain and costs more to produce.
We can see this in all the fps platfroms right now.
A 10 year commitment is logistically poor planning.
And studiohead who tells you they intend a product to last 10 years is a red flag.
They can of course but to plan for it is absolutely antithetical to every lesson ive learned in the industry.

I agree those games are great.

And i love black mesa and rubicon is incredible but they 100% do not replicate the effect actual releases have for an ip or community. They are a group of old fans hanging on gracefully but thats still decline.
The community here like to divide into groups but the fact is old fans need new fans coming in if a franchise is to really excel.

AMR2 is exactly the sort of thing i was referring to in my above comment.
Accessiblity is a huge factore in Sustainability.
And most casual fans of that series never new it existed.
Only dedicated gamers.

Fan projects arw great but they are not a substitute for official revival.
The new management and partnerships at xboc and 343i are a ray of hope for a return to form.

Old games cant be new again as much as we like to pretend otherwise.
New staple launches are a requirement for subsistence.

I’m gonna conceede as far as the MMO thing is concerned, I still disagree but I sincerely lack the overall know how to further support my argument since the extent of my MMO experience before trying Destiny 2 was Star Wars The Old Republic (waaaaaaaaay back before the Disney merger) and Guild Wars 2 with smatterings of other MMO adjacent games like DFO and Warframe and such. My point was solely that because there are some games with similar properties that do last 10+ years, it’s technically feasible. But I do agree that aiming for such a goal in general is a bad idea.

However in your regards to fan content I must disagree, I don’t like falling into the trap of “If it’s not official then it’s not enough” the same way I dislike the idea of “It’s only champagne if you get it from Chamgane France.” The only reason we put so much importance on an official revival is because it signals said revival to the gaming community at large, not merely its fanbase. HOWEVER, this is a dual edged sword.

On one hand, it can bring in new fans like me. The official port of MCC to PC is how I got into Halo (beyond merely reading lore and binging RvB). Just getting to experience the classic games (and 4) for the first time was incredible, and I’ve played them 4-5 times a piece excluding little challenge hunts. It’s the perfect idea of an official offering that can pull in new fans. Well, at least it is now.

On the other hand, you have Halo Infinite and the Broader Audience problem. It looked amazing, it looked like the return of Halo, the servers were initially packed and the game sold well. But where are they now? Infinite was just the current popular thing to look at, and once the problems became apparent it swiftly fell out of favor.

Official offerings are important, but when they lack it’s the fans that keep the games alive beyond their moments in the spotlight, even if only just barely.
When the only new Metroid experience at the time were Other M, I had rom hacks to fall back on.
Before the Silent Hill 2 and Resident Evil 4 remakes were announced, I was following the fan remasters with great interest.
When Smash Bros Brawl introduced the pratfall mechanic among a whole bevy of bad design choices, the fans made Project M in response in the time between games.
Just because an old game can’t become new again doesn’t mean it can’t be coaxed into learning some new tricks here and there. They may not be a replacement for an official release to most, but if AM2R is every bit as valid a remake of Metroid II as Samus Returns is (which in my opinion it absolutely is) then I don’t see at all why the same can’t be said of a Halo fan project some day.

Fans keep franchises alive, I personally don’t see how that doesn’t extend to fan works as they are labors of love celebrating that franchise to begin with.

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X3 Furthermore I just remembered that while developing Half-Life Alyx the devs were told to play Half-Life 1 and 2 in preparation, and at least one dev legit looked at Black Mesa, said “It’s basically the same thing”, and played that instead of HL1 and that was fine with the Dev team.

I strongly disagree that they’re basically the same thing, but it is worth mentioning that even if it’s unlikely with Halo, there is precedent for fan works to be good enough to warrant appreciation from official creators. It may not have been Gaben himself but most would still see using a fan remake as a reference to a previous game while working on a new one is a tremendous endorsement of that fan remake.

And that’s not even getting into the Sonic Mania situation where a fan can straight up become the dev of their very own official offering, rare as it may be.

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I dont deny that fan projects are a good thing.
But your own examples here just seem to exemplify my own points rather than suggest the reverse.

Appreciation isnt really the factor im concerned with here.
Its production and outreach.
Even mania ostensibly the best wonic game in years was an extremely niche product and it wont revitalise the ip in the same way the film franchise or frontiers being well recieved.
In the very same way black mesa wasnt what poeple wanted. It had no 3. A 3 makes all the difference with that IP. Alyx was incredible but even it had no 3.

While passion projects are fantastic they quite simply are no substitute for a large new production.
A retelling is fine but SPV3 isnt going to reboot the halo fandom the same way Doom 2016 or eternal did for DOOM.
Project M doesnt serve as an analogue for ultimate.
It just isnt the same sort of entity.
One is a designed to hold onto a minority the other is a revival and introduction point.
I would much prefer the effort be placed into something new free of IP and just inspired rather than adaptation.
Then it can be an actual product and build a new community of its own.
Like how DUSK is a clear evolution of BLOOD.

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I disagree with the notion that my examples exemplify your points, but I also see what you mean.

Even so I think there is one thing we must remind ourselves above all-
Forge content is fan content.

Granted Forge stuff isn’t the same as an official offering, but it is currently a hotly discussed topic in Halo circles and only just relevant enough for public interest to at least pop up here, like images of all the crazy stuff you can do in Infinite’s Forge getting into publications.

And Forge isn’t even exclusive to Halo, just as it debuted on Halo 3 it was born in Marathon Infinity (or Marathon 3). Even long ago, Bungie knew fan content was vitally important to a game’s lifespan. I agree it’s no substitute for official offerings, but it keeps the franchise afloat through the downtime (which we are getting A LOT of as of recently) until official offerings are available.

The only real difference Forge content has over mods is that mods aren’t generally official due to Forge being an in game feature.

The more I type the more I see a weird level of parallels in our arguments, the differences largely being how we perceive said fan projects and their impact at large. With this in mind, yes, official offerings are what revitalize a franchise in the eyes of the public, which can lead to revitalization within the franchise itself through the approval of more content for said franchise.

But when the official stuff isn’t enough, people try to make their own stuff. Be it through forge or mods, they will find a way. And although I agree that new IPs and experiences born of fans are ideal, some of these projects are born as mods.

Plus I know it’s not quite the same, but lest we remind ourselves that Red Vs Blue was a Halo fan project before it became… well, its own franchise. Sure it took dramatic liberties with the lore, but it’s literally unmistakable as Halo to the extent where it’s (mostly) filmed in game. It’s this weird frankenstein, like what Power Rangers was to Super Sentai but with more in jokes and tiny references to the source material sprinkled throughout. It showed (for better or worse) that fan projects can explode into its own unique thing and still be rooted in its fandom.

The same can be said of Bruva Alfabusa’s work, from WH40KTTS to Hunter: The Parenting to Half-Life Viscosity, these are fan projects and are faithful to their source material even as they parody said source material yet stand firmly and strongly on their own even as fan works.

I will confess, by naming videos as evidence I am reaching quite a bit. I kinda lack the words to articulate my point otherwise. But my point remains, sometimes fan work literally keeps franchises alive. TF2 has slain Overwatch 2 despite effectively being completely zombified, kept alive through memes and references. If that is possible, I see no reason why the same can’t be said of Halo someday.

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Obviously by virtue of your use of them.

Thats fine.
I only outlined my own reasoning never intended to shift your perspective.

And being frank I dont see much point in discussing forge at all. No need in reminding me of its existence or RvB it doesnt really add anything of note to the conversation.
Machinema as a whole has lost most of its relevance and to talk about forge in the context of player created content goes a long way to undermine the forge through simplified obfuscation of the suite.

As for machinema while rvb very much became its own thing it does largely exist within the same bubble of fandom.
Anecdotally I dont know a single rvb fan who isnt also a halo fan.

Tf2 and OW2 again to me isn’t realky indication of what you cla it is rather a conflation of 2 phenomenon that through the assumption of causality make sense.
But i dont think that assption holds under scrutiny.

I appreciate the lengthy replies and the sentiment they contain.
But honestly just dont share the opinion of the underlying premise you are submitting.
Its an interesting perspective but just see it as flawed and I cant say i see any of the elaboration as being particularly supportive of the premise.

In the end we will both enjoy created content in futer im sure.
Be it official or fan made.

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I’ve enjoyed our conversation as well, but I also do not share your opinion. However it it becoming increasingly apparent that we aren’t convincing each other of much beyond mutual acknowledgement of the importance of fan and official content.

That and admittedly I’ve exampled all my examples and worded nearly all my words and am no closer to articulating my point as I want to.

Before anything else tho I will at least point out the following- A, I got curious about Halo because I watched RvB first. I got curious about the series due to the Carolina VS Meta Death Battle and thought “It’s a Halo Machinima, how and why are there so many prerendered fight scenes?” And of course through watching the series, the youtube algorithm started feeding me Halo content- mostly lore really. And just as I was about to consider getting an Xbox 360 on the dirt cheap to try the MCC, it got dropped on Steam. Mind you my example is but one soul in an endless sea, but you now know a single RvB fan who wasn’t into Halo until after she’d already binged the entire series twice (at the time). Fan content made me a fan of Halo.

And B- No one, including myself, really cared about the 2 in TF2. TF Classic has fans, but not a lot of folks saw 2 and was like “IT’S THE SEQUEL WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR!!!” It came free with The Orange Box and that’s how I got into it, it’s been F2P ever since. And TF2 has next to zero support from its dev save for one or two really dedicated workers here and there, the community had to resort to making their own servers with their own fixes.

I can not possibly go over the entire tumultuous history of the game here, but I would encourage you to look into it if you’re curious because it is truly fascinating seeing as by all accounts the game is DEAD. And yet it’s not even remotely dead. It’s this weird little anomaly held together solely by the fondness fans have towards it and the memes and memories forged by it. If nothing else, it is not only a sign that it’s not the 2 that makes something special, but also that a game effectively held together by hopes and dreams and scotch tape provided by the fanbase can hold an audience better than a brand new official and well known sequel of a franchise that was originally meant to more or less compete with it.

Once again, I will stand firm on this point- if a game as comatosed and unsupported as TF2 can stay alive solely through fans stubbornly refusing to leave and making their own content, servers, fixes and tweaks and even cosmetics and weapons and stages all made from scratch, I see no reason the same can’t happen with Halo should Halo ever end up in a similarly concerning state.

But in the end, you are absolutely right- we can at least agree that if it’s official or fan content we’re at least gonna check it out.
Fanmade or not, content is content and we can only hope that said content will be enjoyable in some form.

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Ya fun talk.
Really interesting to find others in the community with such differing mindsets always a learning opportunity.

Thank you for such an intriguing back and forth.

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Agreed, it’s fun to have differing viewpoints without things devolving into two people yelling at their computer screens.

I thank you as well for this talk, even if I disagree I still appreciate you sharing your perspective with me.

May your matches never disconnect, may your ping stay low, and may your warthog run over some dude who didn’t see it coming in amusing fashion. Ideally set to polka.

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