How can Halo be "cool" again?

I don’t want Halo 5 to be a flop or be lost in the sauce with all of the great new games coming out in the next few years. I want Halo to make a big come back! It has to be “cool” and play like a Halo game should.

Most of a video game’s population and sales come from people who are still in grade school.(This is my speculation) I know from my own experience in high school, that whatever game, clothing brand, or music artist, was considered the “cool thing”, was the “thing” everyone wanted to buy, so they could “fit in” to the “cool crowd”.

Halo isn’t cool anymore.(my speculation again) I’ve had younger grade schoolers from my XBL friends list tell me that talking about Halo in school could get their yoink kicked for being nerdy, and that talking about CoD was a “safe” way of making cool new gamer friends at least. I’m not sure if CoD is really even that cool anymore now, but it sure as hell was. It at least still gets the popular vote for being the game to play with friends, because it has no “cool” competitors, as far as FPS competitive multiplayer matchmaking games go.

Halo was only “cool” before CoD 4, because Halo had no real competition on consoles at all. I personally witnessed Halo become uncool when my Halo 3 friends flocked on over to CoD 4, because the realistic warfare seemed more real to them, and that’s how it happened. That’s how my friends list went from Halo fans to CoD fans. Players that revisited H3 afterwards, said that it felt like “walking on the moon in a washed up cartoon” and then flocked back to their home base in CoD land.

I want Halo on Xbox One to be cool again and hold a huge online population, without having to remove anything that made it great. I want the online population to be #1 or #2, with Destiny in the top 2 while CoD sits on #3 or #4 with BF4. How can that happen?

How can Halo be top dog again amongst the new crowd, while keeping and bringing back it’s original fan base?

It’s too late now. Halo 4 was a last chance for most.

> It’s too late now. Halo 4 was a last chance for most.

I know what you mean, but I’ve seen washed up music stars, sports players, and movie franchises make huge come backs, so I believe Halo can do it too. The potential is there. I hope 343 has this whole subject in mind.

I don’t think it has anything to do with coolness nor should children be the measuring stick of what defines cool. If Halo didn’t have popularity, Halo 4 wouldn’t have sold millions of copies. The problem comes down to, I think anyway, identity. What is Halo 4? It looks like a Halo game, but it doesn’t play like one. By adding in the new features that have defined a generation of modern shooters and basically hoping for the best, Halo 4 sets itself up to disappoint just about anybody.

Old school fans hoping for a return to the traditional arena-shooter style of Halo were disappointed when it wasn’t set up as so and potential fans from other shooters may just see Halo 4 as a cheap imitation of games like Call of Duty that they already play, so why not just play the real thing? Halo 4 found some people who enjoy the blend, but judging by the dropping population, which I’m sure will rebound for a time when the Champions Bundle hits, and lower-than-average rank on the Xbox Live Activity charts show it wasn’t enough to retain Halo’s typical prestige.

Obviously those shouldn’t be the only ways to mark quality and what not, but with everything we’ve seen over the years be it the dropping population, mishaps at GDC and late responses to much demanded changes and improvements, 343i has a lot of ground to cover and no amount of making Halo “hip” is going to help. They need to re-evaluate their process, look at the strengths of what they have currently and the weaknesses and then look at how the old Halo can help them.

It’s not a popularity issue. Halo is still very relevant in that department. It’s the fact that 343 tried to mimic mechanics of other shooters (Call of Duty comes to mind) in an effort to bring in more players. If they focus on making a great game for the already established Halo community, Halo 5 will probably be one of the best.

I’m in high school and am frequently asked if I play CoD, to which I tell them “No, I play Halo.” or “Nope, I play good games.”

Most of my friends also own Halo, they just don’t play it as much as CoD.

> I’m in high school and am frequently asked if I play CoD, to which I tell them “No, I play Halo.” or “Nope, I play good games.”
>
> Most of my friends also own Halo, they just don’t play it as much as CoD.

Call of Duty is a good game though.

I think Halo is a pretty cool guy. Eh kills aleins and doesnt afraid of anything.

> How can Halo be top dog again amongst the new crowd, while keeping and bringing back it’s original fan base?

A good game would be a start.

The sales prove that people are still into Halo. The problem is that the series has lost its staying power and I think that can be attributed to both crappy gameplay changes and a stagnant feature set.

  • We’re still using Forge, an outdated object editor.
  • Theater mode is less capable than it was six years ago.
  • The custom game system hasn’t been improved in any way.
  • Firefight got replaced with something that could’ve been better but was ultimately worse because of recycled environments, awful writing and repetitive missions.

Seriously, where’s the “wow!” factor?

If Halo wants to compete, it needs to be compelling again.

Halo Xbox One can be amazing if 343i innovates and improves instead of copying other games.

> > I’m in high school and am frequently asked if I play CoD, to which I tell them “No, I play Halo.” or “Nope, I play good games.”
> >
> > Most of my friends also own Halo, they just don’t play it as much as CoD.
>
> Call of Duty is a good game though.

To each his own.

Halo may never be “cool” again, because what made Halo so popular was because it was what passed for a casual game at the time and the masses loved it over more hardcore games like Quake or Unreal; I always find it ironic that people complain about Halo 4 being casualized when casualization was what made Halo famous to begin with. It was a game dumbed down to work on consoles, and casualized enough for the masses to enjoy. But now Call of Duty has taken the crown because it’s even easier to play, meaning the only two options for Halo are to modernize with CoD, or stay overall the same as the past games. Neither one will make Halo cool again, because the masses will always play CoD over traditional Halo, and Halo’s fundamental gameplay doesn’t mix so well with modernized tropes.

> I’m in high school and am frequently asked if I play CoD, to which I tell them “No, I play Halo.” or <mark>“Nope, I play good games.”</mark>
>
> Most of my friends also own Halo, they just don’t play it as much as CoD.

I can’t tell you how many times that exact sentence has come out of my mouth. I’m glad I’m not the only one lol.

All my friends have all the Halo’s and CoD’s as well and I nearly have to beg them to get in the game with me and when they do they play one or two games until they have a negative one and then they quit and go back to their Cod. Why practice to be good at Halo when you can just put in a game that runs on easy mode?

Every now and then they talk me into playing CoD with them and it’s nothing but a camp fest and always easy to dominate. Every game I play on there, a multitude of things run through my mind: Omg I feel like I’m cheating on Halo; This is supposed to be hard/fun/skillful?; Man I have to get back on Halo, this is going to mess my real skills up and lull me into thinking Halo’s this easy.

It’s a sad time to be a Halo fan. :frowning:

> Halo may never be “cool” again, because what made Halo so popular was because it was what passed for a casual game at the time and the masses loved it over more hardcore games like Quake or Unreal; I always find it ironic that people complain about Halo 4 being casualized when casualization was what made Halo famous to begin with. It was a game dumbed down to work on consoles, and casualized enough for the masses to enjoy. But now Call of Duty has taken the crown because it’s even easier to play, meaning the only two options for Halo are to modernize with CoD, or stay overall the same as the past games. Neither one will make Halo cool again, because the masses will always play CoD over traditional Halo, and Halo’s fundamental gameplay doesn’t mix so well with modernized tropes.

Modernizing Halo isn’t the issue. 343 just needs to focus on catering to the already existing fanbase instead of trying to bring in more players.

> > How can Halo be top dog again amongst the new crowd, while keeping and bringing back it’s original fan base?
>
> A good game would be a start.
>
> The sales prove that people are still into Halo. The problem is that the series has lost its staying power and I think that can be attributed to both crappy gameplay changes and a stagnant feature set.

And the fiercest competition the series ever had. And shifting market interests. And the nerdy stigma. And a fundamental change in what gamer’s expect.

Halo 4’s waning population can be attributed in part to gameplay issues, but don’t think for a second that they are the only issue. Halo 4 earned $300million in its first week, a respectable earning, but it wasn’t the best selling game even of the month. Blops II earned $500million, $200million more than what Halo 4 made in it’s first week, within its first day. Halo may still be popular, but the numbers speak for themselves. A lot of people, most people actually, will buy a game and be done with it after something else comes out. Call of Duty has that type of gamer market dominated, which struck a massive blow against Halo 4’s longevity. Halo used to have that market as well until Call of Duty; what sustained Halo was its relatively casual gameplay compared to every big-name shooter out there; really Halo was the only big name shooter out there, it had no competition.

The more competitive market helped, but that isn’t a sizable enough demographic to sustain a franchise as big as Halo was being sustained. Call of Duty came out and suddenly there was an even easier game to play, a game that not only took from Halo’s casual audience, but introduced a whole generation of gamers to gaming in the first place.

> > Halo may never be “cool” again, because what made Halo so popular was because it was what passed for a casual game at the time and the masses loved it over more hardcore games like Quake or Unreal; I always find it ironic that people complain about Halo 4 being casualized when casualization was what made Halo famous to begin with. It was a game dumbed down to work on consoles, and casualized enough for the masses to enjoy. But now Call of Duty has taken the crown because it’s even easier to play, meaning the only two options for Halo are to modernize with CoD, or stay overall the same as the past games. Neither one will make Halo cool again, because the masses will always play CoD over traditional Halo, and Halo’s fundamental gameplay doesn’t mix so well with modernized tropes.
>
> Modernizing Halo isn’t the issue. 343 just needs to focus on catering to the already existing fanbase instead of trying to bring in more players.

Modernizing Halo is precisely the issue because that’s what happened with Halo 4. They modernized it to fit with the current market, but Halo’s core gameplay doesn’t mix very well with modern game styles. Call of Duty was eating away at Halo’s population and they decided they should fight fire with fire. It didn’t work, obviously, but this just proves my point: the modern gaming audience is overwhelmingly casual, and they will flock to the easiest game available. Halo, ironically, was that game for the longest time until Call of Duty became popular. Once CoD started getting more and more popular, Halo started getting less and less popular.

So there is very little chance Halo will ever become big like it was again.

> > > How can Halo be top dog again amongst the new crowd, while keeping and bringing back it’s original fan base?
> >
> > A good game would be a start.
> >
> > The sales prove that people are still into Halo. The problem is that the series has lost its staying power and I think that can be attributed to both crappy gameplay changes and a stagnant feature set.
>
> And the fiercest competition the series ever had. And shifting market interests. And the nerdy stigma. And a fundamental change in what gamer’s expect.
>
> Halo 4’s waning population can be attributed in part to gameplay issues, but don’t think for a second that they are the only issue. Halo 4 earned $300million in its first week, a respectable earning, but it wasn’t the best selling game even of the month. Blops II earned $500million, $200million more than what Halo 4 made in it’s first week, within its first day. Halo may still be popular, but the numbers speak for themselves. A lot of people, most people actually, will buy a game and be done with it after something else comes out. Call of Duty has that type of gamer market dominated, which struck a massive blow against Halo 4’s longevity. Halo used to have that market as well until Call of Duty; what sustained Halo was its relatively casual gameplay compared to every big-name shooter out there; really Halo was the only big name shooter out there, it had no competition.
>
> The more competitive market helped, but that isn’t a sizable enough demographic to sustain a franchise as big as Halo was being sustained. Call of Duty came out and suddenly there was an even easier game to play, a game that not only took from Halo’s casual audience, but introduced a whole generation of gamers to gaming in the first place.
>
>
>
> > > Halo may never be “cool” again, because what made Halo so popular was because it was what passed for a casual game at the time and the masses loved it over more hardcore games like Quake or Unreal; I always find it ironic that people complain about Halo 4 being casualized when casualization was what made Halo famous to begin with. It was a game dumbed down to work on consoles, and casualized enough for the masses to enjoy. But now Call of Duty has taken the crown because it’s even easier to play, meaning the only two options for Halo are to modernize with CoD, or stay overall the same as the past games. Neither one will make Halo cool again, because the masses will always play CoD over traditional Halo, and Halo’s fundamental gameplay doesn’t mix so well with modernized tropes.
> >
> > Modernizing Halo isn’t the issue. 343 just needs to focus on catering to the already existing fanbase instead of trying to bring in more players.
>
> Modernizing Halo is precisely the issue because that’s what happened with Halo 4. They modernized it to fit with the current market, but Halo’s core gameplay doesn’t mix very well with modern game styles. Call of Duty was eating away at Halo’s population and they decided they should fight fire with fire. It didn’t work, obviously, but this just proves my point: the modern gaming audience is overwhelmingly casual, and they will flock to the easiest game available. Halo, ironically, was that game for the longest time until Call of Duty became popular. Once CoD started getting more and more popular, Halo started getting less and less popular.
>
> So there is very little chance Halo will ever become big like it was again.

You could not be more wrong.

> It’s too late now. Halo 4 was a last chance for most.

Not necessarily. If Halo 5 is an incredible game that improves on H4 in every way word of mouth will spread fast. Its amazing how some people believe that after Halo 4 people will never come back to the franchise regardless of how good future titles are… Like they’re holding a grudge or something.

It needs to feel alive. Halo 4 felt dead even before the population started to decline. All it takes is carrot-dangling - getting kids to play that one more game of Lone Wolves to get their 45, or going through the Vidmaster Challenges one by one to get Recon armour. And nothing makes a game feel more alive than a proper skill gap - losing a Slayer game 50 to 6 with your K/D going -20, punching players in the face, this is how to get people thinking and talking about a game.

Going easy on players is a terrible thing for a developer to do. That’s for CoD, the Angry Birds of FPS. Shoot a guy in the head, shoot him in the foot, who cares? He’s dead either way. You lost, but here’s some XP anyway!

I WANT to feel like crap after losing a game. I want to hate Halo 5 and the -Yoink- on the other team. It will only make winning more enjoyable. Keep the bonus XP and the ordinance drops and the infinite sprint and the instant-kill Forerunner weapons for social.

THAT’S how you make Halo 5 cool. Make it harder to get a 50 than Halo 2. Make it the toughest damn game in the series. Demand respect for your game, 343. To hell with variety, difficulty is what matters. It’s why kids love Dark Souls and why Halo 2 and 3 dominated XBL for years. It’s why Reach and Halo 4 did not.

Put it in the fridge perhaps?

/jk

In honesty… I love how Halo looks today. Halo 4 absolutely feels like Halo to me! I couldn’t picture anything better at the moment. Came from the Blood gulch days, to the Infinity days and i must say, i loved every step so far!

Before people go nuts on me… No i’m not a blind fanboy… I’m merely easy to please.

> You could not be more wrong.

I think he’s very close to the truth. Now, I believe the reason that Halo’s core fanbase left was due to gameplay changes, but the reason it’s no longer “cool” is definitely due to Call of Duty being “easier” to play, therefore appealing to a larger audience.

Here’s a list of things that are required to even compete in Halo that aren’t required at all in Call of Duty:

  • Strategy- Teamwork- Communication- Advanced movement (jumping, jet packing, strafing)- More than 3 bullets of an automatic weapon to kill- Map movement- Map control- Power weapon control/timing- Powerup control/timing- Vehicle control- Knowledge and understanding of spawn locations
    So for all of the casual gamers out there, why play a game that requires practice and skill to kill when there’s a game that allows you to kill without much effort at all?

In 2009, I decided to take a break from Halo 3 and check out this Call of Duty franchise I’d been hearing about, so I rented Modern Warfare 2 from GameFly. It was a lot of fun and one of the best shooters I’d played. It only took me 3 months to get to a level I’d call “mastery”: I was winning almost every FFA match (without using a Sniper or “noob-tube”) and tended to get the highest scores in team matches. My point is that it didn’t take me very long because it doesn’t require much.

It pains me to write this, but I honestly don’t believe Halo will ever be “as cool” or “cooler” than Call of Duty for the reasons outlined above. Halo 4 tried to sacrifice some of its core mechanics (such as power weapon and vehicle control) to gain a portion of the Call of Duty crowd, and it did, but lost a lot more of its existing fans than it gained in new players.