Bungie was not this flawless creative powerhouse everyone wants to remember! They were a small studio that drove themselves into financial ruin after a series of costly mistakes. They stumbled into a one of kind IP through 2 devs working on a side project. It was a right place right time moment when Microsoft plucked them out of the ashes in Exhange for a new IP for their upcoming console launch. But just because Bungie was under a parent company now did not stop them from repeating their past mistakes.
Halo a positively received game to the world but was not without its flaws. Criticized at the time for its repetitive level designs, diversity of enemies and cut multiplayer. Multiplayer something that the masses would crucify a studio for today. It was not until later that we would find out why but that was just the beginning. Over promising Microsoft, a new IP in under a year lead to time crunch resulting in cut content, copy and pasting, story patching, and the cutting and rework of multiplayer. Something that is happily overlooked by Bungie fanboys that are quick to crucify 343i over forge & co-op. Halo had an average initial sell in no way recuperating production nor the acquisition costs but overall sold 5.5 million lifetime copies.
Halo 2 again was received positively but was criticized for its story. Cret eking its messy plot with the dual story perspective and its ending. Like its predecessor we wouldn’t know the whole story until much later. Over promising again resulted in crunch that led to cut content, story patching, and a rework. This wasn’t the only contributing factor to the messy plot, a lack cohesive creative vision led to multiple story lines and plots leading to cut content and the dual perspective. Multiplayer also was criticized for its large number of cheaters. Bungie implemented the first automated ban system that to was criticized for not only missing cheaters but banning legitimate players as well. Halo 2 had an explosive release even with a year delay and selling 8.46 million lifetime copies.
Halo 3 was received positively but criticized for its short story, back seating of certain characters, lack of unique boss fights and graphics. Overall production went smooth beside a few last-minute level and weapon reworks. Again, multiplayer was criticized for it ban system not being much of an improvement. Halo 3 untimely had record breaking initial sales and selling 14.5 million copies lifetime.
Halo ODST was generally positively received but had mixed reviews easily making it Bungies most controversial game. Criticized for its short story, price point, engine, narrative design, and lack of matchmaking. Overall halo ODST was intended DLC released as a full game at full price to obfuscate Bungies contractual obligations to Microsoft. ODST sold well on release and had a lifetime 6.35 million copies sold.
Halo Reach was received positively and remains Bungies least criticized game beside multiplayer issues with d-sync and balancing. Halo reach sold 9.87 million copies lifetime.
My point is Bungie is a good studio that produced good games, but they were nowhere near this standard that we think we held them to at the time. Plus, these criticisms aren’t even comparable to what the community thought at the time. Try going back to the forums and reading those I’m telling you; your mind will be blown away. Ultimately we need to stop bashing 343i because of some false nostalgia we had for Bungie. Posts like these give nothing to the conversation, Give them legitimate criticism and express ideas otherwise, we are getting nowhere and killing our own community in the process.