What Bungie felt about Halo: Wars

Came across an article today that interviewed Ensemble’s founder, Tony Goodman. Goodman reflects a bit on the process of Halo: Wars and how Bungie really felt about the project.

> Goodman called Halo Wars a “really fantastic, under-recognized product,” but he also lamented how Microsoft forced Master Chief on the project after they were far into development.

> “Microsoft was pretty risk averse and they said, ‘I don’t know if we want to take the risk of creating strategy games on a console. We’d feel better if Halo were attached to it.’ The difficult part of that was it took the game back about a year in development, and I think it never quite turned out the same. They just said, ‘Why don’t you just paint over what you have with Halo stuff?’ But things aren’t quite that simple,” Goodman noted.

> “Another problem was that Bungie was never up for it… Bungie was kind of sore about the idea. What they called it was ‘the -Yoink!- out of our franchise’ or something. Yeah, that didn’t create a great relationship between us and Bungie; they viewed us as someone infringing [on their franchise],” he noted.

Share your thoughts.

> Came across an article today that interviewed Ensemble’s founder, Tony Goodman. Goodman reflects a bit on the process of Halo: Wars and how Bungie really felt about the project.
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> http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-09-27-halo-wars-bungie-saw-it-as-whoring-out-franchise-says-ensemble-founder
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> > Goodman called Halo Wars a “really fantastic, under-recognized product,” but he also lamented how Microsoft forced Master Chief on the project after they were far into development.
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> > “Microsoft was pretty risk averse and they said, ‘I don’t know if we want to take the risk of creating strategy games on a console. We’d feel better if Halo were attached to it.’ The difficult part of that was it took the game back about a year in development, and I think it never quite turned out the same. They just said, ‘Why don’t you just paint over what you have with Halo stuff?’ But things aren’t quite that simple,” Goodman noted.
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> > “Another problem was that Bungie was never up for it… Bungie was kind of sore about the idea. What they called it was ‘the -Yoink!- out of our franchise’ or something. Yeah, that didn’t create a great relationship between us and Bungie; they viewed us as someone infringing [on their franchise],” he noted.
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> … but MC was never in Halo Wars…
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> Share your thoughts.

He wasn’t, but what Goodman is trying to get across is that Microsoft introduced Halo pretty far into development.

I never knew about this. I wonder what Bungie’s reaction was after the game was released…

This doesn’t make me particularly happy. I have felt this “sad” atmosphere around halo wars development kind of, I thought it was due to the atmosphere of the end of Ensemble. This is likely another factor.

Bungie are a bunch of Yoink! then, they should be happy other companies would want to do spins off of your design (more or less microsoft but you know what I mean) instead they are idiots about it and take it personally. As a HALO and HALO WARS fan I am no longer dissapointed bungie isn’t doing halo 4… all for 343i now!!!

Already posted this in another thread but easir to copy and paste than to type again.

This unfortunately makes it seem like a Halo Wars 2 isn’t going to happen, but I’d like to think that everyone involved with Halo now accepts Halo Wars as a part of Halo, despite them not wanting a spin off at the time of its development. A lot of respect for them would be lost if they are actually holding a grudge still to the point where they’ll prevent a Halo Wars 2 from being made.

A thing to think about though is the fact that Microsoft often forces their agenda on their developers despite their wishes, as demonstrated in those quotes. I’d like to think that any “hard feelings” still around would be towards Microsoft and not towards Ensemble and Halo Wars.

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The thing is, Halo Wars contributes significantly to lore of Halo and is important to Halo’s history. The game also follows in the footsteps of the original FPS for making strides towards easy-to-play gaming. Halo CE revolutionized the shooter and HW has re-thought the idea of what it means to be an RTS. What is wrong with the game is how the RTS genre is received on the console.

Personally, I am exited for 343 developing Halo and am interested in seeing what a new developer brings to the table, but what more could they do for the RTS? Being made for an underdeveloped genre on the console, this game was by no means a failure, but is more of a black sheep, outselling all of its console RTS competitors. If this new idea of simple-RTS were expanded upon, I think most of the gaming community would accept it given time. The same thing happened with Halo and shooters. No one ever thought shooters could work on a console before the Xbox. Now they’re the staple of modern gaming. In my opinion, Microsoft has discovered a jewel in the rough with HW by defining a new type of sub-genre. If this game (hopefully series) were only promoted more for what it’s trying to be, it would be doing a lot better. I think it’s miraculous how the game is still alive within the community, which should say to 343 that this fanbase is worth investing in.

Why try to shove it under the rug? Blow it up and put it out there. All you can do is succeed for getting the word out. The biggest difference between Halo CE and HW is how much of a risk Microsoft wants to take. Who cares? Halo CE was worth the risk, why not try it again?

Halo Wars should be turned into a trilogy for the story arc of the SOF. It was left off on a cliffhanger on the legendary ending.

This is highly disappointing. I like Halo Wars, and I had originally thought Bungie respected Halo Wars, but it turns out that is not the case. Looking back on it, the evidence that Bungie were displeased with the existence of Halo Wars was all there. They’ve never given any significant credits to Halo Wars on Bungie.net, to Halo fans, or in recent interviews with press. And really, since Bungie’s Damian Isla said this to Eurogamer:

> We’ve done a lot of talking with Ensemble guys, and we’re all really excited about Halo Wars, because from everything we’ve seen so far it’s a very cool, faithful adaptation… Everything we’ve seen has been very, very encouraging - we’re very excited about it.

I don’t know if I can fully trust them anymore. I know it’s likely that Microsoft will have pressured them into saying that; I mean they’re not exactly going to say anything bad about Halo Wars or Ensemble. It makes me question if they really have any confidence in 343 Industries (as has been said in interviews, on the net, and in the O Brave New World ViDoc). They could have been easily pressured into saying all of that by Microsoft.

I’ve got to say that I’ve lost a bit of trust and respect for Bungie. I’m now not sure I can take all of Bungie’s “official statements” at face value anymore. I just hope that 343 don’t conceal any similar ulterior views from us. :frowning:

Well like the article states, Ensemble didn’t mean for it to become a Halo title. It was a game that seemed to be far into development for the Xbox 360. Knowing Microsoft, they tend to be on the “safe side” when supporting new IPs meaning that Microsoft probably thought that the game would not turn out to be a successful title unless they slapped Halo on it. Not to try and spin another argument, but this is why we have seen the same cycles of games from MS (Halo, Gears, Fable, Forza) for the past 3-4 years. Ensemble was on the verge of creating a brand new IP for the Xbox 360, but it seems Microsoft didn’t see the potential in it.

There are a lot of trade-offs on this particular topic. One, Halo: Wars was born and seems to be warmly welcomed. But on the other hand, it created tension between Bungie and Ensemble. Plus throwing in the fact that Microsoft shut down Ensemble after Halo: Wars was released (though this was mostly because during that year the economy was going down the craphole).

I really enjoyed Halo Wars and it’s sad that some people (we can’t claim everyone) at Bungie weren’t really supportive of the project. For what Halo Wars was, it was a damn good RTS game that worked really well with the limits imposed on it. I still play it to this day and it does marvelous things with a controller that I haven’t seen many RTS games do.

I’m glad that Microsoft told Ensemble to turn it into a Halo RTS. We could be mad at Microsoft for “controlling” their studios but they knew that it would sell and it did. The whole game adds to the Halo mythos quite wonderfully and combine it all with the music, storytelling and visuals and you have a great package.

Now that Bungie is out of the picture, Microsoft may change their mind and either hire 343i or another studio to make a Halo Wars 2. We could hold our breathe but who knows?

You might also be interested in this recent audio interview with Tony Goodman. It covers Ensemble’s years from start to finish including the Halo Wars era

http://remember-ensemblestudios.com/2012/10/kenny-newell-interviews-tony-goodman-ensemble-studios-robot-entertainment-and-peoplefun-founder/

> This doesn’t make me particularly happy. I have felt this “sad” atmosphere around halo wars development kind of, I thought it was due to the atmosphere of the end of Ensemble. This is likely another factor.

Simple way to put it. Thats exactly what Ive always felt about it. This article confirms my suspicions that Halo Wars had a dark cloud over it from the get-go.

I persoanlly thought the game was fantastic and Im not a RTS fan. Sure I didnt play it to death like other Halo games but I would certainly purchase a sequal. Unfortunatly, this sentiment doesn`t seem prevalent in the Halo community. Many Halo gamers on XBL I chat to seem to reject the game and even those hardcore achievement hunters have discounted the achievements made for the game. Although, the community is right about one thing, that Running the Show achievement (obtain rank of general in mulitplayer) is absurd, and in a way ruined the perfect Waypoint rating for the Halo fans (less than 0.5% of players have actually obtained that achievement). But I digress.

Great game. Doomed from the start and it wasnt Ensembles fault. Under-rated.

It is rude to tell someone how to make their own game but I have a feeling that whatever RTS Ensemble would of put out it wouldn’t of sold as well as Halo Wars. Microsoft must of really had doubt in a good selling RTS game. They wen’t as far as to have Bungie throw in a map pack for Halo 3 to boost the special edition sales.

> This doesn’t make me particularly happy. I have felt this “sad” atmosphere around halo wars development kind of, I thought it was due to the atmosphere of the end of Ensemble. This is likely another factor.

Agreed. Ensemble was epically awesome. AoE2 = classic.

Well Bungie did count the lore as canon and put in a cameo in the legendary edition of reach. but I see why Bungie would be mad. I would be too.

what cameo?

The cameo is probably referring to Halsey’s diary where she writes : ‘I wish that anders girl was still around.’