Halo: The Master Chief collection was announced today for the Xbox One, featuring the original multiplayer for every Halo game running on its original Xbox on the Xbox One. We have to ask ourselves a question now: is it the right time for this? Halo as a multiplayer shooter is still a huge game on the Xbox 360, thousands of players play Halo 3, Halo 4, and Halo: Reach every day on the Xbox, and the communities there are still very much alive and well – what will happen to these communities when a new, better version of the game comes out?
Games both live and die by there communities, and when the next big installment in a franchise comes out, the previous always takes a hit to its numbers, yet all of the previous-generation Halo titles have managed to secure a small community that keeps them thriving.
My worry is that with the next generation versions of these titles dropping this fall, will the previous generation versions – the versions that fans have used as great budget games for beginning gamers – drop off completely? Most gamers new to the Xbox 360 start off by picking up a copy of Halo 3 or Halo: Reach, simply because of how inexpensive and fun they are at this point, but will that community that keeps new, young gamers interested in the series die out with the introduction of a next generation addition? It sure seems extremely likely, and I worry that we’ll lose potential fans of the series due to the lack of a multiplayer community in the coming years, potentially hurting the upcoming Xbox One only Halo 5: Guardians.
There is also a flip side to this, though, as allowing future gamers who have only ever owned an Xbox One – something we know will happen very soon – to experience the entirety of the Master Chiefs story, from the beginning to the end as it was meant to be told.
Only time will tell how much this can help or hurt the future of the Master Chief on the Xbox One, and hopefully it’s the former of the two.