Halo 4 is the first Halo game that Bungie hasn’t had some say in, and it shows a little, but I’ll get to that in my upcoming review of the game.
There’s one glaring problem with Halo 4 that cannot be overlooked as it affects thousands of people who may not even realise it: The API. An API or “Application Programming Interface” is the thing that allows sites like HaloCharts.com and The Halo: Reach Challenge Initiative to collect information about you, your spartan, and the daily challenges for viewing by anyone on a website. Sure, Halo Waypoint has a nice website, but many users report it being slow to load, short on information, unable to be ran on there computers, among other things. Needless to say, an API is needed.
Bungie has always had an API for Halo ever since Halo 3, but when 343 took the gauntlet they made little mention of an API, and when the API ceased to exist sites like the Halo: Reach Challenge Initiative had to resort to guerilla tactics to scrape information from the website and keep there doors open. #43 Industries has commented saying that they did not have the resources to devote to making an API for a old game like Halo 3 or Halo: Reach while they try to work on Halo 4, which is understandable, but releasing a game like Halo 4 with absolutely no API support and forcing users to access the closed system they made available at Halo.Xbox.com just isn’t right.
Bryan Harryman from HaloTracker.com has brought matters into his own hands by launching a petition for 343i to create an API, stating that “By providing an open API for Halo 4, 343 Industries will allow other communities the ability to collect stats, create leaderboards as well as grow the overall community. This will also provide the communities with an opportunity to the expand and involve more people from different demographics.” he goes on to say that “By allowing other communities and sites to track and compare stats 343 Industries will not only create continued overall support for Halo 4, but it will also help provide valuable feedback as to specific things that different players in all communities are interested in and allow for capitalization and growth.”
Which is all completely true. I love Halo 4 and I love 343 because of it, but I have to blunt here and say that their website sucks. Try taking a look at Bungie.net’s now ended stat tracking service. Now take a look at 343’s and see which is more intuitive. See what I mean? Halo’s new masters certainly know how to make a good game, but creating a closed ecosystem isn’t part of creating a good community.
Head on over to Bryan’s petition and sign it for the good of the Halo Community, it only takes a few seconds.
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by LevelSave.com or it’s affiliates in anyway