Halo Studio ‘Listening’ To PC Fans, But Focused On Xbox

By Nathan Grayson on June 23rd, 2014 at 8:00 am.

staring visors

I’m beginning to worry that John Halo, main character of Halo: The Adventures of Halo Main Character John Halo, doesn’t love us anymore. Once upon a time PC gamers got Halo 1 and Halo 2 – and once upon a more recent time, the middling Halo: Spartan Assault – but we haven’t seen a real Halo game in eons. “Pretty please?” we plea, imaginations running wild with green armor men prancing about, pirouetting like cybernetic teenage mutant ninja turtles. And yet, even with Halo: The Master Chief Collection on the way to theoretically get everybody all caught up before Halo 5, developer 343 replies with a noncommittal, “Eh, maybe someday.” Le sad.

343 head Bonnie Ross explained to Eurogamer:

“Right now we’re focused on Xbox One. We’ve been on PC before, and Dan [Ayoub, 343 executive producer] has had games like Halo: Spartan Assault on there.”

“We’re listening to the PC fans, but right now this is all focused on Xbox One.”

So that’s disappointing. The Halo games aren’t world-endingly amazing, but they’re solid and compulsively fun shooters. Moreover, 343’s stance continues the Microsoft family trend of saying, “We care about PC gamers – we really do – but we’re not actually gonna do anything about it.”

It’s all just disappointing. Not really surprising, though. Oh well. I guess for now I’ll just make do writing my fan fiction about John Halo’s saucy dealings with his constant companion and holographic ghostfriend Windows Mobile.

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80 Comments »

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  1. Leb says:

    Fine with me. I’m not running out to buy an xbox to play it.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      I’m boycotting the PC version until they release it, in protest of them not releasing it. Just like Half Life 3.

      • Shodex says:

        I’m not buying a single Valve game until Valve starts making games again.

  2. Bull0 says:

    Not missing much.

    • Baines says:

      Particularly not missing much since Bungie is gone, and the game is now the fanfic of 343.

  3. kevinspell says:

    Why do people even care. Halo games are just mediocre FPS games at best…

    • Glottis1 says:

      If you think Halo games are average, i want to know what are some FPS that you think are above average or better.

      • ShEsHy says:

        Pretty much all PC shooters released prior to 2008 (namely CoD 1, UO, 2, most of 4, CS, Half-Life series, Unreal Tournament series up to and including 2004,…, or to put it in other terms, most PC games from before the cross-platform era.
        This honestly just hit me, that the cause for me not liking 99.999% of games released since 2008 were cross-platform games. All of my favourite series (well, all but one, the Total War series has been dead to me since Empire, why the fuck can’t I build all the buildings in my cities, but I digress) were destroyed by their cross-platform offspring (Supreme Commander, Red Alert, C’n’C, CoD, UT, Gothic, Quake,…

      • Synesthesia says:

        Hm, let’s see: Singularity, Red Orchestra 2, the latest Wolfenstein, The Metros, STALKER, Shadow Warrior, Cryostasis is also awesome. Man I loved cryostasis. Maybe its time for a second run.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        Halo has a nice setting but sadly they are made with a controller in mind which would make the games distinctly average FPS games on the PC. They need to rework the game a lot to make it a good mouse/keyboard FPS, a direct port just won’t work, as we saw with the first Halo. Aiming reticules that are roughly the size of a tennis ball feel stupid compared to a good PC FPS where precise aiming with the mouse should be the name of the game. Also the Halo games do feel a little sluggish compared to a good PC FPS to allow for the objectively slower and less precise control method.

      • MadTinkerer says:

        “If you think Halo games are average, i want to know what are some FPS that you think are above average or better.”

        Hah! That made my day.

        You were joking, right? I mean: Wolfenstein Catacomb 3D would be the greatest FPS ever if every other FPS was designed to imitate it. Actually, no, because Ken’s Labyrinth was definitely better… The point is that the only good FPS games on console are those made by N64 era Rare and Gamecube era Retro Studios. All of the other console FPS games, every single one I tried, are absolutely unplayable.

        Xbox Halo is garbage because they had to mangle the controls to fit the Xbox controller. Controlling Halo on PC is tolerable, but the experience as a whole is distinctively “consoletarded” (as Yahtzee Crowshaw would say). As mediocre as the Modern Shooters have become, the fact that they used Xbox Halo as the template for their control scheme and game mechanics (regenerating health, no weapon inventory) ruined the entire genre even further. Otherwise good games were made medicocre and okay games were made abysmal on PC by including these mechanics that had become the standard on consoles. If Bioshock Infinite, for example, had not been infected by the awfulness, it would still not quite have been the game we were hoping for, but it would have been much better. Duke Nukem Forever would not likely have been good, but using DN3D as the template for the game mechanics instead of Halo-esque would have at least made the combat fun.

        Every fucking FPS on the PC that has those mechanics (regen health, no inventory) bores me so much that I can’t finish them (other than Bioshock Infinite, which I tolerated), and the console controls are just unplayable. And it all started with the compromises Bungie made to Halo when it became an Xbox exclusive. Because it sure ain’t Goldeneye’s fault and it sure ain’t Metroid Prime’s fault and it sure ain’t Unreal Tournament 2004’s fault.

        • Vin_Howard says:

          “‘consoletarded’ (as Yahtzee Crowshaw would say)”

          Actually, Yahtzee would never say that. He is actually a “console gamer.” He’s just currently a “pc gamer” because he hates the “next-gen” consoles (that is, they threw away every advantage that consoles had). And the only console company that is still trying to be a console company is Nintendo, and yah…

          ((see his “The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds” review))

  4. Mordaedil says:

    Well, if they put Halo collector’s edition on PC, isn’t another nail in the Xbone coffin?

    • Bull0 says:

      Yeah. They’ve got to be hoping that that master collection thing will sell a few xboxes.

      • tetracycloide says:

        I would think getting PC players caught up to halo 5 would sell more bones when it hits.

    • ahac says:

      OK, so Halo as an exclusive might sell few more Xboxes to PC gamers.
      So what?
      MS gets money from every game sold on Xbox but when you buy an Xbox only to play the exclusives that isn’t much and those games are mostly published by MS anyway. They won’t make much money from 3rd party games (where they usually make a lot) because PC gamers will still play those on the PC.
      Selling a console to a PC gamer as a secondary platform is worth a lot less than selling it so someone who will use it exclusively.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Not an issue, neither MS or Sony tried to push the ( current ) boundaries with their new toys. Unlike the past in which they sold their boxes at a loss, this time they went the cheap route to get the money flowing from the start.

        This new gen will age even faster than the previous. Don’t be mistaken though, they did what they did because they know the console space is under serious issues these days. There was no StalkerBook, mobile gaming, F2P and so on back in the glory days of consoles.

        Back then it was far easier to convince the masses that they needed a dedicated toy to handle “serious gaming” and to make good use of the booming market of HDTVs, even though few games actually had a proper resolution anyway.

        PCs meanwhile will stay relevant, afterall they’re actually useful for pretty much everything and the only thing that “ages” is the hardware in there, not software support.

    • Premium User Badge

      welverin says:

      The Xbox One is actually selling well, it’s just not selling as well as the PS4. Both of the new consoles are doing better to this point than their predecessors, it’s the WiiU that needs help.

  5. Drake Sigar says:

    Big whoop. There’s hundreds more developers who will play ball and are lining up to take my money. Get some pills for that cash allergy, son. Over 75 million steam users.

  6. The Dark One says:

    They’re listening, guys! They’ve left the cooling husk of GFWL on life support for the time being!

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      “Halo Studio ‘Listening’ To, ‘Ignoring’, PC Fans”

  7. LordMidas says:

    Apart from the 5 commenter above I thought that anyone who was seriously into gaming not only had a PC but a console too? EVERY gamer I know has at least both. Some have more than one console.

    So you can still play CIV 5 in 4K and Halo 5. Happy gaming.

    • Leb says:

      You must be new here.

    • Bull0 says:

      Nono, I had an Xbox 360 and an original Xbox, I’ve played loads of Halo, that’s why I am comfortable saying we aren’t missing much by not having it on the PC.

    • Cockie says:

      Not every gamer, no. I have enough games to play on pc, I don’t need a gamebox for the exclusives.

    • 1Life0Continues says:

      Something about ‘no true scotsman’ fallacy here.

    • iainl says:

      Somehow, I think there’s even less chance of them doing a PS3 release of Halo 5 than there is a PC one. I’ve been gradually moving all my games off 360 whenever they’re cheap on Steam, because jet-engine loud fan noise makes it sound like I’m not far off my third red ring of death, and I don’t feel like buying another one.

      • Premium User Badge

        welverin says:

        So it’s your fault it had inflated sales!

        Seriously, I do wonder how much of the 360s greater sales numbers were due to people buying replacement consoles.

    • xfstef says:

      No one likes you and your console. This is a PC games website. Sod off !

    • Paul.Power says:

      They may have a PC and a console, but chances are said console isn’t an Xbox One.

      I mean, I have a 3DS in addition to the PC. If I did get a living-room console this generation? Probably the Wii U (especially after Nintendo’s recent E3 showing). But even then, I’m still not convinced I need one.

      • Bull0 says:

        I’ve got the Wii U, the mario games are great. I also have a little’un who loves it, which helps. And it’s nice being able to use it without dominating the TV.

    • revan says:

      I do have xbox360 and it’s mostly collecting dust. It just isn’t the same playing on PC and consoles for me. Nothing against the latter, but I prefer my games on the former. For that reason I’m not planning on buying Xbone or PS4.

    • secuda says:

      Why should i buy a new console for $500 with no compitable and fewer games then the previus one (atleast at this point)?

    • karthink says:

      “Every gamer I know has at least both”

      That’s not saying much. Consoles are at least as expensive as a much more capable PC in my country. And console games are imported and sold at a high premium.

      This is only one of many reasons there are a large number of gamers who don’t own consoles.

    • P.Funk says:

      Anyone who’s “seriously” into gaming ought to avoid most consoles if they have any understanding of value.

      Consoles are the death of value. Subscription service for multiplayer, premium prices for new games, all that crap that happened not too long ago when EA tried to make it so you couldn’t buy pre-owned games without paying for a new online code to play multiplayer, etc etc etc.

      Consoles are just such a bad environment for the gaming consumer. Its a closed market with no competition. Why would any sensible PC gamer be attracted to that money pit? I own a 360 and the only reason I have a gold XBL membership is for my mom’s netflix and for an annual purchase of the NHL series and the odd exclusive title thats actually worth it like RDR.

      After experiencing what consoles have to offer since the mid 90s I can scarcely think of a good reason for their existence or their benefit other than their plug and play, unplug your brain, ease of use, and even then I remember my first day I owned a 360 I got a red ring of death so… uhh not so much.

      That console manufacturers feel obliged to use console exclusive titles to draw players in or keep them there says everything there is to know about their need to exist. Ever since PC gaming went digital distribution its only become even less convincing.

    • malkav11 says:

      I do. I have every console of the last two generations. But there’s nothing about the console experience that I can’t get on my PC these days, apart from a handful of malingering games that haven’t made the jump (yet), and I have no interest in shelling out $400 for a new doorstop/dust gatherer just for things like a collection of an FPS franchise I’m only mildly interested in, to be played on a hilariously unsuited control scheme. (Yes, Halo “made FPS work on console” in the sense that it’s technically possible to play on a gamepad. That doesn’t mean it’s natural or enjoyable.)

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Consoles, or more precisely the games, suck. I don’t like driving games. I don’t like what get passed off as “exclusives”. I don’t like JRPGs. I don’t like sports games. I don’t like QTEs and interactive movies. Why the hell would I own a console?

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      We have a 360 in our house (and a whole bunch of older consoles that never get turned on), and it did get a bit of an outing for GTAV, but mainly it’s just a media player.
      I’ve already got more games on my PC than I have time to play, so buying a console is way down my list of priorities.

    • aepervius says:

      What is your definition of “serious gamer” ? I am a gamer at heart , but there is only specific *genres* I like. Strategic RPG primarly. And stuff like simcity. Both which are definitively poorly served on console at best, non existent at worst.

      There is only very very few game I like on console, pretty much everything with “reflex” on my side I dislike. Aside from valkyria chroniclethat leave pretty much deedly squat.

    • Jenks says:

      This place is mainly PC only casuals.

  8. revan says:

    Mediocre game. Never really understood the appeal of the title. No use crying over this one since PC has wide selection of FPS. I’m more sad we never got to see Heavy Rain and RDR on PC.

    • iainl says:

      Halo (the first one) was an outstanding title at the time. Even more than GoldenEye, it understood how to make a good FPS game on console twinsticks that felt satisfying to play, and had AI that were just clever enough to be interesting and play out differently each time.

      Which is why it’s no dead loss that we don’t get them on PC any more – as much as they’ve been great console games, once migrated to mouse and keyboard that carefully-paced movement feels sluggish and sloppy. There was nothing stopping you playing through the single-player campaign of 1 and 2 on joypad, I suppose, but the multiplayer was pretty much broken for anyone trying to replicate the console feeling because you’d just get destroyed by Mouse aim.

  9. Janichsan says:

    “We’re listening to the PC fans,…” As in “we like to listen to the tormented cries of the desperate”?

    (On a sidenote: “And yet, … Bungie replies with a noncommittal …” Why should Bungie care about bringing any recent Halo game to the PC? Bungie no longer has anything to with Halo. It’s all 343 Industries’ responsibility now.)

  10. Arithon says:

    Because we’re so starved for games….

  11. Freud says:

    I have vague memories of playing a bit of the original Halo and quitting after I guess 5-6 hours because it wasn’t particularly good. To me it seemed like it was mostly hype because it was a console shooter and not a great game.

  12. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    The silly thing about console exclusives is that I’m not going to go out and buy a console for a game I may or may not enjoy. There are a few series on consoles that look interesting and are very highly rated (Halo, Zelda and Pokemon for example) but I’ve no idea if I’d actually enjoy them because I’ve never played one. If they put one of their games onto PC I would probably try it and, if I enjoyed it, might be tempted to buy a console to play the rest of the series. But while these games are exclusive and out of reach an investment of several hundred quid is just too much to see if I enjoy these games.

    (Yes, I do know there was a Halo FPS game on PC, but until very recently I didn’t even realise this because everything the company said was aimed at consoles, almost like they were embarrassed about it. Also, it’s still a bit expensive for such an old game – one nice thing about Steam Sales is I like to try out games I otherwise wouldn’t.)

    • HadToLogin says:

      You’re one of the few, I know plenty people who bought console just for one game (and later bought second, and third…).

      Usually PS3, so they would have Blu-Ray too.

      • Synesthesia says:

        I usually buy them after their cycle is over, to play the exclusives i missed out on for cheap.

        I’m currently going through gta V, finished guns of the patriots, and doing a run of The last of us on a ps3 i bought for 200 bucks. Good times.

  13. Dozer says:

    Listening to Halo fans… the horror…

  14. tnzk says:

    The original Halo is pretty much all one needs anyway.

    And contrary to popular belief (that is everytime Halo and PC are mentioned in the same context), it is actually a brilliant, brilliant game. Quite up there, in fact.

    In other news, Eurogamer is waxing lyrical about Unreal. At this rate, we’re also going to be critically reappraising SiN too.

    • HadToLogin says:

      Well, I always liked single-player SiN over Half-Life (it was wacky and crazy, as opposed to “serious” janitor-with-PhD kills highly trained commandos).

      • yesterdayisawadeer says:

        Except Freeman is not a janitor. He is an operator of an HEV suit. They are trained in the use of firearms/explosives as they were the ones to retreive the samples from Xen.

      • Bull0 says:

        Ah, as if caring about the scientist fighting commandos (WITH a HEV suit) being somehow jarring matters a jot when one considers just how evocative, real, and lived-in the setting and theme of the Half-Life games is. Particularly for their era.

        • HadToLogin says:

          Yes, HL has better technology.

          But I still had more fun stealing money from Elexis in Sin then pressing another button or listening to monologues about pressing buttons.

    • XhomeB says:

      Halo 1&2 have some of the worst level design the world has ever seen. Multiplayer was fun, but the campaign… it was anything but “brilliant” gameplay wise.

      • Premium User Badge

        DrollRemark says:

        Yeah, I bounced right off the original Halo for this reason. Then after really enjoying the third one on the 360, I thought I’d go back and give the first another go. My god, it’s still so boring.

        • iainl says:

          Halo 3 was the first game in the series to not have a Library level. It was also the first one I completed. These two facts are very much connected.

  15. Guiscard says:

    ODST, Reach and Halo 1 were the only decent ones, we already have Halo 1 – which still runs nicely – and they’re not doing a re-release of ODST or Reach. The rest of the series starring John Halo and Windows Mobile can go hang, regardless of whether on Xbone or PC, as they’re frankly quite poor games.

    • Volcanu says:

      Here, here. In my view Reach is the best of the lot, and a genuinely great game. It would be right at home on the PC – subject to some balance tweaks for mouse aim etc…

      • Bull0 says:

        +1 for Reach being the good one!

        • Juffo says:

          IMO all the Halo franchise was terrible.. But I would still buy it on PC for nostalgic reasons lol. Gears of War on the other hand, with the port on PC with keyboard and mouse support was superb..

          Lets hope Black Tusk/Microsoft do the correct thing and release Gears PC

          • Volcanu says:

            Horses for courses I guess.

            Personally I felt like the ‘Gears’ series was solid at best (tedious at its worst) and really isn’t bringing anything interesting to the table. It also epitomises some of the least welcome aspects of console gaming, things that are quite frankly unnecessary on a PC. The ‘sticky’ cover mechanic, combined with the hilarious incidence of (contrived) waist high cover all over the place, is something I don’t feel the need to return to in all honesty.

            Anyone wanting some mindless visceral, 3rd person gunplay with hulking protagonists is really better served picking up Space Marine for a few quid – the campaign may be marginally less interesting than any of the Gears games (i.e. neither series have interesting campaigns), but Relic’s effort has the advantage of some glorious OTT melee combat, dispenses with the tedious sticky cover- not to mention sparing you from the ‘hoo-rah’ dude bro cast of the Gears series, and has the really quite excellent ‘Exterminatus’ co-op multiplayer horde mode, which is a hell of a lot more fun than anything a Gears game managed in multiplayer.

          • XhomeB says:

            @Volcanu
            Gears 1 PC shined in its multiplayer mode. Surprisingly dynamic and meaty, I really loved it. Shame it pretty much went the way of the dodo eventually – it never had a big player base to begin with (GFWL…), but it’s the fact it never got released digitally on Steam is what prevented Gears from becoming popular.
            You’d think launching a Steamworks-compatible version would be a no-brainer, but hey, Microsoft love us…

  16. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    PC gamers do not care others give us a much better FPS experience. Even Crytek who are about to go bust made better games despite insulting PC gamers everywhere by claiming piracy was rampant on PC only!

    • Shodex says:

      To be fair, it is certainly much worse on PC. You can pirate a PC game no problem and not have a care in the world, pirating on consoles is a much more arduous process that also ruins your console. I do understand the mentality of developers avoiding PC because of piracy, but it’s not as much of a problem as they think. Since those pirates weren’t going to buy their game on console anyway.

  17. siliciferous says:

    Once upon a time PC gamers got Halo 1 and Halo 2 – and once upon a more recent time, the middling Halo: Spartan Assault – but we haven’t seen a real Halo game in eons.

    No, once upon a time PC and Mac gamers were excited about an in-development cross platform (PCs and Macs were different platforms back then!) co-op focused game. Then Microsoft bought the development house behind it on a gamble to prop up their XBox project, canned the Mac version, and finally suspended the PC version and surrounded it with FUD until they released an extraordinarily shitty port of it nearly two years later.

    Then they released Windows Vista, and made it a system requirement for Halo 2 which they released a full two and a half years after they released it on the XBox 360.

  18. Solidstate89 says:

    Eh, never cared much for the games. I had a lot of fun with Halo 1 back in the day when I had the original Xbox, but the lore of the universe always interested me more. Sure, it wasn’t groundbreaking, but it was well thought out and developed…right up until they stated that humans used to be some super advanced species that got blown to stupid; or something like that.

    Either way, it’s no real huge loss if they don’t release the remake to PC.

  19. lordfrikk says:

    Empty words.

  20. Arithon says:

    “We’re focused on the XBOX One”.

    Good for you. 5M XBone’s sold worldwide versus a market of 65M Steam users. Assuming 100% market saturation with your product, you’ve tapped a market one thirteenth the size of the PC gaming market.

    If you are listening to PC gamers, it’s laughter you’ll be hearing. Good luck with that.

    • Shodex says:

      Microsoft is delusional to the point where it actually costs them potential profits.
      They refuse to believe those numbers and think the Xbox is the #1 gaming platform, while PC is a niche side thing for casuals and pirates. Look at that Halo game that just got onto Steam not long ago, that is what MS things the market wants.

      I find it funny that on the front page today is an article of MS saying, “We’re keeping up GFWL because we’re committed to PC gaming.” and if you scroll a little further down there’s this article with MS saying, “We’re commited to Xbox gaming and don’t support PC.”

    • malkav11 says:

      It’s potentially a much more lucrative market, though, because console users put up with pricing and practices that the PC market simply won’t anymore, and Microsoft owns the whole thing lock stock and barrel, so they get to set the rules and take a cut of everything on the platform. I’m sure they’d like a similar deal on Windows but it ain’t so. I strongly suspect that if GFWL had taken off as a store/platform they would be much more eager to support PC gaming because they’d have much more control and that sweet sweet cut of the pie.

  21. HisDivineOrder says:

    Sounds like they’re saying they’re desperate to use Halo as a way to get people to buy Xbox One’s, so someone in MS is too timid to release the superior PC version and face down the very real possibility gamers will skip Xbox for the redheaded stepchild instead.

    Which is not what will happen. Instead, we’ll just skip Xbox entirely. So really they’re just losing sales.

  22. aepervius says:

    I wonder how much of their claim of people wanting halo on PC is posturing, or even people playing it on console and wanting to have it as FPS on a better system for FPS , as opposed to people wanting to play Halo with envy and having no console. If I wanted to place a bet I would say it is far more probably that it is the first category. Of those I know without console and palying FPS, none of them want to see Halo on PC. They all consider it an inferior product.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      I think it’s the principle of the matter. If Half Life 3 were announced as a console exclusive… Well Valve Studios would be a smoking crater in a matter of hours. But after we were done murdering Valve employees, we would be disappointed and hurt because we got two parts of a trilogy and the third part is exclusive to something many of us are not willing to purchase.

      In story terms, not porting Halo 3 to PC was even worse, because Halo 2 ended on that cliffhanger. Now we’re several Halos past that, so it doesn’t matter as much. Also, the new Unreal is open source, Indie FPS is bigger than ever, Unity 3D is a thing, FPS Creator is a thing, and so on. Halo-not-on-PC isn’t as relevant as it used to be, but we remember the disappointment. In fact, it was a bit like Reach.

  23. Shodex says:

    Isn’t this the same as not listening then?

    • DoctorCool says:

      They’re listening, they’re just not paid to care, or more to the point: they’re paid to not care.

  24. buxcador says:

    Who cares about the crappiest of shooters?

    The entire game feels like a cartoon for kindergarten. The aliens even make squeaky noises akin to little toddler’s rubber ducks.

    Without Microsoft hipping it, halo would be a C class game.

    • Shodex says:

      By “the aliens”, you mean “just the Grunts” right? The comedically useless Covenant species?
      Or are you one of those people who thinks fun and humor is juvenile.

  25. Dawngreeter says:

    There are some games absent from PC that make me sad. All issues aside, I would’ve liked to see Heavy Rain. And Last of Us seems like something I would like. Even [Richard] Gears of War is something I’d be interested in seeing on PC.

    But I was never even slightly interested in adventures of John Halo. Not sure why that is, but it’s sort of a go-to reference for consoles, in my mind. Keeps reminding me of a “FPS PRO!” controller I saw in a store once. Always makes me laugh.