With Halo: MCC will Halo grow within esports?

(Richard Bowman) #1

Hey guys,

I was involved in a conversation with some members from SSRCG a while back, who were talking about how even with Halo: MCC Halo won’t make it in esports. I was wondering why they think this is, I can think of a few reasons myself but overall, I think this is the first time in years that Halo won’t just have 1, but will have 3 titles that can and have all thrived within esports. Now I now that it is very, very unlikely that Halo or any console game will ever reach the heights of the big PC games, and that is down to developer support. That being said, it won’t need to be as big as those games, as COD has shown that console games can do just fine in esports.

So, COD is obviously the game that will stand in Halo’s way, but lets be realistic, no COD game has ever been better or more competitive than Halo 1 2 or 3 (I am sure some people will disagree with some of those Halo titles, but I don’t think any CoD game can come close to Halo 2). So, Halo should have the more competitive title, but also a more popular title, as again all 3 of those Halo’s were immensely popular. The only two things I can see standing in the way are that Halo will need to have some big money behind it, as that is how CoD has maintained its dominance even though it is a fairly poor game. Where Halo will get that money from I don’t know, whether it will be MLG or even 343 itself I am not sure, but it will need big money behind it. The second thing would be the community spreading out over all 3 games, but I think if one of the big tournaments pick up say Halo 2, most people will play Halo 2.

So I think, as long as it has money it should do just fine, but I know some people disagree so I would love to know what you think is standing it Halo’s way.

(Dean) #2

Well you mention that Halo will have 3 titles, but in fact it won’t. Only one game is being picked from it if it has any chance to survive and right now that game is Halo 2. Also like you said, they “Thrived” in eSports, it doesn’t mean they will again. Re-releasing Quake 3 didn’t put it back on the map as a go to eSports, and that game was one of the pioneers of eSports.

Look at who are pushing for Halo 2 and making a storm right now, the older players who none of the new players even know. Halo 2 is a 10 year old game, releasing it as it was 10 years won’t help anything. Sure you will get a surge of interest in the first week or so, but then people will realize that they are just playing a game they got bored of 7-8 years ago. We did the same when we played H2V. We had to limit our play time or we knew we would have got bored insanely fast.

Throwing money at it won’t help. Look at the massive tournament MS threw for Halo 4, it didn’t manage to spawn numbers in or anything. Halo needs a new solid title, not an older title in HD. Will the game sell Xbox Ones and millions of copies? Damn right it will, that’s not even a question. Will it bring eSports back to Halo? Not at all.

Just look at what Halo 2 is missing. Spectator mode and Replays. Two huge things in eSports, which Microsoft still fail to recognize. I wouldn’t mind if it was hard to code, but Quake 1 had replays and spectator mode back in 1996 in it’s 55mb big game. There are textures larger than that now. Halo 2 has nothing but a legacy to help it succeed, and when all the people who followed its legacy have left the scene, there isn’t much left for it. It’s once again a case of the minority making some noise, while the actually majority of the crowd has moved on. Console has lost its chance with eSports now, only the FGC remains. The PC market has shown that it has everything required to make eSports work, and if it doesn’t the fans can happily code it themselves to keep the scene thriving. With the release of Steamboxes coming next year I don’t see eSports returning to console for a long time apart from Call of Duty until it eventually kills itself off.

The games just don’t support the required tools for eSports, nor does console have the fans who thrive on eSports. Adding the ability to stream to Twitch doesn’t replace a spectator mode, and it’s frustrating to see 343i use that as an excuse for not having spectator mode.

(Gavin Rainey) #3

Great thread, I will edit this post in a bit with my breakdown.

(Richard Bowman) #4

I see your points. But, if you look at it from the perspective that they could use Halo: MCC to bring the gap between now and Halo 5 (but who knows what features that will have) it could work. When I mention big money, I don’t mean a one off, huge cash prize tournament. I mean an evenly spread out and sustainable league/tournament like in the old days of MLG. Say x amounts of events a year, with enough prize money at each tournament to warrant people playing the game properly. I know I am referring to ‘the old days’ a lot and yes, I am more than aware esports has moved on since the Halo golden days, but, if Halo: MCC had a similar support structure like it did back then, It could work, generate interest in Halo 5 etc.

I don’t want this to turn into a ‘PC is better cause we are master race’ argument, I know PC gaming is the top dog when it comes to esports. But I don’t think that esports has to be exclusive to PC gaming, console games have worked fine in the past and can still work, yes the developers are not as supportive or understanding of the scene, but Halo 1/2/3 were not made with esports in mind and worked very well.

(Dean) #5

Console worked fine in the past yes, but look at what you got in the past compared to what people expect now. Until developers start supporting the games correctly that won’t change. But console developers don’t see eSports as a big thing, and it’s understandable really. On the PC you are connected to your browser with a click of a button, you can easily alt tab while in a queue for a game. Access to tournaments and such is very easily found and constantly spoke about. Just take a look at Go4LoL and Go4CSGO on ESL. Every Sunday they are hitting hundreds of teams signing up. On console the issue is not being connected to the browser at the same time, you’re less likely to search for information while the game is searching and end up being introduced to a tournament scene.

Plus back in the days of Halo 2, MLG had to run a different capture from each Xbox, and run them through a load of hardware (Really expensive hardware even today) to make it all work. Games now have an ingame spectator mode that just works. It’s unreal the gap between console and PC now. Again I’m not doing this as a hurr durr PC is better post, just pointing out the facts.

But why would you want to bridge the gap to Halo 5? That isn’t a sustainable method for eSports at all. A title usually comes out and lasts years if it’s going to survive, not just a year to bridge a gap. You can’t expect people to put hours and hours in to a game for just a few months, or in this case 3 events. I just can’t see MCC really bringing Halo back to the forefront. There will be one big tournament on release when its fresh, then the casual player base will move on, and you’ll end up with the exact same population as now.


I was in a conversation like the the other night. Halo to me was an amazing time to be getting into eSports however most of it was based of enjoying watching the players and teams at events both sides of the pond. It was the players who made it for me and wasn’t all about the game just like it was the players I played against.

Most of that’s gone now people have moved on and doing other stuff. The game could be great but it needs to advance to support what is essential to bring it up to date against COD with spectator modes for casters.

MCC will be great to have back, I imagine a few events will come from it but will it reach the levels it did previously? I want it to but I doubt it will.

(C**t ) #7

No. If you look at the 2 community bases of people that made up the core of the past games, the competitive group have either moved to bigger and better things or play games they perceive to be more fun. The casual community on Halo also, is not there as with the dominance of CoD in the casual FPS market most casual players have moved to it and no longer play halo, the release of Halo 4 is a great example of this, 2 weeks after release the player base dropped by 100k players. The sad thing is most player watch E3 and say oh ill come back when what happens is they play it see the teething problems that most FPS games have and stop playing it all together, as even games like CS:GO have problems like this(though the thing that saved this game was developer support). Though in spite of what I’ve just said i do believe if MLG gets on top of the game early it could have a good chance as with MLG in the US there is a massive contingent of players that idolize the brand that is MLG and tend to only play a Halo game if it has their support.

The main thing that the game needs to succeed isn’t even a massive player base in a way, that’s just the easiest way to it, its a developer that listens to its fan base and doesn’t have this ‘we know better than thou’ attitude which on H4 and HR was there, fundamentally the problem with Halo as a competitive console FPS is that the way the company makes games is for money and that’s how they make their money, looking at the 2 most successful eSports titles at this moment they are both free to play and make money in game through their micro transactions and if you look at the 2 most successful FPS eSports titles, CoD has done so in the past though that game is so big it doesn’t matter what they do and its bad to try and replicate their style at this time due to the fact only one game can really do what they do, and the other is CS which is successful and doesn’t release yearly or biyearly iterations, sells the game for as little as £4, listens to their community and updates the game accordingly and they put money towards events so the game can grow as an eSport, has Microsoft(or their developers) done any of these things properly? (I’m aware of the 1v1 event but you and me both know it was a joke of an event competitively).

I’m well aware that Halo 2 has this nostalgia factor and was good as a competitive title etc, but it wont be exactly the same game and there will be problems because there always is. Which leads me to my next point that the next game is out a year later and the fact is most competitive FPS titles see the best and most interesting metas and gameplay well over a year into the life cycle as most players are getting into the game again and are trying to see and remember what works and get to their top game, surely Microsoft knows this and will probably pull all developer support for the game and put it on H5 as well as removing the dedicated servers similar to what epic did with G3. The problem with the current fan base now is they have invested their time in Halo and seeing that the game is dieing and it still is dieing competitively (don’t think that this announcement and set of releases will change the inevitable) they cling on to a game where the developers time after time keeps disappointing them, being disrespectful to them and literally sees them as a cash cow.

(Gavin Rainey) #8

When it is front page news, with youtube videos that a player is going to start playing a game again you know its a bad time.

James and Dean (James Dean huehue) hit the nail on the head there.

I have just written about three walls of text to express how much No there is to be said about this and how little people will care but it has been done.

One thing I am saddened by is a Halo 2 LAN happening, much like it did with Halo 3 where the skill ceiling is going to be exponentially lower than what it originally was. Even in the states, the MLG scene will be small, and of a low skill in comparison to days gone by. 343 are milking by tugging on peoples emotional ties to CE/2.

Let sleeping dogs lie and move on.

(Josh) #9

I don’t think I really need to add anything its been covered. Halo peaked and declined, it won’t ever be as it was. It was nice being around for the golden era and will always remember the times.
The main reason for why I say it won’t grow IMO is that basically PC gaming has become more accessible than ever and most people have made the transition and only truly casual gamers are still rocking on their consoles. There has not been a competitive title on console in a very long time, the biggest issue with console gaming is the frequency of titles released.

Anyway most of what I have said is just me repeating others.

(Richard Bowman) #10

Interesting points, some I agree with and others not so much, for example, ‘waiting a year for people to understand the meta’, I don’t think that will be the case. All 3 Halo games were played to death, so the meta will still be pretty much the same, it will just be people getting up to the ability where they can actually implement it.

I do agree with the developer issue though, it seems like PC developers seem to understand both the importance of esports, but also the actual definition of the word ‘competitive’, which is something console developers don’t seem to grasp at all (Both Halo Reach and Halo 4 were described as ‘competitive’ shooters).

Also, I partially agree with the Halo 5 problem and that 343/Microsoft might save all their support for that title and not put anything into Halo: MCC. Personally, I think it would be foolish for them to wait until Halo 5. They COULD use this chance to have a full year of competitive Halo and build it back up in anticipation for Halo 5, and then they COULD step up the support even more for that title. I agree, this is probably not going to happen the way I am describing it, but, apart from the fact that yes I don’t think they should release titles yearly, they could use this as a good way to rebuild the population of Halo before the release of Halo 5.

Also, I don’t think that you will see a GOW3 issue with Microsoft pulling support and taking servers away from Halo: MCC after the release of Halo 5. Microsoft have invested a lot of money into dedicated servers, not sure on the exact number but it is exponentially higher than ever before, so they won’t have the issue of needing to shut down other servers.

(Gavin Rainey) #11

@Trick77 1.6 was played for like a decade and the meta on CS:GO is constantly evolving. Thats why it is good. People stuck to 1.6 (mostly) because it worked and thats what people on PC do, whereas we moved to games past halo 3 even though we didnt like them (again, mostly).

1.Also another thing that grinds my gears is the building Halo with an esports focus stuff people keep mentioning. Quake and UT were built to be good games, not with cash prize tournaments in mind.

  1. Why would they build one season up to change to a new game entirely? Halo 2 and Halo 4 for example, are apples and oranges. And which one is the game to be played? This is going to make a lot of people sad when it flops.

  2. This is more risk that they will pull support. So many servers + low activity = pissing money away which is not what MS do. Big games companies downscale their A+ titles all the time.

(C**t ) #12

1). A meta is a constantly evolving thing, so for instance the people that dominate a game early isn’t necessarily because their ability is vastly greater than others, its because their style is better than other teams and suits the way the game is played early on and over time the meta changes to usurp their dominance from the teams playing it and is shown from event to event. You say all 3 Halo games were played to death for 3 years, one thing i didn’t mention is the fact you are also releasing 4 halo games…for one year of play? When ever people on TopMid decided to play a different game it wasn’t met with universal a claim people still wanted to play other games and it will still happen thus only adding further problems to the player base.

2). G2 was vastly more successful than Halo 4, and G3 was actually a better game than G2 but had 0 good developer support, thing is what do you expect to happen when H5 is released and no one wants to play it? People are coming back to play games they enjoyed and played for years of their lives, and they didn’t play the weaker iterations of the series that succeeded it and they will probably stay on MCC, so from MS’s point of view they will think ‘well if we start pulling support slowly they will stop playing it right?’ G3 is a MS game they did exactly that, so don’t be upset when they do it again, servers are expensive to pay for as well as maintain to a decent standard for FPS, so why do it for 2 games?

3). The releasing of this game is good…for just the short term, in 18 months the community will be exactly where it is now, with that the thing i do not understand is why do people keep playing the new iterations of games when they are worse and just have a detrimental effect on the community player base? If H5 is bad and it will be, the only hope that its community has of staying afloat is by playing Halo 2, as the release of a new game will only add more segregation in the long run, but the community will still diminish as people find better games also in the long run, like myself i didn’t stop H4 because of the things with my team, it kind of happened before the event because i started playing CS and discovered its such a fun game, which is what keeps happening.

(C**t ) #13

One other thing that people in the Halo community have is this underlying mission statement that they have, mostly subconsciously, is that they owe Halo something and almost have to play it, ill be honest i wish i never played it and played CS instead just a farce and a waste of my time, its a bad game competitively and people just cling to it like their first love. Though im glad i met the people i met through it still.

(not directed at you Rich)

(Richard Bowman) #14

Again, all good points and I can see the logic behind it. Gav and Sith you have both raised some points that I hadn’t thought about before that would be barrier for Halo. I guess I will just have to wait and see, I think like most people have said that there will be an event just after the launch, but whether that will carry on or just fall off after I am not sure.

Something I do know which for me is a pretty big barrier that I didn’t think of before, is that for console games at least, the support has to be there pretty much from the start of the game, such as a playlist/ranks/tournaments or something, as like you have mentioned, people move on very quickly and if it is not right on launch/soon after launch then people will leave.

I suppose I am not really sure, I want it to do well, I guess I will just have to wait and see.

(Fatmanp) #15

It can’t be any lower than H4 so it has a chance to at least grow from the previous title.

(Dean) #16

1 is exponentially higher than ever before. They have never used them. But even still, how good are the dedicated servers? Just because they are dedicated doesn’t mean they are solid in performance.

(Richard Bowman) #17

I have enjoyed this chat with you guys, always nice to talk with the master race!

(Matt) #18

I’ve written loads of big posts about this subject before and had a ton of conversations like pretty much everyone on this website and haloforum. However, recently i’ve noticed a glaringly obvious point that I never really thought about because I was thinking about how ‘good’ halo2 was compared to other halo games, I was forgetting about the rest of the game market.

Over time better games have been developed. Even Halo2 is relatively bad compared to titles that have been released since, and objectively that was the best halo in a competitive environment. So how the hell, with no spectator mode, no developer support and a tiny player pool, is the game going to carry on? The people left are just fighting for scraps because if it possibly went back to fame they would be at the forefront. I guarantee they’re all doing it for selfish reasons. I’m happy to say that and take all the excuses that they have.

If they really cared about the game, they’d just play it amongst themselves and organise their own BYOX lans like back in the day. No other competitive title is doing what they’re doing, and that’s because they’re doing it wrong.

(Dean) #19

They wouldn’t be at the forefront. If they actually had the desire and drive to be good at a game, they would be playing a current eSports title. A new team with actual drive and motivation would turn up and obliterate them.

(Matt) #20

sorry I worded it wrong. They think they’d be at the forefront