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343 Industries has quickly gained the respect of many players since their adoption of the Halo franchise, but a recently revealed fact about the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians may change that. It was confirmed that Guardians will not feature split screen play, a feature that has been seen less and less in mainstream games. The feature is now so scarce that titles like Rocket League claim it as a selling point.
To be clear, none of the game’s various game types will have split screen capabilities. Needless to say, there were some complaints from the players about this excluded feature. When 343 finally came forward and addressed the complaints, a bit of insight was made clear. 343’s studio head, Josh Holmes, stated the following:
The decision to remove split-screen support from Halo 5: Guardians was one of the most difficult ones we’ve ever had to make as a studio. We know that for many of our fans, Halo has meant playing together with friends in the same room. We all have great memories of past Halo split-screen multiplayer matches.
Despite this clear empathy, Holmes went on to explain why they felt this appreciated feature wouldn’t make it into the game.
With Halo 5 we are delivering massive scale environments, improved AI behavior, increased visual and gameplay fidelity, something that truly takes advantage of a new platform…Many of our ambitious goals for Halo 5 would be compromised in a split-screen setting and the time spent optimizing and addressing split-screen-specific issues would take focus from building other parts of the game. Game development is a balancing act of resources, time and technology, and in this case we made the tough decision to sacrifice something that’s been near and dear to us all.
For those unfamiliar with the series, Halo games have featured split screen from Halo: The Master Chief Collection all the way back to the 2001 classic: Halo: Combat Evolved. As stated above, however, split screen is a feature that has stealthily fled the mainstream gaming scene in the past five years or so; Halo is far from the only casualty in this sense.
Holmes was clear that this decision was very much final and would not be something they’d be reconsidering over at 343. It was obviously a tough decision to make in the first place. Halo 5: Guardians will be released October 27th, 2015 for Xbox One alongside an array of Halo themed Xbox hardware available on their official site.