It’s been no secret that 343 Industries had BIG shoes to fill when they took over Bungie’s duties, and with that came a lot of expectations and a lot of strees (I would imagine). It’s also been no secret that since it’s release, Halo 4 has experienced some issues, both game wise and community wise. First, there were a flurry of matchmaking issues during launch week, then there was the infamous specialization promotional issues that is still seeing ripple effects through the community, and lastly there was the issue of the Crimson Map Pack being accidently released for free to all when it should have only been free to War Game pass holders (this has since been fixed). Many players, after not receiving their rightful emails for specialization codes to level past their SR rank, have since left the game. Others have publically shamed 343 for the lack of response to this.
So, with those events ending 2012, 343 Industries issued a new blog post on Halo Waypoint last night explaining the year in review, reflecting on their asperations for the game and the community, and more importantly to me, acknowledged that the road has been a little bumpy and they expect more out of themselves and acknowledged they have made mistakes. To me, this signals a nice change of pace. No more excuses, no more brushing issues under the rug and relying on people to buy and continue to play your game just because it’s Halo. They took ownership for the issues and appologized. What a GREAT way to start off 2013 and what should be a good year for 343 Industries.
With the hopes of not making their blog post all about the negatives, 343 also began to outline their upcoming content to the game, and more importantly, answered the one big burning questions for everyone; WHEN WILL SPECIALIZATIONS BE UNLOCKED FOR EVERYONE?!?!? Luckily for those who missed out on codes, or those who just missed out on the promotion all together, the specializations will start to be unlocked later this month! Taken from their blog post:
Week of 1/21
Spartan Ops Episode 6: Five new missions and an accompanying new CG cinematic.
“Forge Test” playlist (name not final): A rotational hopper featuring small Forge maps such as Relay. Help us test these maps by providing feedback and reporting bugs that will assist us in getting them ready for Matchmaking!
Specializations: Pioneer and Pathfinder Specializations unlocked for all players.
Week of 1/28
Spartan Ops Episode 7: Five new missions and an accompanying new CG cinematic.
Grifball playlist: A rotational hopper featuring everybody’s favorite virtual sport. Catch the disease!
Specializations: Engineer and Stalker Specializations unlocked for all players.
Week of 2/4
Spartan Ops Episode 8: Five new missions and an accompanying new CG cinematic.
Team Doubles playlist: A rotational hopper for those of you that like action of the 2 vs 2 variety.
Specializations: Rogue and Tracker Specializations unlocked for all players.
The specializations are being released in waves, and also Grifball will be making it’s long awaited rotation (at least for me anyways!). So, there you have it. 343 not only acknowledged their shortcomings, but also looked to the future and we can all hope that this year well be continued to be filled with great Halo content and a positive 343 Industries that looks to further bolster the community.