Why 343 is Trying to Appeal to Call of Duty Fans

A follow-up to my post Why I Am Afraid Halo 5 Will Die

While the following explanation will contain my own opinion(s) on why 343 is trying to make Halo appealing to Call of Duty fans, as a whole it is truth. Read on to find out how.

There could a number of reasons that Halo 4 failed (one reason being the lack of features for E-Sports), but the reason I think it failed is, ultimately, because it was trying to appeal to Call of Duty fans. Here is how:

  1. Points, instead of kills, determining who wins a multiplayer match.
  2. Kill Cams.
  3. Loadouts.
  4. Care Package-esque Ordinance Drops.
  5. The amount of points you are earn for doing something (like killing a player) appearing in the center of your screen.
  6. Quick-time events in the campaign.
  7. A grenade indicator.
  8. Everybody being able to sprint.

It’s perfectly understandable that 343 would want to appeal to Call of Duty fans. Call of Duty is Halo’s competition, and it dethroned Halo as the most profitable, and popular, first-person shooter on consoles. There’s also the fact that Halo fans will, most likely, buy a game if it is part of the Halo series: 343 knows that, because of Halo fans, they are guaranteed to make a certain amount of money on launch day. And so 343 looks for ways to increase the amount of money they will make by trying to make Halo appealing to fans of other, popular first-person shooters.

Like with Halo 4, 343 is making no secret of the fact that they want Halo 5 to appeal to more than just Halo fans.

If you don’t believe me:

Watch 1:54 — 1:59 in this video:

“We knew we wanted to expand the audience as far as we could but still satisfy the core as much as possible.”

Then watch 0:06 — 0:12 in this video:

“The goal was to try and redefine Halo for a new generation of players.”

Now, to make one thing clear: I do not think that 343 trying to make Halo appealing to Call of Duty fans is a bad thing. What I think is a bad thing is their reasoning behind it: Money. This notion of “Let’s make Halo more appealing” is driven by greed. Money is a perfectly understandable motive to do something. But just because I understand the motive doesn’t mean that I accept the motive. The reason I don’t accept this motive is because Halo 2 or 3, to the best of my knowledge, never felt the need to be anything other than what they were — Halo games. What do I mean? I mean this: With Halo 2, Bungie made a game for the people who liked playing Halo: Combat Evolved. With Halo 3, Bungie made a game for the people who liked playing Halo 2. With Halo 5, 343 is making a game for the people who like playing League of Legends, Call of Duty, Destiny, and Titanfall, while hoping that the people who liked playing Halo 3 will like it, too.

Now to explain what I meant when I said at the top of this post that “…as a whole it is true.”

  1. It is a fact that a number of Halo fans didn’t like Halo 4 because they felt it was too much like Call of Duty.*
  2. It is a fact that after the release of Black Ops 2, Halo 4’s population dropped, and never recovered. All those new fans 343 reeled in didn’t stick around.*
  3. It is a fact that, with Halo 5, 343 is trying to do what they tried to do with Halo 4: Make Halo appealing to more people.**
  4. It is a fact that, with Halo 5, though 343’s goal is the same as it was with Halo 4 — make Halo more appealing — how they go about achieving that goal has changed. Here is how it has changed: Get rid of loadouts, perks, Care Package-esque Ordinance Drops, bring back power-ups (like Invisibility and Overshield), give everyone equal-starts, and put an emphasis on controlling the map and power weapons, in order to appeal to fans of the first three Halo games. Then put in enhanced mobility — sprint, clamber, thruster packs, sliding — in order to make the game more appealing to fans of modern first-person shooters, like Destiny and Titanfall. And it doesn’t matter which game came up with the idea for enhanced mobility first, either. The reason why it doesn’t matter is because 343 have said that Halo 5 is supposed to appeal to a new generation of players: That’s why enhanced mobility is in Halo 5.**

These four points are undeniable: They can all be shown to be true. If you don’t believe me, check out the footnotes.

Now, why did I say that “343 is trying to make Halo appealing to Call of Duty fans” when it’s clear that Halo 5 is built to appeal to so many more? This is why: That’s how it started. What do I mean by “it”? I mean this: With Halo 4, 343’s first Halo game, 343 was trying to reel in Call of Duty fans. (See the eight reasons I listed at the top of this post.) But, it didn’t work. Soon after launch, Halo 4’s population fell and never recovered.* So now, with Halo 5, 343 is trying again.

Only now 343 isn’t trying to appeal to just Call of Duty fans.

*Click Here.
This forum has charts which show Halo 4 multiplayer stats, and this forum gave Halo fans an opportunity to air their criticisms of Halo 4 — one of which was that the game felt too much like Call of Duty.

**Check out the YouTube videos in the middle of this post.

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