Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
Making Halo 4: A Story About Triple-A
View All     RSS
November 18, 2018
arrowPress Releases
November 18, 2018
Games Press
View All     RSS
  • Editor-In-Chief:
    Kris Graft
  • Editor:
    Alex Wawro
  • Contributors:
    Chris Kerr
    Alissa McAloon
    Emma Kidwell
    Bryant Francis
    Katherine Cross
  • Advertising:
    Libby Kruse

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


Making Halo 4: A Story About Triple-A

April 26, 2013 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 4

"It's all very personal"

November 6, 2012 was the release date for Halo 4. Holmes and the crew at 343 were glued to their computers, awaiting the trickle, then eventual flood of feedback from the press and from players. He escaped into the bubble of the world wide web, absorbed.

"My wife has learned that I'm just not in a state of communication with the rest of the universe at that point," laughs Holmes. "I'm just obsessively reading stuff to see what the reactions are from fans and critics alike."

What Holmes and the rest of 343 saw from the press was generally high praise, which earned the game a Metacritic score of 87. Scores ranged most from perfect ("Trust me, you want this." - Joystiq) to excellent ("It holds the series' standard high." - GameSpot), with a few middling ("I can't escape the feeling that Halo needs to try a bit harder." - EGM) and one quite bad ("A shiny old dog without any new tricks." - Tom Chick). That's on top of all of the varied fan chatter that was happening in comment sections and forums.

"It's all very personal, whether you're getting great feedback and seeing how people are loving the game, or seeing the criticisms about the game," Holmes says. "It's something in which you really pour your heart and your soul into. So you care very deeply about what that feedback is. ... As a general rule, we try not to overreact to the loud, vocal minority."

An obsessed 343 watched everything unravel. The game generated $220 million in global sales on day one (higher than Halo Reach's $200 million launch day), and by all accounts, that provided a pretty healthy amount of validation for the team.

"I wouldn't want to do it again"

Now months have passed. The game is still a work in process, with its heavy concentration on online components and new digitally-distributed content. 343 has started work on a new project with one important luxury: having an actual studio. 

"We did some clever things, we made some mistakes, and we learned really rapidly from those mistakes, and tried not to repeat them," says Wolfkill. "And we sort of pulled it off. We pulled off both things. We created a studio with a natural, organic culture, which is a worthy source of pride to us, and the studio created a worthy source of pride with the game itself.

"We did it -- I wouldn't want to do it again, that's the honest truth, but now we have that team in place, so we don't have to."

Article Start Previous Page 4 of 4

Related Jobs

Deep Silver Volition
Deep Silver Volition — Champaign, Illinois, United States

Studio Production Director
XSEED Games — Torrance, California, United States

Localization Editor
505 Games Limited
505 Games Limited — Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom

Associate Producer
Velan Studios
Velan Studios — Troy, New York, United States

Lead Producer

Loading Comments

loader image