While Halo 5 is sure to Microsoft’s biggest release this year as it attempts to win back customers to the Xbox One, some fans are disappointed that the game is cutting back on some features. One of these is split-screen, a feature that has been ever present in the Halo series since the very first release, Halo: Combat Evolved. Not only did the games allow for local co-operative play but the series has established itself as one of the only large releases that allows players to host multiplayer matches with up to three others on the same console.
Despite that, Halo 5 will drop support for split-screen, meaning multiplayer with be limited to online and LAN only. According to developer 343 Industries though, this wasn’t a decision that was taken lightly. Studio head Josh Holmes explained in a post on Halo Waypoint the reasoning behind the removal of the feature.
“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,” wrote 343’s studio head Josh Holmes. “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.”
“With Halo 5 we are delivering massive scale environments, improved AI behavior, increased visual and gameplay fidelity,” continued the post. “[S]omething 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.”