343 says Halo had to 'move forward' from split-screen

MMGN writes: Halo 5: Guardians will be getting plenty of post-launch support, but it won't offer the one thing so many older Halo fans have cherished for years: split-screen multiplayer.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer stepped around the issue a few weeks ago, and fans are still bewildered as to why it was removed.

343 Industries design director, Kevin Franklin, has attempted to fill gamers in on the decision, and it's clear that the studio -- and Xbox -- doesn't want to deter players from Halo's bigger, more demanding online experiences.

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Feriku1042d ago

Still disappointed in this decision.

KiwiViper851042d ago

While I'm thinking, Why are we still talking about this?

Split screen means nothing to me. Why wouldn't you want to play co-op through the power of the internet, with your entire screen dedicated to you?...

crazychris41241042d ago (Edited 1042d ago )

Same reason you watch movies, go to sporting events or do other things with friends or family? Its more fun being next to friends and family. I could watch a great movie by myself but its the little things that enhance the experience where everyone is together in person.

Not the end of the world that there is no split screen in Halo 5 but its disappointing for me since I got my start with Halo with Halo 2 at my friends house where we played split screen campaign. Didnt have a Xbox so no way for me to enjoy the game without having to shell out hundreds to get the game and console. Played split screen in every single Halo (except Halo Wars) and had some of my favorite gaming moments while doing it.

-Foxtrot1042d ago

"Why are we still talking about this?"

Because they are

xPhearR3dx1042d ago


Except those are different forms of entertainment. With video games, you're interacting with friends/family even without being the same room and getting a similar experience. You wouldn't call a friend up and watch an entire movie or sports game while on the phone, but you would play entire game over a headset because you're interacting with each other.

We also have moved on to a very digital era. I remember when PS2 first got online and you needed a brick of a network adapter just to play and not many people knew/played games online. Now, we have people live streaming, making lets plays etc. Plus, with this new era of technology, it's very easy for friends and family to separate, yet still communicate in ways we couldn't do back then such as Skype video calls, FaceTime etc.

While I'm sure people still invite friends and family over to play games, it's certainly not as often as it use to. Mostly because our generation has grown up and got jobs, and kids nowadays are so spoiled they don't need to go to a friends house to play the latest games. While I understand no split screen sucks, you or that community is a very small number compared to people who will never use the feature.

Rimeskeem1042d ago

None of my current friends have an Xbox One. I was hoping for splitscreen so I could play with them when we hang out. Too much to ask for?

crazychris41241042d ago


Very true, I think a better example would be rock band. Which do you think is more fun? Everybody playing together in the same room or everyone playing together online but alone in their homes. Games are different but you get the idea. Plus 4 player co-op means everyone has to buy their own game instead of 1 person buying it or everyone chipping in.

NewMonday1042d ago (Edited 1042d ago )

"Halo had to move forward from split-screen"

sorry that is a big "move backward"

uth111042d ago

So if you want to play with family, you have to buy a second console and play in different rooms?

DOMination-1042d ago

All these people noaning about lack of split screen yet praising Sony amd being excites for PS VR which completely detaches you from society...

Septic1042d ago

It is a shame really but I don't know of a single person who would be using this. I did think that these days with online play being the norm, not many people would be affected.

Well in Halo's favour, at least it has a 4 player co op mode for the campaign. Its been years ahead of the game in that respect afaik. But to me, playing this at 60fps has convinced me it's the best way to play.

DragonDDark1042d ago

You want my brother to buy another XB1 and we should play Halo together using the Internet when we are literally next to each other?
Oh.. and a new TV.. yay...

Lukejrl1042d ago

My wife Loves halo, she and I play it together, now we can't. It was really fun playing 4 together especially.

badz1491042d ago

Dropping split screen or local multiplayer and then calling it outdated concept or justifying it as "moving forward" is pure BS! Why don't they just come out straight and admit that it has to be sacrificed to achieve other goals instead of trying to justify it with BS? I guess that's too much to ask.

I don't care about Halo for even a bit but there are genres out there like FPS and racing that would benefited by this feature. It's a sad thing that many devs are opting out from this feature and it spells the end of couch multiplayer. Driveclub for example, I love it to death but I wanna do local multiplayer race when my friends or brothers come over just like how we play FIFA OR PES but the feature is missing.

I guess that's whatvall the fuss is about. Halo has always had this feature but is now going to be removed. It's not like they achieved constant 1080p60fps either with recent news about the dynamic resolution. So what gives?

I think they are confuse with the true meaning of "moving forward" with "laziness"!

Mr Pumblechook1042d ago (Edited 1042d ago )

I can't believe there are people here who are telling other gamers they're wrong for enjoying split-screen gaming! It doesn't always have to be a 'you're wrong, I'm right' argument.'

I suspect there are some younger gamers who unfortunately have not had the chance to experience a great game this way, for a whole season. Some of my fondest gaming memories are playing the original Halo with friends at the same time, on the same console in the same room! Yes you have less screen space but it is more than made up for by the social aspect of joking and competing and having banter with friends. Good times!

Fez1042d ago

Kids today have forgotten what it's like to interact with other gaming humans :(

Moment of silence please for splitscreen gaming. It was a blast.

KingPin1042d ago

so because it means nothing to you, millions of gamers should be ok with it?

did it ever occur to you that maybe not everyone around the world has "the power of the internet"? they may have internet but its not nearly fast enough to be playing online.

just a thought.

OT: no splitscreen is a big deal. it takes away a part of what made halo special to begin with.

ps360s1042d ago

I miss spit screen on fps's

It will be missed greatly on Halo

As I am always with my friends/friends playing Halo back in the 360 days :D an all nighter

nix1042d ago (Edited 1042d ago )


i get a feeling that you haven't played MP with your friends sitting next to you in the same room. it's a blast. trust me.

i hate all this MP-over-the-net thing personally. nothing beats having your friends home and playing games with them the whole night.


nX1042d ago

Seems like we found the thread where bitter loners try to convince people how split screen gaming is soo 90's stuff. Just yesterday I started playing the Battlefront beta and surprisingly it has a 2-player coop mission that can be played online or via split screen and yes, the first thing I did before anything else was to get my little brother and try it out. One hour later we were still playing it, and not because you could unlock anything or even complete it (as it was locked to 6 enemy waves), but because it simply was a fun experience.

My point is, split screen is definitely not a "thing from the past" and a series like Halo which got much of its popularity through that really shouldn't remove this feature, especially not with this reasoning. Not only is it disappointing for a lot of people it's also a bad signal to the industry when multi million dollar franchises start to remove these basic features from our games.

UltraNova1042d ago


"Games are different but you get the idea. Plus 4 player co-op means everyone has to buy their own game instead of 1 person buying it or everyone chipping in."

That ^^^ right there could be one of, if not the major reason they decided to axe split screen.

Its sad really cause Halo local split screen is (was) one of, if not the most addicting and fun time you can have with friends or family when it comes to shooters.

christian hour1042d ago

While I disagree about watching movies with friends, I prefer to watch them by myself so I can get fully invested in the characters and allow my emotions to be taken for a ride without distractions, it's also nice to have the option to watch things with family and friends too!

Same goes for campaign in video games. I prefer to play it alone for my first playthrough even if there is a split screen option. However, if a friends over I'd much rather split screen the campaign and work together than play a game were we are pitted against each other.

While Halo's split screen removal is a travesty to me, because I loved playing the campaign with a friend who was physically next to me for the last 15 years, I think the biggest travesty is the absence of LAN, not just with Halo but with most games this gen.

LAN party's are some of the best social gaming experiences you can have, playing online doesn't even hold a candle to it. To anyone who thinks playing online is the same or better than split-screen or a LAN then that's understandable, maybe you're not that comfortable around people and come out of your shell a bit more when you're not worryinG about your physical appearance, or the way your lips move when you talk or the way you blink or whatever your social anxiety may consist of.

It's sad to see LAN become non-existent in this day and age. I mean yeah sure you can just hook the consoles up to an internet connection and still play in the same room but the beauty of a LAN was there was zero latency, everything was immediate and there was nobody complaining of LAG. Now when I have monthly ROcket League tournaments at friends houses, the LAG just really takes away from it and, aside from the incredible social aspect, makes doing it kinda pointless.

RIP LAN... At least there's still some games that do SplitScreen, but the disappearance of LAN is the real loss here.

It does seem very strange considering Halo was one of the first games to introduce a vast amount of console gamers to the idea of LAN parties, for anyone who has been with Halo since the beginning I'm sure you remember those epic HALO.BUNGIE.ORG Lan parties that were the stuff of legend! ALL THAT PIZZA! Even Bungie staff would be present for them! (Bungies too big now to be that connected with their community as has become very apparent with Destiny/being in bed with Activision, and 343 has always been a Behemoth but Frankie still goes to great effort to interact with the community :D )

Sorry, just mourning the passing of those golden days.

Still can't wait to sink my teeth in to halo 5's campaign :)

Mega241042d ago

The amount of fanboy denial in here amazes me.

Angeljuice1041d ago

It's all about maximising profits.

Why let two people play on one licensed product when they can force you to buy two copies?

No discussion, no debate, American style aggressive capitalism in full force.

donthate1041d ago


" sorry that is a big "move backward" "

No the only backward move is you being a hypocrite praising all things Sony and [email protected] all over MS any chance you get.

You will praise resolution increase at the detriment of stable frame rate, but complain about split screen on Halo.

I for one am glad MS isn't listening to the likes of you. Split screen would be nice, but I wouldn't want that rarely used feature to hold back other features that are likely used by far more people.

That is why "Nielsen crowns Halo 5 as most anticipated holiday exclusive", because they know how to make a great game:

garrettbobbyferguson1041d ago

Same response I gave above. I've played every single Halo title split screen with friends. From coop to multiplayer. We've spent hundreds of hours replaying the games. Now we can't do that. Why are we still talking about this? Because people such as myself are very upset regarding this.

Sono4211041d ago

Correct me if i'm wrong but isn't removing a feature a step backwards? I mean don't get me wrong I personally am not too upset.. I plan on playing co op online anyways.. But I do feel like if you ever remove a feature it's not a step forward.

Halo2ODST21041d ago

Just because it means "nothing to you" doesn't mean other people don't care about it, I actually played split screen on MCC, and had tonnes of fun, Split screen isn't obsolete, it's just neglected by developers these days, (not blaming them, but circumstantial).

Feriku1041d ago

I missed your comment, sorry for the late reply.

It matters to me because my friends and I used to get together to play Halo. I was the only one of us with an Xbox 360, but we could all play together.

To play Halo 5 together, not only will we each need an Xbox One and Xbox Live Gold (and a copy of the game), but we also can't play in the same room.

Even if we all got the console, game, and Live, our days of getting together to play Halo won't be possible with Halo 5.

rainslacker1041d ago

Why remove it for those that enjoy the experience of playing with a few other friends though? It's always fun. Even in bad games, if there is split screen, you can enjoy it when playing with friends. Online play can be fun as well, but one doesn't have to be left out to serve the other.

user99502791041d ago

lol. yep. i am the same way. more interested in whats actually in the game. I know there is genuine disappointment, but just looking at this page it seems obvious that the most vocal about it are known Sony fans. as is always the case anytime anything changes with Halo.

the only logical explanation is that Playstation gamers reallllly love Halo.

welly3001041d ago

For me i prefer local but it comes down to choice. Would like the choice but i guess if ur happy no one else oppion matters:)

BrandanT1041d ago

Because the experience is a lot better. You can't punch someone over the internet when they kill or troll you in a game.

Azzanation1041d ago

I dont like watching my movies split screen niether do I like playing my games split screen.
My opinion and its a great choice there focusing on the solo mode. Everyone can play Halo 5 alone, not everyone can play split screen.

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Bigpappy1042d ago

Developers know best. Win or loose, it is there game. I want to buy it. You decide to join or move on.

Rimeskeem1042d ago

Developers know best? The Xbox One before the launch proves you wrong. The amount of backlash from the public made MS do a 180. Yes, that's very old news but proves my point.

Bigpappy1042d ago

Where did you get the crazy idea that developers had anything to do with Xbox launch? You are not even too keen on the console to begin with. Doubt you even really care about Halo, with or without split screen.

Again, it is a nice feature for kids. But I don't think the developers are focused on selling this game to kids. There are other choices on the console (PvZ, COD...). Halo-5 will do really well with those interested in the game as is. There are millions of us just waiting for the release to jump in. I will let you know if I change my mind a few days after release. Stay tune.

Rimeskeem1042d ago

If the devs are not focused on selling the game to kids then why for the 1st time in Halo history is the game rated T?

I really enjoy Halo especially with the Coop. I never had a 360 but my brothers friend used to bring his to my house and my brother, his friend, and I would all play swat and had a blast! BTW, Bro is 21 and his friend is 21 also sooo, not really "kids".

ScamperCamper1042d ago (Edited 1042d ago )

@Bigpappy, you know it all? You're the kind of person who doesn't mind paying an inflated price for a "next generation" game with the newest, fastest hardware and the freaking game can't even provide what it did before all that "next gen" power and inflated cost. You are called a sheep in my book. Could you lower your expectations any more? I mean geez, split screen on new hardware? Like wow, that's like so impossible. The console just can't do it, but pay the extra price for this next gen game. Did I make my point? It's little wonder why companies feel they can release unfinished games to gamers as finished product. Gamers take it. They'll take anything.

UltraNova1042d ago


One question...

What if Halo 6 came with no campaign? Would you still support the notion of devs knowing best then?

I guess the real question that should trouble people like you is how much more should they cut while charging more and more until you finally wake up to whats really, slowly but surely happening?

Fez1042d ago

What makes you so sure this was the developers decision?

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AngelicIceDiamond1042d ago (Edited 1042d ago )

If you wanna find the silver lining in all this at least Gears 4 has it. But that means no 60 frames probably for Gears which would be a big disappointment.

Its one or the other there's trade offs can't have both.

christian hour1042d ago

Well said :) Someone who understands it. It's long been my suspicion that this was 343's reasoning behind it.

Todays gamers don't know much about game design other than big numbers like 1080 and 60fps, whereas in the past when a game did splitscreen it would usually nerf the graphics somewhat and drop the frame rate. It seems rather than piss off the 60fps crowd by nerfing the game when splitscreen happens, they decided to jsut drop splitscreen so there'd be no ridiculous clickbait articles about how halo doesn't always do 60fps etc.

Personally, I'd take split screen at 24fps over no splitscreen and 60fps any day. These same people probaly don't even realise that graphically, multiplayer in these games doesnt look anything like the campaigns in order to reach 60fps (or whatever the highest standard was in previous gens). It's always been that way on console.

If I had it my way, I'd have developers aim for colourful and aesthetically pleasing games with a 24-30 frame rate over a game that physically looks dull and boring to achieve 1080 and 60. If somehow you have wizard programmers and can manage to do both of those things then, fair play, tip of the hat.

But yeah long story short, trade offs. Thats all I wanted to say AngeliciCEDiamoned, trade offs, I agree, kudos to you for understanding a new gen doesnt mean "give me everything i demand or you're worse than last gen cos you cant do what some games did last gen derp".

Genova841042d ago


Developers could do it all if they designed more games for the high end pc market. I'm playing 4k 60fps and it's amazing. That said, i would prefer the option to play at 1080p splitscreen, rather than 4k single player.

I'm really curious to see if splitscreen is supported natively in gears of war remastered for pc. I know it'll do 4k 60 fps, but lack of splitscreen will be a deal breaker.

To those of you who think i'm crazy, I do play left 4 dead 2 split screen with my fiance. So ... don't tell me it can't be done. It's a bs.

Tiqila1041d ago

why not have 60fps when playing solo and have compromised graphics or fewer fps when playing coop locally?

garrettbobbyferguson1041d ago

@christian hour

That's the problem with current generation consoles. They're touted as these graphical monsters, but you have to have trade offs just to get basic features.

jb2271041d ago

Why do people assume this? Why would the inclusion of a split screen mode affect any other mode in any way? Sure maybe Gears would have it & the split screen would only run at 30, but the online mp can still run at 60 & a campaign can still run at 60 independent of the split screen mode. Couldn't a developer just warn gamers from the outset that the split screen would be an inferior version performance wise compared to those other modes? Shouldn't they at least give the potential to let a consumer decide? I think 343 should've ran a poll, informed people that there would be concessions that needed to be made, but if they hit so many signatures, they would include or add split screen down the line. Instead they insinuated that including split screen would've hurt everyone's experience across the board, which just isn't true.

rainslacker1041d ago (Edited 1041d ago )

A lot of people were saying to just drop the frame rate for split screen when this first started, since the 60fps argument was used to defend it.

My guess though is that there are things being implemented that would not allow for 4 different player instances to be running at one time. I won't go so far as to accuse MS of trying to sell more copies, along with X1's this way.

If the devs were just upfront about it, then it could alleviate a lot of the complaining, although much would still exists.

"moving forward" though is a stupid excuse, particularly since it was a much liked feature in the older games.

Some people are mentioning workarounds, but the more likely reason this isn't happening is due to the need for occlusion culling on a large scale. With a split screen game, you have 4 cameras and 4 separate player instances all running at the same time. If the game is designed to only be able to draw camera at a time, then adding in three more could cause a lot of problems. Dropping the frame rate could fix a bit of this, but not all of it.

If the above is the case, I don't know why the developer just doesn't say so, instead of trying to insult those who like split screen as some backwards thinking dinosaur. I don't mind developer's moving on from antiquated practices or mechanics, but split screen is an actual game play mode which is fun, and doesn't detract from mechanics.

cpayne931041d ago (Edited 1041d ago )

You can reduce the fps just for multiplayer...

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fr0sty1042d ago (Edited 1042d ago )

Just like Sony had to "Move forward" with rumble last gen when they couldn't do it... The box couldn't do split screen with good visuals, so they have to try to paint it as something that is "in the past" or "obsolete".

OOMagnum1042d ago (Edited 1042d ago )


Fez1042d ago (Edited 1042d ago )

Spot on. I would imagine all the developers know what Halo is about, and given unlimited time and resources, splitscreen would definitely be included. Therefore, we can assume something is limiting the inclusion of splitscreen...
Its removal is a sacrifice to save on the development cost/time in improving the splitscreen visuals and performance.

They always try and shield themselves from criticism by coming out with the least offensive statement - never the whole truth.

I'm sure Sony said rumble was last gen when they failed to get it in the sixaxis. No, you just weren't willing to pony up the cash until you realised it was going to be a problem.

christian hour1042d ago (Edited 1042d ago )


Sony didn't have rumble out the gate due to a massive law suit involving the people behind the tech and their patent etc, check your facts. It had nothing to do with moving forward... Just cos Phil Harrsion makes up excuses to save skin, doesn't make it true and shouldn't still be spouted around, that only confuses people and misinforms.

As for not being able to do splitscreen without good visuals... Every halo game in the past had its visuals and frame rate nerfed in the past.

The reason it's an issue now is because of this miserable climate created by both the clickbait nature of modern day journalism and the consumers who buy in to it. The media and the rabid fanboys would have had a field day if Halo 5 didnt do 60fps and had consistent visuals during splitscreen, they figured the removal of splitscreen would be less backlash to deal with (and going from comment threads around the internet, it hasn't even come close to the uproar you see when something doesnt do 1080 or 60 consistently).

A lot of people who grew up with halo in their teens have either moved on from the franchise or moved on from gaming itself so they no longer have to pander to them and what they expect as being standard for a halo game (sure there are still some of us left, but not as much as there were). Now theres a whole new generation of halo fans and gamers and the mating call of the most vocal of them is "60FPS OR GTFO".

rainslacker1041d ago

Despite all your disagrees, that is a great analogy...although for obviously much different reasons.


It's still the term that Sony used to say why they didn't include it. The reasons are they couldn't manage it, same here. It's PR spin to cover up a different issue when both the real reasons are perfectly logical and acceptable...albeit not immune to criticism.

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hells_supernova1042d ago

Yeah the reason why is cause Microsoft didn't want to compromise the graphics pretty simple but give me split screen any day of the week

Takwin1042d ago

I switched to PS4 for obvious reasons this generation (and likely will never go back), but I absolutely loved Halo on the first two XBOX's and my favorite thing on there was playing split-screen co-op on the hardest difficulty. I personally really enjoy same-couch co-op, but only Nintendo still seems to offer that for the most part.

garrettbobbyferguson1041d ago

I've played every single Halo title (including 4) split screen with friends. This is a slap in the face to me.

3-4-51041d ago

* After seeing Forge World news, this split-screen thing isn't even a real issue anymore.

2-3 days after launch, there won't be that many people talking about it.

It's being talked about because anything regarding Halo leading up to launch will make some noise in the media, and thus lead to more hits/clicks = more money.

* No Split-screen sucks more for people who have roomates or friends they live with who all play, but the older generation who grew up with Halo CE & Halo 2, it most likely won't effect them as much.

Why ? We are a bit older and there is a chance that not all of our friends play video games anymore.

So the people we would have or used to co-op game with via splitscreen, we don't do that together any more and so the online only multiplayer actually does make sense for a huge portion of people.

* Those they are effected most, will be the loudest, but it doesn't mean there are a lot of them.

It sucks, but only at a 1/10 level. It's not an actual huge deal.

Gamble201041d ago

No. It's been talked about because Halo has always been one of the most popular games, maybe in history, for supporting even up to 4 player split screen. It's an entirely different experience (not to mention convenience) playing with friends or family in the same room on the same console. Losing the split screen ability actually removes my only lasting interest in Halo because it was those experiences that made me a fan. Without that, I don't have a huge interest in the game and likewise the entire console since that is the only game I wanted on it.

Will complaints die down when it releases? I actually predict it picks up once it releases, but yes, eventually the fury will die down. And the joy of Halo will decline along with that as many consumers see it's not the same anymore. It could very well be a better game on its own. But if you want it for split screen, it's gone.

rainslacker1041d ago

I dunno about 2-3 days. These things can drag on, and there are plenty of bloggers who want to dredge up a hot topic.

The people that want split screen will just accept it to play Halo, or not buy the game, and either way will move on from the whole topic.

"* Those they are effected most, will be the loudest, but it doesn't mean there are a lot of them. "

True, but it's not fair that their concerns are being dismissed by some, or not explained the actual reasons by the developer or publisher.

I have a good idea why it's not included because I have knowledge of how games are built and rendered, but if the dev won't just come out and say that, my stating them religiously is meaningless.

mafiahajeri1041d ago

Bs my fondest memories of halo were the split screen campaigns, was really excited to get the halo bundle but I don't know now. I guess I'll just wait for a gears bundle.

1381041d ago

The only fond memories I have of Halo are split-screen moments. They really messed up on this one.

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KionicWarlord2221042d ago

"You know we’ve got Blue Team in there, which a lot of fans are really excited about. On the Warzone side, you’ve got such a massive, massive battle going on. 24 players. It’s quite the experience to get into Warzone and just have that epicness on screen -- you can have up to 20 vehicles on the screen at one time. On the Arena side, you’ve got a strong team experience, so it’s four players. And we’re seeing these players build their eSports teams online, and that’s something we want to see supported." - Phil Spencer

Yeah split screen wasn't worth sacrificing this.

I had gripes with this for awhile got over it after seeing the scale of the campaign and warzone operating at a locked 60 fps.

If dropping spitscreen is what was needed to expand there vision so be it.

They have created the best halo game and possibly the best shooter of this generation.

BozoLoco1042d ago

Kevin Franklin said it.

KionicWarlord2221042d ago (Edited 1042d ago )

Woops i took the mention of phil spencer all the way through lol

Yeah BozoLoco is correct here . Sorry for the confusing i cant edit it.

1042d ago Replies(4)
Ginpachi-sama1042d ago

Lol best halo game keep dreaming bro

Dlacy13g1042d ago

I am 100% fine with this direction. I want 343 focused on delivering better visuals at high framerate and not what they have to compromise to make split screen run acceptably.

Antifan1042d ago

I thought Xbox gamers don't 'play' resolution and framerate? Ha, funny how that argument went 180.

Dlacy13g1042d ago do understand better visuals isn't directly tied to resolution don't you? More on screen effects, more complex environments and better lighting to name a few. Go play your silly game elsewhere.