Microsoft Should Thank Halo For Making Xbox Live A Success

Microsoft Should Thank Halo For Making Xbox Live A Success

No one’s going to argue that Halo was the original Xbox’s killer game, playing a noticeable role in the console’s early success. The series also made multiplayer console gaming over the internet via Xbox Live a serious thing and not just a poorly-supported gimmick. Bungie president Harold Ryan is convinced that Halo and its successors were so instrumental to Xbox Live that, without it, the service would not have succeeded. Is he wrong?

Ryan wasn’t always president — he served as a test manager for Halo 2, according to this article over on GamesIndustry. In the same story, Ryan states he believes that Xbox Live “wouldn’t have made it” without Bungie’s seminal series, along with Bungie itself:

“I think Xbox Live wouldn’t have made it … I don’t think the Xbox would be where it is today without Bungie and without Halo. As a group, we provided both technical and creative guidance and thought leadership that really pushed the limits. We weren’t just a game developer using the service. We were integrated in the design of the service and how it worked. Systems for groups and matchmaking and skill ranking were all things that were pushed the furthest and the hardest by us.”

I’d argue that if Halo and Bungie hadn’t stepped up, someone else would have. It’s not like Microsoft had little experience with multiplayer gaming — gamers were playing online on PCs long before consoles cut in and a fair chunk of that gaming occurred on Windows. But whether it’d have been executed as well and in a timely fashion? I reckon Ryan has a point.

Xbox Live Turns 10 [, via MCVUK]


  • If it wasnt halo and bungie in the first place, the Xbox would of been a complete failure. One of the biggest reasons why halo was so successful was because of mircosoft getting halo as its launch title, thus preventing halo from being on and MAC and PC like it was originally ment to be for a few years.

    Halo proved that you could have staple PC only games on a console what with the Xbox being more powerful than the PS2 and Game Cube by a decent margin.

  • I bought an Xbox day one with Halo and loved it. I played multiplayer with friends with connected Xbox consoles, but never subscribed to Xbox Live. Even though I own all the Halo games on Xbox or Xbox 360, I never once cared enough to pay for a subscription to Xbox Live… until now. Halo 4 is such a sweet game, and I’m seriously considering a gold membership just to play it online. It sounds crazy with all the benefits of PSN Plus (lots of free games), but still, it’s Halo online that I want. There are no other Xbox 360 games I even remotely care about playing online, so I totally get what the Bungie president is saying. Halo 4 wouldn’t exist without Bungie, so at least in my case, Xbox Live wouldn’t even be a consideration without their game.

  • well, i cant see us getting many super fanboy, or super anti-halo comments due to halo 4 and blops 2 being out. For Once a kotaku article with no rage comments?!

    • The original Halo didn’t have any Xbox Live compatibility did it?
      Of course, the first part of that question is if it would have succeeded being on Apple along. I don’t think it would.

      And I’m glad because fuck Steve Jobs.

  • I think Microsoft owes more to Halo for making the Xbox succeed, not so much Xbox Live. There were several good multiplayer games around that would have kept Xbox Live going if Halo hadn’t have been there. However I think Halo sold more Xbox’s than any other game on the system, so that was crucial to the success of the Xbox.

    Xbox Live succeeded because it was quick and easy, and offered a way better service than what Sony had at the time with PS2.

  • I think some people are forgetting that the original Halo did not have Xbox Live as it came out before the service was launched.

  • When I got my first xbox it came with two games, Halo combat evolved and top spin 3. I wonder which one i should play first? I played halo and it was the first fps I’ve ever played. I think as a kid i didn’t like it at the time because it was hard and the flood was scary so i made my dad play with me and make him do all the killing. After i played Halo combat evolved i played every other halo games to date.

  • He’s not lying, but tat the same time, what’s his point?

    You don’t see Shigery Miyamoto coming out and saying “Nintendo wouldn’t exist today without Mario and I”.

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