Welcome to 2014, where it is apparently unreasonable to buy a video game and expect it to work properly. One of this month's biggest culprits has been Halo: The Master Chief Collection, a compilation of Halo remakes that's been infested with bugs since it came out two weeks ago, with the most prominent problems surrounding multiplayer matchmaking.
Last week, Halo developers 343 released a patch that they said would fix the matchmaking and connectivity issues players have been facing since the game launched. That didn't work. Halo fans still seem to often find themselves trapped in queues and running into freezes when they try to play matches online.
So now, 343 is apologising. Here's the full statement posted by studio head Bonnie Ross on their website late last night:
On Nov 11th we released Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The goal being to create a tribute to Halo fans around the world, and to celebrate the Master Chief's debut on Xbox One. With the initial release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, however, we have not delivered the experience you deserve. I personally apologise for this on behalf of us all at 343 Industries. Our team is committed to working around the clock until these issues are resolved.
While our team works on continual improvements and towards solutions, my commitment to you is that we will take care of all owners of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Our primary and continued focus is first on fixing the issues at hand. Once we've done that, we will detail how we will make this right with our fans.
On the matchmaking front, we have encountered unexpected issues that were not apparent in our internal test environment and that have resulted in a frustrating experience, including long matchmaking times and low session success rates. Within 343 Industries and Xbox, I can assure you that resolving these issues is our #1 priority. We continue to partner with the Xbox platform team to analyse all data to make ongoing server-side adjustments to continually improve the matchmaking experience. We are also preparing additional content updates that will address existing campaign, UI, and other issues to improve the overall experience. With each update we will carefully analyse data to confirm that the improvements we're seeing internally are also happening with fans at home.
Know that we're trying to be as nimble as possible to put fixes in place. We are planning multiple server-side tweaks and game content updates over the coming weeks. Looking forward, I want to give you a high-level cadence of the latest updates we're currently working on. Development and testing of our latest content update continues and we are on track for release later this week. We will update you on the status and patch notes of the content update once we have a better understanding of our release window. Only through making changes on both the "server side" (matchmaking and other server rulesets) and, via content updates (to the game itself), can we make the significant progress we're working towards. And in the interest of expediency, we're attacking the problem from both sides, non-stop.
As we have been, we will continue to post the details of our updates and other adjustments on Halo Waypoint. Please check our forums at http://aka.ms/mcc_updates for the latest details as we roll out further fixes.
Please accept my heartfelt apologies for the delay and for the negative aspects of your experience to date. We're doing everything in our power to resolve it as quickly as possible.
So are they going to offer refunds? Free games? Some sort of assurance that we won't run into these same problems when Halo 5 comes out next year?
The scarier question: has this become the new status quo?