It's undeniable that 343 Industries, developers of Halo, cares a lot about the game's community, based on the massive amount of advertising and attention it direct towards it. Clearly, the company wants Halo to return to its place as one of the industry's leading games. However, it needs to realize that this won't happen unless the competitive community's wants are addressed.
Due to the fact that many things competitive players dislike about the game are present within the various forms of competitive play (such as automatic weapons or hit-markers on grenades), and 343 Industries hasn't fixed the issues in the over two years since Halo 5 launched, the competitive community has grown incredibly agitated.
HCS-only changes would be healthy
A common argument I see people make is that 343 shouldn't make changes to the entirety of Halo 5 based solely on what the competitive players want. What these people don't realize, though, is that the competitive Halo fans only want their changes implemented for their own playlists and tournaments.
343 wouldn't have to worry about Halo's more casual fanbase being dissatisfied with the different settings because the casual players wouldn't be playing Halo competitively anyways. Both competitive and casual players would be getting a version of Halo 5 that played the way they wanted. It's a win-win.
Pleased players are important for HCS success
It's obvious that 343 wants the Halo series to make a large comeback in the esports department. However, this isn't possible if you don't create an experience in which players want to compete and viewers want to watch. Such is the case with Halo 5 in its current state; almost every single pro player has expressed frustration and anger at their feedback not being heard and responded to, with Tyler "Spartan" Ganza considering leaving Halo entirely in a recent video on Youtube.
There's really no reason that the HCS players shouldn't get what they're asking for, especially because the players are the ones who drive Halo competition in the first place. Without them, there would be no tournaments to watch and no championships to compete in.
In the grand scheme of things, the competitive community isn't even asking for that much. All they want is a specific version of Halo 5 that has been tweaked in order to suit their preferred competitive experience. By not giving them this, 343 runs a serious risk of making Halo even less popular as an esport.
I think it's important to note that a system akin to what the competitive community is advocating for has been in place before in Halo 3, and it worked fantastically. Halo 3 competitions sported unique weapon layouts specifically created with competitive play in mind, with six total weapons being available in the sandbox. These layout rules were enforced by Major League Gaming, which created the layout based on (you guessed it) what the players wanted.
Things are looking up
While things overall still feel unresolved for most of the members of the competitive scene, 343 has notably responded to feedback as of late. In a recent update, lead engagement designer Joshua Menke informed competitive players that their requests for magnum starts to return would be granted. In addition, Oddball looks like it's going to be added to the pool of game types for the HCS next year.
While there are still quite a few things left for 343 to do to give the competitive community the experience it wants, this recent show of feedback response gives me hope that things will start to look up as Halo 5 enters the latest stage of its lifespan.
What's your opinion on the frustration of the competitive community? Do you agree with me that it's justified, or do you think that they're overreacting? Let me know what you think.
Halo 5: Guardians is currently available on Xbox One for $26.95 on Amazon.
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