Halo 5 could be the next great game in the Halo series, but one thing is causing quite a bit of uproar among the fanbase. The removal of split-screen, a feature that has been around since the very first Halo game on the original Xbox, has caused a fairly large backlash against developer 343 Industries. That backlash has now taken the form of an online petition, as it so often does.
“Dear Microsoft, 343 Industries and anyone that is associated with developing and publishing Halo 5:Guardians,” reads the petition. “You have disappointed many fans of Halo, by removing local split-screen co-op from Halo 5:Guardians. Local Co-Op was a feature Halo had from the beginning and many started playing Halo because of that feature. Split-Screen Co-Op enables us to play with friends that don’t have an Xbox and with family in the same house, on the same Xbox.”
“Removing this feature, removes the ability to play together and fully enjoy Halo. Since the beginning, I have played Halo with a family member and now I’ll be forced to play alone. This goes for many of the fans. Also, many people don’t have access to Xbox Live Gold, and now they’re forced to enjoy Halo alone. We, together as a Halo community sincerely ask you to bring back local split-screen co-op to Halo 5: Guardians as it was and will be a crucial social aspect of the game”
It’s always easy to dismiss these sorts of campaigns as frivolous, but with almost 5,000 supporters this one seems to have struck a nerve. Now, whether or not it can actually effect any sort of change is another question entirely.
343i has already gone on record about the removal of split-screen, saying that it was the most difficult decision that the studio has ever made. This seems to indicate that they put a lot of thought into it, and feel that its removal makes for a better Halo experience.
Whether that is true or not should be revealed when Halo 5: Guardians launches on October 27th for Xbox One.