Splitscreen has been an integral part of the Halo experience since the first game hit the original Xbox in 2001. However, due to technical limitations, the feature was removed from the latest game in the series, Halo 5: Guardians. The fan reaction to this has been fairly negative, with many claiming that the lack of splitscreen was enough for them to not buy the game.
This blowback has apparently been more than developer 343 Industries was expecting, though they already expected some. In a livestream interview with 343’s Frank O’Connor, Gamesradar asked about the exclusion of splitscreen from Halo 5. “Realistically, for Halo 5, it’s not something we can just throw in a patch,” explained O’Connor. “It’s just not feasible with the way the engine works.”
However, while the feature likely won’t be making its way to Halo 5, the fan reaction has caused some thought on 343’s part. “Now, the blowback from it has been huge, within reason,” said O’Connor. “We know what the real numbers are, I’m not even gonna give them out, but suffice it to say, they’re not as big as you think they are. Splitscreen is fun for me too. It’s not something that I object to. And we would have loved to put it in. If we could have, we would have. And I think that it’s certainly a conversation we’ll have about the next game…We’ll talk about it for the next game, and we’ll talk about it for the future, but it really is a giant technical hurdle, and not a trivial thing.”