It used to be that if a first-person shooter had multiplayer, it probably had a split-screen option as well. This was back before the internet was so readily available and you had to go to a friend’s house to play a game with them. These days, multiplayer has moved from the couch and onto the internet.
Despite this move, the Halo series has always served as a pillar of local split-screen play. That is, until this mode was oddly missing from the latest entry Halo 5: Guardians. On Thursday, during a speech at the annual DICE Summit, Microsoft confirmed the Halo series will be bringing back split-screen modes in all future titles.
“We will always have split-screen support going forward,” 343 Industries chief Bonnie Ross told the crowd. What has yet to be confirmed is whether this statement applies to cooperative or competitive modes. Additionally, there was no clarification on how split-screen modes might work with the Xbox Play Anywhere model. Will Windows 10 users be able to play with others on a console?
When Halo 5 was released, fans were vocal about the absence of any local multiplayer options. Both the versus modes and the main campaign features four-player battling, yet this feature was strictly available online. What made this omission even more surprising was that 343 developers told fans during development that Halo 5 would include split-screen modes. It wasn’t until later in development that they walked back on that statement.
During Ross’ speech, she admitted that fan outcry was significant. “It was incredibly painful for the community and for us.” She event went as far to say the removal of split-screen “eroded trust” with their fanbase.
While Halo 6 has yet to be formally announced, it’s not surprising that 343 Industries is hard at work on another entry. The franchise stands as one of the biggest properties owned by Microsoft.