Halo boss Bonnie Ross has spoken up to discuss how developer 343 Industries thinks about making games that longtime fans can enjoy while also appealing to new players to help grow the brand.
In a Q&A for the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, Ross said deliberate efforts are made with every Halo game to ensure the “core spirit” of Halo remains intact, no matter what additional elements are being added.
“While we certainly look for ways to branch out and innovate, we’re also careful not to lose the core spirit that makes Halo what it is,” Ross said. “Fans are our heart and soul, and this universe was built for them. We do listen to fan feedback…”
Ross went on to say that she is “really encouraged” by the positive reception to the story and characters, including the new Brute leader, Atriox, in next month’s Halo Wars 2.
Also in the Q&A, Ross was asked if she is concerned about the idea that social media could allow a vocal minority to dominate the conversation about new features or other game elements.
“I think we owe it to all of our fans to ensure they have a voice in our franchise,” Ross said. “They are the lifeblood of what we do, and if you don’t have the backing of your core fan base, it’s difficult to expand to broader audiences. That said, you do need to find the proper balance of fan feedback and our goals for moving the franchise forward.
“I think social media makes it both easier and harder to identify problems in gameplay. It is a luxury to have so much feedback, but it also requires extra diligence to really understand and evaluate qualitative and quantitative data, as neither alone are right. It is a huge challenge to put them together and evaluate the big picture.”