The Top 7... ways Halo influenced the games industry


What Halo did: Bungie understands that finishing and shipping a game is only the first step. If you want  to build an empire, you also have to give the fans tools to extend the experience. This began with multiplayer, of course – more on that soon – but eventually spread much farther. Bungie gave the fans Custom Games, allowing them to create their own modes. Bungie gave the fans Forge, allowing them to create their own maps. Bungie gave the fans Saved Films and Halo Waypoint, allowing them to create their own movies and screenshots, then share them with their friends. And when someone does a particularly good job, like the folks behind Red vs Blue? Bungie incorporates them into official ads and announcements, often on "Bungie Day," which is – what else? – an annual celebration of the community.

What the industry has done since: Although we can't think of many other companies that engage their fans with the same degree of respect and appreciation as Bungie, the rest of the industry is definitely attempting to catch up. This November, Call of Duty: Black Ops will include a Theater mode to encourage machinima like Red vs Blue, and in 2011, the fate of the third Carmine brother in Gears 3 will have been decided by a public vote. Meanwhile, most all major franchises have now hired a community liaison similar to Brian Jarrard at Bungie – someone whose sole job is to ensure that the fans feel involved and informed.


What Halo did: Like we said in the intro, Halo obviously didn't invent multiplayer. But the first console game to incorporate local system-link in addition to split screen competition? Yeah, Halo did that. The first console game to inspire friends to lug their monitors and rigs to each other's houses for nightly LAN parties? Yeah, Halo did that. The first console game to make online matchmaking a breeze? Yeah, Halo (well, technically Halo 2) did that. And the first game to introduce us to foul-mouthed, trash-talking, teabagging 12 year-olds? Hey, we never promised every influence would be good. Just important.

What the industry has done since: That last paragraph probably wasn't the most interesting or surprising to read, but there's simply no denying Halo's role in pioneering and popularizing modern console multiplayer – the kind that enables you to compete with people across the globe, not merely across your living room carpet. Call of Duty, Gears of War, Killzone, Battlefield: Bad Company, Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell and many more online shooters are indebted to Bungie for blazing the way… even if the teams behind those other series would have done so eventually anyway. The trend Halo ignited has reached outside the basic shooter, too. Would games such as Dead Space 2, BioShock 2 and Uncharted 2 still feel the need to add multiplayer? If not for Master Chief and his copycats, who knows.

Sep 13, 2010

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  • Pruman - January 4, 2011 9:30 p.m.

    I'm surprised that you guys completely left out how Halo shook up what at that point were pretty tired FPS conventions. Before Halo, FPS heroes had one health bar that was only restored by health packs, could carry up to 9 different weapons and the ammo required to feed them, had to select grenades and melee attacks before they could be used (and they usually weren't powerful enough to make doing so worthwhile), and vehicle sequences were generally on-rails. Nearly every FPS that came out after Halo appropriated one or more of the mechanics it pioneered. The recharging health one was the most aggravating: in Master Chief's case, it makes sense because he has a suit of power armor with a built-in personal shield. Does it make sense for a WWII grunt in Call of Duty? No effin' way!
  • lincc289 - September 21, 2010 2:27 p.m.

    go!go! About you, fashionable tide Story will start from here!
  • kibbles0515 - September 16, 2010 9:42 p.m.

    I hate what the Halo multiplayer experience has spawned: games with crummy multiplayer modes that are tacked-on and worthless, and that sad, sad group of people that don't care for games UNLESS they have multiplayer. *sigh*
  • SkyDragonc5 - September 16, 2010 6 a.m.

    It was bound to happen. I do like the expansion of games into other media now. I like my comics and my games and my statues...
  • minimaxi - September 16, 2010 5:26 a.m.

    ehh sorry but i think this list is the equivalence of a man applying a patent for the act of "holding your penis to pee"; many games have done those before. I AM DISSAPOINT
  • TURbo - September 16, 2010 12:31 a.m.

    @510BrotherPanda Halo is no Pokemon. Halo hasn't had a huge TV show, multiple movies that managed to make money, and a card game that everyone bought into for a couple ears.
  • DynamicJul - September 15, 2010 8:13 p.m.

    Collectables worth collecting? Metroid anyone?
  • elpurplemonkey - September 15, 2010 7:48 p.m.

    Great Top 7 Charlie, but after your review, I'm afraid to look at these potential comments.
  • Spybreak8 - September 15, 2010 5:03 p.m.

    It's nice to live through the games that influence how others play/make games. Super Mario Bros, Zelda, Mario 64, Goldeneye, C&C, Half Life, Counterstrike, Mass Effect and Halo. Total Annihilation, just forgot that one.
  • BIOSback - September 15, 2010 8:40 a.m.

    @TheKnot True but Samus was out of her suit in later Metroid games. No one has still seen Master Chief's face.
  • Syncmaster - September 15, 2010 3:19 a.m.

    what the game industry still have to learn from Halo? PUT TONS OF CONTENT ON THE GAME, then, think about DLC. really, there are no other shooter as complete as halo nowdays. I can only remember perfect dark and timesplitters had an amazing shit ton of modes. oh, and you didnt even mentioned the regenerate health, sticky grenades, weapon swaping, etc etc etc.
  • Rattlehead - September 14, 2010 11:36 p.m.

    Good thing Poopcicle is banned or he'd freak out
  • FauxFurry - September 14, 2010 11:14 p.m.

    Halo is a pretty cool guy. Eh generates memes,revolutionizes the FPS genre,spawns legions of imitators and doesn't afraid of anything!
  • Crypto140 - September 14, 2010 8:56 p.m.

  • DreamWeaverPL - September 14, 2010 8:42 p.m.

    @Violate Number 3 on your list? That's funny. I don't own a PS3, there's no hatred for Halo in what I've said before, played it, and I care about video games as a whole. And I'm not "trolling", duh. You need to go to wikipedia or somewhere where they could explain such difficult terms for you.
  • yagirlfriendsfavoriterapper - September 14, 2010 5:23 p.m.

    Number 5 is why I hate ODST and Reach got green-lit instead of Halo 4, Halo 3's ending was F'ed up. It's has been 3 tears and I'm still waiting, oh well Halo 4 on XBOX 720 @ e3 2011, watch!
  • TURbo - September 14, 2010 2:42 p.m.

    Halo All I play Oh. Regenerative health and weapon limits has carried over to many games. If there was one like this for the COD games, aiming down the sights has to be number 1.
  • farsided - September 14, 2010 2:09 p.m.

    you still suck Charlie. recaptcha: "admire us". I refuse.
  • deedob - September 14, 2010 12:11 p.m.

    Correction, There are seven (7) novels of Halo in existance, not 6... with 3 more on the way. Fall of Reach, The Flood, First Strike, Ghost of Onyx, Contact Harvest, The Cole Protocol, Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
  • malakai - September 14, 2010 12:10 p.m.

    i would like to point out you see what issac from deadspace looks like

Showing 1-20 of 71 comments

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