‘Halo 5: Guardians’ developer 343i takes a stance with dedicated servers

Confidence or foolishness? 343i drops back-up P2P servers for their next Halo iteration

Halo 5 is just one of several anticipated titles gracing the Xbox One this holiday season, but the hype also comes with fear from fans.

This anxiety stems from developer 343i’s disastrous launch of Halo: The Master Chief Collection in November of 2014. An ambitious game, launching all four Halo games of the past decade in one sleek package. The delivery of said game, though, was a pure and utter catastrophe. In fact, it wasn’t until March of 2015 that the game was fully playable on dedicated servers for gamers. Thankfully, 343i set the game up with an emergency back-up plan by enabling P2P (peer-to-peer) servers. This system of matchmaking allows for some online matchmaking, but P2P brings with it a host of problems such as lag, host advantage and general instability.

With their newest iteration launching later in 2015, 343i has stated that the game will only feature dedicated servers and that there will be no emergency P2P option. This feels like a bold move by the developer based on the still fresh burns from launching what felt like a broken game last year, but that isn’t to say that the move is a foolish one. In fact, the use of dedicated servers has worked out well for other developers on Xbox, though. ¬†Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment launched their game in March of 2014 using Microsoft’s ‘Azure’ dedicated servers for matchmaking. The launch went off nearly perfectly and the overall reception for the title was quite well for that reason.

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There is certainly still hope for a quality launch for Halo 5. Last December, 343i opened up their beta build of Halo 5’s multiplayer to have gamers test it out and give feedback. Somewhat frustratingly, the free-of-charge beta preformed much better online than the full $60 Master Chief Collection that launch one month prior. This strong beta performance could very well be the first sign that the developers have figured out how to optimize their matchmaking.

Will the launch be another nail in the coffin for the now decade-old franchise or will in propel the game back to the top of competitive online gaming?

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