Developer 343 Industries has supported Halo 5: Guardians with regular and substantial updates since the game’s release in October 2015. While the game is no longer receiving major expansions, that doesn’t mean 343 is finished supporting the title.
In its latest weekly blog post, 343 said, “Even as we’re nearing two years since release, the team is far from done.”
Right now, 343 is working on a 4K update for Halo 5 on Xbox One X. 343 teased in the blog post, “From the early glimpses I’ve seen, it is something to get excited about for players with 4K hardware.”
This update has required a lot of time and effort, 343 said. The studio added that it is working on this update alongside “brand new secret stuff for the future.”
“The list of things the team would like to do in Halo 5 is seemingly never-ending,” 343 said. “The reality is that much of those items are left in limbo until there’s either a critical need to greenlight a patch (an experience-ruining exploit, for example) or a larger initiative comes into play (supporting the launch of a new console is a good one). Once it became clear that Halo 5 would be receiving an update for Xbox One X this Fall, teams across the studio started taking stock of what else might make sense to include in that update.”
While specifics are being held back for now, 343 said the Fall update for Halo 5 will do more than add 4K support for Xbox One X. “A number of high-profile bugs are being actively worked on in addition to a few things that I think will be genuinely surprising.”
One part of the update will be tweaks to Halo 5’s sandbox, which covers the game’s weapons, abilities, and vehicles. The last big update for the sandbox came in March, so it’s been a while. For the fall update, 343 is going to make some “tuning refinements and adjustments” for some weapons.
“While the vast majority of these pieces are in a very good place, there are some that are not performing as designed and/or have room to be tightened up to fit a specific target role,” 343 said. “It’s been nearly two years now and there are elements of the sandbox that warrant some sprucing up and refreshing. We aren’t quite ready to detail out every single item that’s being looked at–we’ll get to that very soon–but today we want to provide some high level context and expectation for what and why this is happening.”
Also in the blog post, 343 talked about how fan feedback plays a critical role in shaping the updates that it releases. “This is your game as much as it is ours, and touching a sizable swathe of the sandbox is not something the team takes lightly,” 343 said. “And it’s important to note that this is all players–not just a competitive thing–once finalized, these changes will be updated throughout the entire game.”
As Halo 5 is one of the biggest and most talked-about shooters out there, 343 is aware that not everyone is going to love every tweak that it makes to the game. “The team’s job (which isn’t easy!) is to wade through all of that feedback and sentiment, compare and contrast the subjective with the objective data, and land on changes that satisfy our goals and have an overall positive impact to the game and community,” 343 said.
Starting next week, 343 will begin to share specific details on some of the Halo 5 sandbox changes, and we’ll report back with more details then. For now, check out the full weekly blog post to hear a lot more from the developer.
It’s not a big surprise that 343 is continuing to support Halo 5. The game is included in the Xbox Game Pass subscription program, so its playerbase is likely still pretty significant.