Bungie admits to what most everyone has already said about Halo 2

When it comes to Halo 2, the developers of the game aren't content with how things turned. Sure the game went on to rack up $125 million USD in sales on its first day and has sold more than 6.5 million copies worldwide since its launch, but those successes seem to ring a bit hollow with Bungie.

Many Halo fans that plunked down their hard-earned money for Halo 2 were disappointed with the game’s storyline and ending -- Bungie's Frank O'Connor agrees. "We drove off Thelma & Louise style," said O'Connor. "The trick is to avoid designing or writing by committee. You have to take what's best from the input you're getting and not have it turn into that too many cooks situation."

Part of the reason for the discontent with the game stems from the fact that Bungie didn't have the four to six week "polishing period" that it had with the original Halo blockbuster. "We had about four to five weeks to polish Halo at the end. No more than that. And that last five per cent is responsible for 30 per cent of the success of the game, or more. That's the period in which we really had a perfect storm," said technical lead Chris Butcher. "One of the things that stuns me when I think about it, and I can't believe this is true - we had none of that for Halo 2 ... We miscalculated, we screwed up, we came down to the wire and we just lost all of that."

Even more harsh words were reserved for Halo 2's multiplayer. "Even the multiplayer experience for Halo 2 is a pale shadow of what it could and should have been if we had gotten the timing of our schedule right. It's astounding to me. I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it. And that's why I know Halo 3 is going to be so much better," adds Butcher.

Bungie has a chance to not only improve on the tremendous sales success of Halo 2, but also to improve on the many letdowns brought forth with that title. Bungie has already notified testers selected for the Halo 3 beta and the title is expected to hit store shelves in time for the Holiday 2007 season. Bungie has a little less than a year to truly wow Xbox 360 owners out there and hopefully they won't let them down. Gears of War is already shaping up to be the “next big thing” for the Xbox 360 platform, so the Halo franchise isn’t the only game in town anymore.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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