NEWS - Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bungie Hopes to Knock COD4 Off Top Spot

Halo 3 hasn’t been top of the pops on Major Nelson’s Xbox Live activity charts for a little while now, but Bungie plans to fight back.

"We have a lot of awesome new content coming up. We’re not walking away from Halo 3," Bungie’s community lead Brian Jarrard told Eurogamer last week at GDC.

"We have a group of people at the studio that are just focused on keeping the game going strong for the foreseeable future, so I think we’ll continue to evolve and I expect there to be a back-and-forth [between us and COD4] for a while."

Jarrard also said the developer will tweak playlists to help maintain variety and incentivise players to return. And then of course there’s the Legendary Map Pack, which is due out this spring.

User-created content could also do with a spring-clean, as Jarrard acknowledged. "The problem we’re dealing with now is there’s just too much content," he said. "For a new person that just wants to find something fun that somebody else made, we don’t feel very good about the way we’ve done that.

"We are looking at it. That’s the great thing about the web - it’s totally fluid. We have people now that are working on different ways to potentially grade and aggregate and sort content, and it’s definitely something that I think is important for the feature to really get a foothold and contribute to Halo 3’s lifespan. It has to be something that’s accessible."

As for Call of Duty 4, Jarrard said that it "did a really good job about rewarding the player with perks and these little carrots that are a really powerful incentive to keep playing the game".

"A lot of us are Call of Duty fans. It’s great for the ecosystem and for the platform that we have this competition, right? With Halo 2 we were in a unique situation where we had a monopoly for three straight years, and we really haven’t seen a decline in the Halo 3 numbers, but Call of Duty’s doing really well."

Which doesn’t sound much like fighting talk to us, but then, hey, they’ve already finished the fight.

Look out for more from Bungie later this week.



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