When Halo 5 announced that this would be the first game in the series without split screen gameplay, 343 Industries received much backlash over the lost feature. And while the reason for removing split screen play was to enhance the visuals and improve the AI, overall consumer responses seemed to dislike the loss of a split screen feature over the focus on visuals. Recently, Halo franchise development director Frank O’Connor teased that while Halo 5 won’t ever be receiving a patch for split screen play, Halo 6 might see a return of one of the game franchise’s most beloved features.
Frank O’Connor revealed in an interview with GamesRadar that due to the 60 FPS that Halo 5 runs on, it would be impossible to patch a split screen option into Halo 5. “Realistically, for Halo 5, it’s not something we can just throw in a patch,” O’Connor said. “The simulation the game runs at is 60 frames per second; you’ve seen how big the vistas are; you’ve seen things like the kraken and so on and so on and so on. It’s just not feasible with the engine works. The blowback from it has been huge within reason.”
While he states that split screen apparently isn’t actually used as much as one would believe, plans are in the works to possibly involve a split screen option into Halo 6.
“It’s certainly a conversation we’ll have about the next game,” he said. “We haven’t said, ‘Split-screen is done and we’ve abandoned it.’ Making a game is about finding a schedule and a list of priorities and technical features that you can actually achieve. And the commitment to 60 frames per second, we knew was going to create some issues. And one of those, unfortunately–and we don’t feel good about this–one of those unfortunately is split-screen. So we’ll talk about it for the next game and we’ll talk about it for the future. But it really is a giant technical hurdle and not a trivial thing.”
It seems odd that within a few paragraphs, O’Connor would go from admitting that there was a huge amount of backlash over losing split screen gameplay, then to stating that few people actually use the feature, then discuss how they’re already planning on how to reintegrate the feature into the series. Do you think that Halo 6 will see a return of split screen play? Miss the split screen play of the series while playing Halo 5? Sound off in the comments!