It’s the week that fans of the best-selling first-person shooter series Halo have been waiting for: the release of The Master Chief Collection (you can read our assessment of the game’s Singleplayer modes here).
After going through the process of downloading the hefty 15 GB day one download – 60 GB if you bought the game digitally – millions sat down to play the infamous multiplayer mode, but managed to find themselves waiting up to 20 minutes to be connected to a game. Fans on Reddit even report on having tried to connect for six hours, only to find themselves connecting to just a couple of matches. The outrage has even led users of the site on to compiling a list of bugs, ranging from audio and chat problems to crashes and frame rate issues.
Microsoft were quick to release a statement, writing “Xbox members, are you having a tough time matchmaking in Halo: The Master Chief Collection? As you read this message, we’re working with our external partner to correct this issue right away. We appreciate your patience in the meantime! We’ll update you again when we have more information.”
Executive producer at 343 Industries, Dan Ayoub, also issued a statement to Halo Waypoint: “We’ve received several, well deserved, complaints related to slow matchmaking and other issues. From everyone at 343 Industries, we are truly sorry and feel your frustration. You deserve better and we are working day and night to find solutions as quickly as possible, with our first priority focused on matchmaking improvements.”
Yesterday, 343 Industries delivered and released an update on the server side to fix the matchmaking. The company said that they have definitely seen some improvement, but are “working around the clock” to improve matters even further, and many players are still reporting problems connecting.
“We are aware of issues some players have been experiencing with matchmaking and we’re working around the clock, alongside the Xbox Live team, to improve the situation,” a spokesperson for Microsoft explained. “We have deployed an update that has shown some improvement, and we continue to optimise the experience. The update deployed to matchmaking was done on the server side and does not require an extra download to your Xbox One. This is our top priority and will keep everyone updated regularly as we deploy continued improvements.”
This isn’t the first time a popular game has had multiplayer server issues on the day of release and we’re sure it won’t be the last. Grand Theft Auto V players had trouble connecting to the multiplayer after last year’s launch and Rockstar have stated that they haven’t ruled out problems occurring for the current gen launch on November 18, and Sony-exclusive Driveclub has been plagued with problems since launch, a state of affairs which ultimately led to Sony pulling the PS+ version of the game from PSN altogether, with no sign of when – or if – it will eventually return.
We have no doubts here that once the issues have been ironed out, Halo: The Master Chief Collection will have as memorable a multiplayer as the original games, and for those experiencing issues with multiplayer matches, at least there’s a wealth of singleplayer content to keep you busy. As Maddy stated in his singleplayer review, “even if there were no multiplayer at all, these are four 9/10 campaigns bundled together with varying degrees of remastering and increased frame-rates. Not since Super Mario All-Stars on the SNES has a whole series of games been thoroughly overhauled and bundled together in a complete, and comprehensive package.”