I do appreciate that they care about the devs. I just wish corporate also cared about the project and knew that things like a 18 month contractor cycle are egregiously stupid, no matter how much money is ~~saved~~ lining their pockets


If they really cared about the devs they'd hire more so they could produce reasonable amounts of content since they're stretched so thin they can't do anything without crunch, and then classify them as employees instead of contractors. They're bragging about doing the bare minimum, priority zero is their trump card when people start asking why the game is barren.


Yeah they clearly don’t care about their employees considering the contractor situation


I've worked with temps in an office and spent a year helping them out instead of focusing. I can only imagine how stressful it is in a technical field like game development to have to keep helping 18 month contractors along while trying to work on your own stuff. So many devs basically had 2 jobs i assume. Its not a crunch, but its years of more stress than normal. I'm guessing 343 devs eyes roll so hard they're in the back of their head when hearing "priority zero".


Yeah it’s absolutely not a healthy environment, anywhere else high staff turnover is a pain to deal with because the training and stuff, like you say, is just impeding you and stressful.


This. They can say whatever the fuck they want, but at the end of the day, their actions tell a completely different story.


They have the last I knew 29 active positions that are posted. They’re certainly looking


Staff they should’ve hired 4 years ago


The problem isn’t that they didn’t, the problem was those positions (mostly, there are some lead positions) were most likely contractor positions.




Exactly. Nobody is forcing them to hire the bare minimum amount of workers and run them over the edge with outrageous hours. That is their own business decision to save money, and they should not be applauded for pretending to care. Hire double the amount of workers, problem solved.


Actually Microsoft forces them. But Microsoft should change that.


MS doesn't force them to hire contractors instead of employees. Contractors are cheaper because they don't have to pay them benefits. MS limits contractor terms to specifically to disincentivize EXACTLY this situation. If MS didn't limit contractors terms, everybody at 343 would be a contractor and they wouldn't have any employees at all and it would be the shittiest place on the planet to work. Problem is, 343 decided it was worth it to hire contractors anyway because their leadership is garbage and Bonnie Ross is an Xbox exec so she essentially just answers to herself.


Contract positions, maybe. But not hiring the bare minimum number possible.


It was the same thing with Apex. The devs always bragged how nobody works more than 32 or 40 hours and most people just play games during those hours instead. There's a difference between work life balance and no work and 343 is in the no work camp.




The nice thing about this is that the game is too big to fail in that, no matter how bad they fuck it up, Microsoft will sunk cost fallacy it. Player count could drop to 0 and they'll say "ok we need to do something now" because they already spent way too much money on the game for it to fail. We will get content at some point, it just isn't clear when.


My guess the 18 month contractor cycle is a response to Washington state limiting the length of a contract to encourage corporations to hire full time workers….rather than abuse contractors to avoid giving out benefits. Microsoft still seems to be abusing the law anyway lol.


I think of this whenever I see the ‘priority zero’ thing. During the Halo days, Bungie was a studio filled with devs who were passionate about the games they were making. This 18 month contract thing is nothing but detrimental to production, and I imagine it’s (at least a little) mentally straining to jump in and pick up someone else’s work for 18 months to then just hand it off again.


From a coding standpoint it's very difficult. It can take weeks or months just to get comfortable enough to make small bug fixes and then even longer to be able to contribute new features.


Yeah I've had to take over after other programmers that have left projects, and it can take a very long time to get used to how they code and understand everything they've done.


Even then on some code bases there are systems that you don’t even touch no matter how many years you have spent working on something because it’s never been needed.


This is exactly why this game is the way it is. It's fucking unbelievably stupid to bring in new people to work on content and expect it get done in a timely manner.


It's mentally straining and does not create a good work environment. Also is a way to curb labor power which shows how much they care about their work force


Didn't a few Bungie devs come out about how the crunch was horrible for them and their team?


It was, but it doesn’t help to have contractual workers either Edit: contractual workers that leave after 18 months.


They knew precisely how disastrous the community response to launch would be. They knew we hated the challenge system in the flights. They knew we hated Forge being decoupled from the game with Halo 5. They knew custom games were totally broken. And they knew full well how unacceptable it was to launch an incomplete game missing basic, core features that were expected from Halo. If they gave two fucks about the dev team, they wouldn’t have intentionally done all of that. They don’t give a fuck. They cared about raking in MTX money first and foremost. This “priority zero” nonsense is just a carefully crafted safety net for their malicious intent.


Exactly. The upper management at Halo needs to be axed. The mid-tier and lower management are only doing as instructed by the upper brass, so a person can't reasonably blame them for the issues with Halo since 343 took over. The weakest link at 343 is obviously the upper management and not the boots-on-the-ground devs building the game around the decisions being made by the upper brass.


>This “priority zero” nonsense is just a carefully crafted safety net for their malicious intent. This just reminds me of that Chris Rock bit: " *****s always want some credit for shit they supposed to do. "I take care of my kids" YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO YA DUMB MOTHERFUCKER" "We don't work our dev's to death" what do you want, a cookie?!


Well said. THEY HAD 6 YEARS PEOPLE!!!!!!


100% spot on. This also trickles to Phil Spencer. I read somewhere he said "Gamers need to be nicer to game devs" or some shit like that. I'm like..Bro...you are sidestepping all the criticism. He KNEW everything you just listed...and still had them release it. I really think Phil is a cool guy, but he is also a huge part to blame on why Infinite is the way it is. I can guarantee EVERYTHING would be A-Ok if they delayed it 1 more year and then release it in 2022 with all Season 1 and Season 2 content. But Phil probably said no, gotta make the shareholders happy. Also to add about the MTX. Anyone ever notice the ability to buy shit............is ALWAYS on(not removed like they have done with maps and game types) and never down. Think about it.


It’s up to 18 months. I was offered a 2 month, turned it down because they wanted me to move for that two months.


How can any new employee reasonably get quality work done in two months??


They can’t. Its MBA Stupid Evil


I mean it depends on your role. My role technically could as a rigger and simulation artist, but no one wants to do that. I have taken a stance to never work for Microsoft. Turn10 is the same way.


The way 343 is run is the problem.


I posted myself - but this is the answer. You can support the devs themselves, but someone or some team is massively profiting while they are treating their employees this poorly. Probably understaffed, etc., everything you are seeing in every industry in the US. So no, I WILL ABSOLUTELY NOT support 343. The devs, yea, they fuckin rock.


Fire Bonnie Ross.


Yes, but it's really a Microsoft-wide issue, and I don't think it is something that 343 can just magically fix by itself, even if upper management was replaced. Microsoft would have to exempt them from a company-wide policy of using contractors as much as possible in order for it to change. To say this another way, the issues at 343 are a symptom of a deeper problem of which no one at 343 has direct control. You can see this first-hand in the difference between 343, a subsidiary that Microsoft founded (hence the contractors) and other game devs that were bought by Microsoft, that do not suffer from the same policy.


Then what's the point of "live service"??????????


This is the biggest thing. How do you have so few people, so poorly managed, that your two options are: Inhumane or no content to a live service


They want to have the live service MTX sales without the live service content or effort. Why do you think they have 7 diffrent ways to buy the color blue? It's low-effort money.


I don't think anyone (any rational adults) are mad at the devs. They work insanely hard and are obviously passionate about halo and are consistently underappreciated. The issue is that from what we can see on the outside, and from what rumors we have from the inside of 343, there is a really poor management structure and the powers that be are not making decisions that make any sense whatsoever. On an individual level we all sympathize with the devs but the upper management seems to be woefully incompetent.


This is what I've been saying, that the issue lies not with the developers, but the upper management. That's where a change needs to take place.


Yeah "the devs" are not "the company 343" let alone xbox game studios let alone microsoft. The devs are put upon employees with basically zero control over what they make, in what order, or how long they spend on what parts of the game. Or honestly a lot of the time, even what bugs they fix. You can be mad at the company 343 and xbox games studios and microsoft without being mad at the devs. Criticism of the game is not criticism of the individual hands that made it. This isnt some situation where "we were just doing what we were told" is no excuse, its a video game, its a normal job. Same as getting mad about public transport doesnt mean you are attacking bus drivers or train cleaners. The idea that it is, is a diversion.


Ive been saying this for months now and have gotten so many downvotes lol.


I mean the devs could also be bad. We have no idea lol.


Managers shouldn't allow bad devs work to go through. If they are bad, it’s managers job to replace them. 343’s issues are definitely more management and trying to cut costs Edit - shouldn't




Yep. I honestly think the "priority zero" is lip service excuse to buy dev time for this rushed, unfinished game. I'd like it to be true. But it wouldn't be an issue whatsoever if they had hired devs as employees instead of contract labor from the get go. They wouldn't be in crunch and scrambling had they not made it necessary in the first place with such bad management. You can't flip a switch to transition to happy productive workplace, but I'll believe it's the real motivation when I see some proof.


I think as adults who work and have insight into corporate structures, if anything it makes me more mad knowing how bad 343 is fucking up Halo


There are games companies that don’t crunch their employees and still release things on time as a complete package. They had the better part of a decade to establish a proper pipeline.


It's weird that they seem to interpret people asking for a reasonable amount of content for a live service to mean that people are asking them to crunch. As if that's the only way to get more content out. How about... I don't know... Hiring more permanent staff? Higher quality project management? Better tools?


Definitely the intent. Their PR is wild. Remember all the BS about the UI that was immediately disproven by the community, or them not sure about the "feasibility" of slayer?


Well yeah that’s the whole point of the priority zero non sense. It’s just meant to deflect criticism and label those who rightfully criticize this game as bad guys


Because it's working perfectly. Now if anyone complains that it's a barren, unfinished game they'll just get responded to with "oh you hate workers? you want them working overtime?" I wish I had this PR at my job, I would kill to just turn in a project late and tell the client that I was simply choosing my own health over them lol.


They can't use the COVID card anymore so now they're making one up lol


Yup, it's all a smokescreen that people are buying into. I'd love to actually hear from devs themselves saying there's no crunch. Until then, this is all PR to keep people off their back.


Lol I noticed that Sketch would say "we're in shutdown mode" instead of "crunch" since 343i knows people dislike crunching. They're the same thing.


Or how about being a father during war? Yeah I would kill to NOT be fired for that dumb shit tone deaf tweet at my job.


Yup, management knew that as soon as they put that out there that shills like OP would IMMEDIATELY jump to defend the company. The game is an unfinished trainwreck and the 343 team is a skeleton of what it should be due to management’s practices, but no, the players are the bad guys for expecting the bare minimum of a triple A franchise installment half a year after it launched and six years into “development”.


Right? This is the only industry I’ve seen where people bend over backwards to absolve a company of responsibility, when it’s their cash that likely put them on the map in the first place. 343i wouldn’t exist without Bungie giving fans what they wanted for 10 years, and fans putting their cash down. Not a flawless run but nothing is perfect.


>It's weird that they seem to interpret people asking for a reasonable amount of content for a live service to mean that people are asking them to crunch. It's because they're looking for any excuse, any strawman argument to throw out there. Anything that can get people off their back, even if it's nonsense. Some people will see this and go, "well, the reason the game sucks is to avoid crunch! And if they're avoiding crunch, that's a good thing! The state of the game is a good thing and necessary!!!" People actually think this.


That's pretty much what I'm saying, indeed. I don't recall anybody ever asking them to crunch and yet we get this statement every time. I don't want to call this "gaslighthing", but it's becoming weird for sure.


I think the best thing they can do is to not make Halo a "live service" game. If they want to do that then concentrate on making a spin-off title where a separate dev team can concentrate solely on building that title. I dunno... have it called "Halo: Spartan Ops" or something original like that (/s) and build a battle royale system around that. Halo Infinite, both the single player and multiplayer, should have stuck to the traditional formula.


For the record, Halo 3 launched on September 25, 2007. Heroic Map Pack released on December 11, 2007, for $10 (the price single cosmetics in Infinite). It included 3 of the best maps Halo has ever seen. Legendary Map Pack released on April 15, 2008. It also came with 3 new maps, for $10. In 6 1/2 months Halo 3 released 6 maps. It was not a "live service". I don't think this is a problem of "traditional" vs "live service". Halo: Infinite isn't even keeping up with "traditional".


>I don't think this is a problem of "traditional" vs "live service". Halo: Infinite isn't even keeping up with "traditional". Agreed. I meant this thing they're doing of trying to shoehorn in concepts from live service games is a waste of time and that they really need to stick with the traditional formula because all we keep getting is a weird mashup of odd design choices.


Yea, it's like they want me to believe that asking for post game content is akin to asking for the 7 trials of Hercules, or slave labor. Video game developers are not a oppressed class of people


Right, the "crunch" game devs had in the past was because they had hard deadlines, there was a physical product that needed to be shipped, regular (or any) downloaded updates weren't a thing. Then its like "crunch" got built into the development cycle which just leads to more crappy management. So yes, avoiding "crunch", looking after your employees in general, is a good thing. I'm not a fan of just saying "hire more staff" in any workplace. Your goals need to reflect the resources you have. If you want to have bigger goals, then sure higher more staff to achieve them. But don't set unrealistic goals and then blame it on lack of staff or not wanting to stress your current staff when you don't achieve them. If 343 blames avoiding crunch for the lack of content it just shows they didn't actually manage anything differently to alleviate crunch, they just opted to not finish/delay content. 343 wanted Infinite as a live service game, I think it's fair to call them out on it. For comparison: Halo 3 had map packs released about every 6 months, Halo 4 had map packs every 3 months, Halo 5 had *monthly* content updates. By Infinite's standard, Halo 3-5 were live service games.


Hiring more staff is one of the 3 things I listed. 343i basically has unlimited resources. This is the Xbox brand's poster child. Lack of resources shouldn't really be a thing for them.


What I mean is just hiring more people doesn't fix things on its own. You're right, they're acknowledging crunch has been a problem in the past and they want to avoid it, but what are they actually doing they doing to avoid it? If they're just going to accept "it'll be ready when it's ready" as a solution than it doesn't matter how many people they hire.


No one is mad at them for taking health measures. It’s about the complete mismanagement of the project from the parent company. 343 is clearly not getting the help they need somehow. Which blows my mind because Microsoft made this company specifically for a beloved 20 year old IP, and yet it released with less content/polish than a Gears of War release. The optics are just bad when Microsoft drops $70bil on acquisitions but won’t get some more personnel in on the Halo IP. The fact that *Halo* of all franchises is struggling to keep up with modern releases is crazy.


Its gotta be 343 and MS. There is no way Coalition and Playground can put out Gears 5 (which had issues, but was somewhat content complete) and Forza Horizon every other year without issue. Sure, Halo had a new engine, but still.


It's a mix of both. The Coalition and Playground are both extremely efficient.


Both studios don't need to rework on their own engines. I keep thinking maybe it is time that 343 adopt a non in house built engine. It seems ROI the Slipspace engine is not as well realised.


Seems like restructuring an entire game engine while building a game doesn't work out the best. Plus bringing on new employees is a pain in the ass because they have to learn a brand new engine vs using a more used engine.


Coalition had a lot of similar issues at launch with gears 5. They did have all their features at launch but they also went more open world in the campaign which was a mixed bag, they had abilities locked to hero characters for horde which limited which character people would play since only 1 person could be them at a time, this was a big issue if you didn’t care about the meta but wanted to level up a character you liked. And multiplayer had pretty barebones options for base characters. They didn’t even have the full og delta team playable at launch. On top of the cash shop which sold characters that used to be free like the cyclops. Completely removed skins as unlockables in favor of the cash shop and free battle pass. Of course they made a ton of changes over the years like untying horde character abilities and making some shop content purchaseable with an earnable currency as well as adding in the characters that have been missing (about 3 per season). But at that point the damage is done and people move on. They even said that they weren’t concerned about players dropping because of game pass rotating new ones in but after a few months that didn’t really work out since sub par is still sub par and by the time the game gets fixed it’s old news. Halo is on a similar path but it’s a bigger name than gears which has been weak since post 3


With gears, the formula hasn't been touched... really at all since Coalition took it from Epic. Yes, Horde has changed a lot, and the writing is clearly different, but the core gameplay feel and loop hasn't really changed at all. 343 has changed the core in _each_ of their titles. With Horizon, Playground isn't on their own. They work closely with Turn10, since Motorsport and Horizon run on the same ForzaTech engine. There also hasn't been anything major done since MotorSport 5/Horizon 2 except maybe weather systems and more lighting. ForzaTech is in the process of a next gen overhaul (for the new MotorSport, we may see Playground delay the next Horizon to properly implement it). For this point, 343 is on their own. Further exasperated by the fact they also employed contractors, getting them even more into a silo of chaos.


This is crying over spilt milk but man I wish 343 had been as conservative as the Coalition in their handling of the franchise. Not saying never ever change the Halo formula but maybe get your feet under you when you're taking over a massive franchise with prior fan expectations.


right I didn't even think about the crazy money MS has been dropping on other studios. It does seem like 343 is due for some help.


You can't say that your "priority zero" is team health, after you fire most of the people who worked on your game.


They're portraying the issue as a false dichotomy. Just because we reasonably expect more content doesn't mean they have to crunch their employees to death to achieve it.


Saying that your prioritizing the health of the people that are left gets no points with me.


Exactly! "We prioritize the health of the massively overworked remainder of our workforce after we contracted out 85% of the work and expired those contracts on game launch." 343/MS doesn't actually care about employees health, they're just using the current political culture of supporting workers as a shield for their incompetence


You also can’t really say that, imo, when you refuse to hire permanent employees to get work done instead of contracted ones who have to learn how everything works before being let go and the process repeating itself. They say team health is a priority but they refuse to solve the upstream problem and instead just address the effects constantly which makes us more annoyed which affects their game which just makes everything bad for everyone involved.


PR shield, engage


Posts like these have to be some devs burner right? Or some PR burner lol.


100%, constant astroturfing after every disaster news drop


How does this topic get so many upvotes when all the comments are negative.


Damn you really fell for that corporate PR? Literally every single company does this to save face, doesn’t actually mean anything.


Don't believe this shit, another deflection passing the blame onto us. Always everyone but 343


Seriously, they set every deadline, not the fans.


You do know they had ample time to finish the product, right? This is not like cod where the developers had to release a game every year.




inb4 but development was only 2-3 years! You’re telling me it took 3 years to even start on infinite? Man, this game has been so poorly managed from all angles. Pandemic or not. Upper management needs to catch a freaking clue


This iteration yes. But Ms confirmed halo 6 was already being worked on back in 2015. They’re just incompetent and have no idea what they’re doing


Yea they had six years and they developed a partially baked product with no forge, no co-op, havent released new maps, and so much more.


It’s insane to me how so many people are so complacent with such little content when it took twice as long as every other Halo game to date.


These kids are used to unfinished garbage being shat out every week. That's all.


It’s sad to think that our kids won’t grow up seeing developers AND publishers truly care about their product.


It’s crazy how much gaming has evolved. Both for the worse and for the better. Change is strange.


Never forget the amount of kids who clearly don't have jobs on this sub celebrating F2P back at release and then defending all criticism with "its f2p you don't even have to pay anything" because they can't comprehend that some people would rather just pay $60 and have fun than spend 800 hours grinding and $6000 to unlock all the possible armor and colors. Nobody asked for F2P and nobody wanted it other than, no offense to people who enjoy them, F2P leaches who are usually kids/people with no money who will gladly take ANY crumb of content or gameplay with any stipulations as long as they don't have to spend money. And then the rest of us are left with a game that is thoroughly UNfun to play.


And to think they would've been ok with releasing it basically completely unfinished if it were for the community raising absolute hell over it. What the fuck were they doing? Apparently nothing because we know that team members and management were coming in and out of the project every couple months until they finally settled on bringing on Joe Staten mere months before the planned initial release. I'll give them credit where credit is due, they delayed the game, released it looking and sounding impressive and the base gameplay was a massive improvement but there is still no excuse for how many times they dropped the ball and the problems that still plague multiplayer. I would've gladly taken another year's wait knowing they were diligently working with the monthly updates they were giving us especially if I had known that it's essentially going to take an entire year for them just to release core features like coop, forge, a working theater, and proper custom games support. It sucks feeling so apathetic for a franchise that I hold so dear and feeling like I'm stuck playing MCC because those older games are just better, hands down, no nostalgia needed.


That’s why I always like the Infinity ward cod games. They reused a lot of assets but just refined systems year after year. At least multiple devs work on the mainline cod games and for a while they got 3 years each.


If they are worried about team health then they shouldn’t have gone down the games as a service route.


Exactly, team health is not an excuse to get away from subpar work. If you can't achieve your goal with your current team without interfering with their health then you've failed in your goal, and should adjust your goal or your resources appropriately.


Nah that’s dumb af. Work life balance matters but It’s not an excuse for the shit they’ve done/haven’t done


Except I feel like this is just a catch-all scapegoat excuse for not putting in the content that should already be here. No forge? We're avoiding crunch No customs browser? We're avoiding crunch Desync issues plaguing the game months after launch? We're avoiding crunch. At what point does it lose all its meanjng?


Why don't they hire more people? Honestly? When I have deadlines to meet and bills to pay nobody holds my hand. I got fuckin work to do. This shouldn't be a thing. It's a simple way of saying we are understaffed and over worked. There should be no "priority zero" that should just be everyday. Hire more people you fucks and do your jobs. Stop this whole "whaa life is hard, feel bad for us" shit. We all work, it sucks for everyone. Stop coming up with excuses and justifying not accomplishing what you're supposed to. Get better management in there. When I'm working on someone's 100k rig and they got places to be and work to get done there is no "priority zero" it's we hired you to do a job now do it. Weak, apathetic bs.


>There should be no "priority zero" that should just be everyday. ^^^^^^^^^. >*****s always want some credit for shit they supposed to do. "I take care of my kids" YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO YOU DUMB MOTHERFUCKER - Chris Rock


**"Priority 0" is a red herring**. Developer health and safety should never even be suggested to be pushed beyond its limit. 343i use priority 0 as an excuse as to why development is slow. Let me be clear, **development is not "slow" if its at max breaking point already**. If there is no way to go faster safely, then there is no way to go faster, *period*. Development isn't slow because of "Priority 0", its slow because of the poor management preceding the 2020 E3 demo. The same poor management that caused backlash, a delay and course correction in the year before a now 2021 launch. Management is to blame for the development pipeline being empty, which is perceived as "slow" development while developers fill that pipeline up again. "Priority 0" isn't to blame for "slow development" and to suggest so is purposely muddling the waters to protect terrible management staff.


The more they fall back on this the more I feel like it's appropriate to remind them how strong the labor market is in general right now, they should seek a company with a better work life balance. This would be in everyone's best interest. Not many courses end up with management holding the bag if there is a single scapegoat left standing beneath them. I feel like the more you uninvitedly assure your working conditions are great the worse your working conditions are. If crunch is so detrimental, maybe they should have resolved to make a new halo game sooner in the development of HALO infinite.




Then why release a game that’s barely finished. Fuck this and fuck the decisions they made. They made them, now they’re bitching about dealing with them.


Crunch wouldn't be necessary if management didn't spend 6 years spinning their dicks getting nothing done


Its good they arnt crunching their devs, but why do we, the consumer, have to pay for it? How about 343 stop being led by useless bean counting accountants and actually led by engineers who know how to budget time and money correctly and also how to properly manage a project...


How can you have crunch if you're not doing anything to begin with lol


I think the piority zero is a scape goat to deflect the slow pace in "new content". Just a reminder: Having a steady flow of content != Crunch. Having poorly management = crunch You could have a game with no new content and still have a lot of crunch. You can be working on fixing a game cunching every day and the user will think you are doing nothing. In the case of halo i think its both, they have a lot of issues they NEED to fix and content to work on so they (probably) split the teams in multiple parts to work at the same time in lets say forge, mp, qol, bugs, etc. So the time invested in content is way lower as if you have the full team on it. But it sounds nicer to say you care for your team and take things slow instead of saying "we have a ton of issues that are taking man power to fix that could have been making mew content"


Well said. Treating your employees like human beings should be the absolute bare minimum. Their continued emphasis on "priority zero" reads like a thinly veiled way to keep criticism of the slow content delivery contained as much as possible. People gotta understand that players being upset at devs for not having consistent updates for their supposed live service offering is not synonymous with wanting them to crunch. Crunch almost always occurs due to poor project management and unrealistic deadlines. And as you correctly say, having a consistent update cadence does not in any way have to involve crunch. "Priority zero" just sounds better than, "We're grossly behind schedule due to mismanagement." (Also, there's no guarantee that they aren't crunching. There have been several cases where devs delay games "for the health of the team," only for an article to come out several months later that - shock! - details the continued reliance on crunch. ((Or even that it had intensified)). This isn't to say that 343 isn't being more mindful of the health and work-life balance of their employees - I certainly hope they speak true! But you can't always take devs at their word for matters like this when the industry has historically shown gross indifference to the health of its workers. Especially when we know that 343 crunched hard to get the game out the door.)


I’m sorry, but I really don’t care about how anyone that works in this game feels they had six years to give us a product and it comes half finished then cry about their “health” when we demand they do their damn job. If people at 343 can’t handle the pressure of deadlines and criticism, they should probably just quit.


No-one is against this, but what crunch exactly? There's less content in Halo than any other game at the moment. And what have they given us since release? Everyone talks about their health and the crunch, but what have they been doing? No one is working it seems because nothing has been produced. ​ Yeah, "bla bla behind the scenes". I would agree that there shouldn't be a crunch if the community were expecting new maps every month or something, but what exactly are we being toxic or unreasonable over here? There is nothing to show for this so called "crunch". If there was, I'd be on board "guys, come on, they need a vacation now, we've had 6 months of solid content and updates. Lets just play the game" But that isn't reality. Clearly they dont have any people working there and the people they do, obviously need a break as it's all fallen on them. They need to hire full time engineers and not contract this crap out. So we all agree with not having "crunch" to a degree. All companies have deadlines and if I dont meet them, someone else will. So within limits, but crunch and deadlines are the part of having a decent career. If you want to compete, you need to meet deadlines. Within reason of course. But there has been nothing to show for whatever they're doing, so using this as an argument against the community is just another way to try and make us look bad for expecting a full fledged halo game. ​ Halo sub = bad devs = humans ​ Yes we get it, we're all scum bags for wanting more than 1 arena map in a year.


Karma farm


I'm sorry, this is probably harsh but "no crunch" is not a shield for 343 to hide behind or a get out of jail free card. They need a substantial bigger team if regular seasonal content is causing crunch.


Using your employees as a shield is nothing more than a distraction from bad management. 343 set every deadline not the fans.


Except they DONT give a shit about their devs. They relied almost ENTIRELY on contract work in the dev cycle. That means NO BENEFITS, JOB INSECURITY, and no way to achieve full time employment. 343 CHOSE to be shitty to their teams, and now they are just pretending to care. Until there is actual evidence of a culture shift, they are as dog ass in terms of worker’s rights as any other dog ass game dev company.


The priority zero is just completely tone death at this stage. 343 should have all the resources in the world, there's no excuse for this severe lack of content. Most reasonable people do respect and support the devs, and it's not fans that create crunch, it's incompetent management. Now anytime i read this priority zero, what is really being conveyed is "we are incompetent and instead of addressing our lack of content and flawed development cycle, we're reminding you that we can't fix our incompetence by overworking our people." Ok thanks.


It isn't completely tone deaf, it's working. I mean this post is at the top of the sub currently, so it's getting 343i the press they wanted. And now every minor criticism inevitably invokes someone saying "well do you want the poor devs to be overworked to death?" Even though it's clearly malarkey, just having it included in discussions on the game is a win for them.


Lmao "stay healthy" by ditching the mandatory contract workers to save money.


i care about game devs, but im still gonna bash this game to the dirt so maybe they can work on something else instead of this fucking dumpster fire seriously why do i need to do 20 challenges in a week to get a black visor this is fucking stupid


It is not our job. We are the consumers ffs. We shouldn’t have to painfully detail every little change in the game we want, make a huge wave if they try and fuck us over and most of all shouldn’t have to make sure the developers are paid enough or not working too much. WTF is this industry becoming? Not saying I don’t care but Jesus. It is NOT our task. We don’t pay them money to then babysit them and do their job, do we?


no one is cracking out the whip and making ridiculous demands. I want to know what has happened to the “9-5” ya’ll have been working on it for the last 6/7 years now.


There's always people who fall for the PR. Now whenever people ask for the content, the defenders use this "priority zero" excuse as to why the game is barren of content for so long, as if asking for content that the dumb franchise had for so many years is somehow demanding that they crunch.


Having insane crunch pre release and then saying "no we care about our poor devs" post release is just leveraging their fake humanity for people just like you who will make excuses. If you honestly believe they're not pushing overtime there regardless of these claims you're nuts. It's a marketing and or statement and I'm sure it's not in practice


I dunno man. I feel like this is a shit excuse. Of course - of course I don’t want the team to crunch and hate their jobs. This is on 343 and Microsoft to get more support. As a consumer this really isn’t my problem. I feel like this is a get out of jail free excuse


It's totally 343/MS taking advantage of the political climate of worker support to shield the fact they failed to provide an adequate team to support a live service game. Servers, expecting content on a live service basis, they always deflect onto the consumer


what the hell does 'aggressively looking' mean?


Hire more personnel, its a AAA game with zero content. Not my problem if I don't want to play the same 4 maps over and over.


If they truly cared about team health, they'd invest in more permanent staff to handle the increased workload. Any other opinion gives management a blind pass.


If they really cared about the devs they wouldn't of rushed a half finished release for the holidays


You guys shouldn’t fall for this, the company has a responsibility to its customers, saying “the game should be better”, shouldn’t translate to “let’s crunch our workers”. They know this to be the case, it’s just a scapegoat


This isn't about their rights. This is a excuse they are hiding behind. No one is saying they have to work like slaves. We want to see them *actually produce content*. Video game devs are not an oppressed minority class in society, point blank.


Don't give me excuses for 343's snail pace.


343i is supposedly a "no crunch" studio, they _already_ shouldn't be crunching. Also, them crunching isn't on me to control, I can't make them crunch or not crunch. I say "delay the game" which is pretty much the most direct support I can give. Microsoft says "release the game at X date", and they do. So am I to blame for leadership making 343 release the game? Responsibility shouldn't be dumped on the consumers when the consumers don't even have insight to what's going on behind the scenes in the first place.


Sorry, I don't support a company that's incompetent and had 6+ years to develop the game. Don't care, if they can't develop a good halo game with everything that's needed to be in the game, then they deserve all the hate.


Or, what about this wild idea of, i don't know, just creating a proper game from the start to avoid being forced in to crazy work hours that jeopardize your health?


They hide behind this as a shield against valid criticism. Excuse making of the highest order. If they aren't careful, Ben Simmons might sue them for patent infringement on his work avoidance strategies


If employees can’t deliver content quickly and efficiently, within a regular 40 hour week, for a live service game in 2022… a format that is quickly becoming industry standard, I might add… there are other pressing issues that need to be tended to. How did they dig themselves into a hole in the first place? Why weren’t higher-up’s/managers aware of this? …or were they? 343 is a mess, end of story. They’re digging their own grave.


Yes it's definitely a good thing. But they are so damn proud of their "priority zero" policy that it's getting obnoxious. Awesome, your company doesn't grind your workers to the bone, congratulations? Now can you please make a game that isn't garbage?


Ok, how about instead of three years between games we give them SIX years. That's more than enough, right? RIGHT?!?!


It is not our responsibility to praise 343 for claiming to not treat their employees like shit…


I'm sorry but every time they hop on the "poor pitiful us and our avoidance of crunch" bandwagon it sounds like a scapegoat they hope no one will question. Glad I can expect singleplayer Bethesda games on Xbox because I'll never convince any of my peers that Halo is worth getting one for anymore.


This is clear, laughably transparent PR deflection. If they gave a shit about their "priority 0" they wouldn't have axed 80% or whatever it was of their workforce after launching. Crunch doesn't happen because of unrealistic demands by the consumer, it happens because of egregious mismanagement. They needed to delay it by another 6 months to a year but just won't acknowledge that, so we get this fluff piece. I'm sure the truth is the devs are getting crunched to hell fixing this broken ass mess but 343 needs SOME kind of excuse for why there's no content in their "live service" game, and this is an easy way to blame the consumer. By the time anything is actually in this fucking game the playerbase is going to be long evaporated.


Honestly I find the above statement extremely manipulative and wrong. You don’t use the mental health of your employees to deflect fair criticism. There are many other ways they could have worded this such as “the size of our team is currently hindering our goals” or “we need to expand the team to hit the expectations of our fans”, etc. This statement is already being used by news outlets to deflect critiques of the game’s content stream. Hire more people there are plenty of successful live service games, stop painting it as some intense task. There are scenarios where this type of statement makes sense, maybe when a game isn’t out yet and continues to be delayed. But not 6 months in after a year delay. Like many comments here point out no rational person is mad they don’t wanna mistreat their employees, but that wasn’t a part of the conversation and isn’t our concern. I’m glad they can prioritize the health of their employees, but that doesn’t change they can’t properly manage the product and expand their team as needed to hit their own deadlines.


If the implication is that 343 is a human suffering engine that can't get any work done without overworking their employees, then their management all need to be fired just the same.


Bruh. This Micro$oft's FLAGSHIP TITLE. Money out the ass to get people on board. 6 years. Lack of content? This the *least* content we've ever gotten this far into a Halo game. Ever. They *must* already be taking Priority Zero *twice* with the amount of shit they've actually done. .


Honestly you're wrong. If they cared about employee health they wouldn't have released a unfinished game and expect them to fix it live service style.


A virtue signalling post again, no rational person believes they should sacrifice developer health.


they couldve cared about devs and made a complete game, of course taking care of employees is important, but its not why theres no content.


I support the the devs all the way, but it’s so frustrating when 343 and Microsoft can’t learn from their past mistakes. I honestly would of preferred if infinite was never released until they had a complete package that was ready at launch. But instead drip feed content and continue to have a frustrated community.


I mean I hope they can get their feet under them running. I don't know about everywhere else because there's no way to accurately measure the data due to it not being available to public but steam has lost 97% of their players. Retention for games that are successful on steam generally maintain a player base of around 30-40% after peaking.


Lol, fuck the devs. Maybe the community wouldn’t be so upset if they hadn’t botched every single Halo release under their care. I’m out of patience. I’m out of good-will and trust. We’ve had 10 years of 343i being a shit ass company that clearly has no idea what they’re doing, and myself and a surprisingly huge chunk of the community are sick of it and ready for someone that isn’t incompetent to take a stab at making a good Halo title.


It seems as if 343 wasted all the money that was budgeted for the lifetime of Infinite dicking around for 6 years and now have to scrape around behind the couch cushions for the budget to sustain the game.


Anyone not expecting the third battle pass to be six months? They'll be going on their winter break shortly thereafter and we know how long it takes them to "ramp things back up" when BTB broke down last year.


It’s all deflection at this point. If 343i actually cared about the well-being of their developers they wouldn’t be overworking contract employees and tossing them aside like used napkins. Anyone who actually believes this corporate spin is delusional.


If their rights are being violated then of course thats a problem, but I really dont think they are. They are in what is likely a well paying position that they can leave if they choose to. If there are issues with the rights being violated somehow, then we as consumers arent to blame (and likely dont have even the tiniest bit of control on getting that fixed. Thats why there are proper authorities to address such workplace issues). If they are being overworked without proper compensation, then again Id say the same thing. What power do we have to address that? The developers can leave if they dont feel they are being treated fairly. I support that. The issue then is with management. The reality is we would all love to support their game. Thats why we are here. But its clear management is incompetent. No one here is mad at the employees working under that management. We are upset with those in charge for making bad decision after bad decision. Take anti-cheat for example. They shouldve been developing anti cheat software from the moment they internally decided to make the game F2P (before they even announced to the public of this decision). But they didnt, and instead we get a half-baked solution that is detrimental to the players and makes many people just quit playing.


This game took years and years to make and all of the contractor BS put all of this stress on the developers at 343… whoever put this franchise into whatever direction it’s in is the main issue here.


Okay, hire more people to work on the game then. 6 months with no new content is unacceptable


If you have to crunch then you’re understaffed. Hire more people, this is Microsoft’s baby, one of the biggest companies of all time and they’ve thrown hundreds of millions into this and previous titles, figure it out already. People do 10x more with 10x less.


If 343 cherishes its devs so much, why does it terminate their contracts after just two years?


If they cared about their employees they wouldn't hire contractors. They'd hire full-timers with benefits.


I don't agree with the title of your post at all. If I fuck up at my job, it's expected that I make up for it by putting in extra work. Fixing the original mistake and doing it again right will undoubtedly take more time than just doing it right once. So now they are behind but it's ok because of the worker's health? The people over at 343 are so damn soft. They fucked up so they might need to work a little harder and longer for a few months to fix what they did.


Unpopular opinion- What 343i management/Microsoft do to ensure their staff aren't worked to death has VEEERRY little to do with the consumer and I worry it has an effect of putting what is a hot button topic of crunch, on the conscience of the consumer when asking for content or critique of percieved mismanagement. Now I do think if we were to find out 343i staff were mistreated it could be argued we as a consumer have a moral obligation to not support the company sure. But to use it within the reason of why content is at a snail's pace is abit iffy. Does not sit right with me because ultimately they should not get a free pass because they're not working their staff to death. It's not really our business (unless we have clear proof of mistreatment then we may have a moral imperative to not support). To this community- I think we should praise efforts to end crunch but just be wary of how things are spun and definitely not use it as an excuse to shut down criticism. But imo it will be, it's Reddit and folks just love shutting criticism down under the guise of grandstanding.


This Priority Zero is a fucking smokescreen and I'm fed up with hearing about it. Half a year to put processes in place that would put them on track to delivering content. They've had half a fucking year, and they're still throwing out articles about Priority Zero being the reason they're extremely light on content and the next Season is going to be a further half year? Yeah that's just insulting. There has to be some sort of middle ground wherein they can avoid crunch yet still deliver a AAA experience, otherwise I really have to point out the fucking obvious.... If after half a year you're still complaining about avoiding crunch, despite having access to massive development resources, is Halo Infinite as a live service title, and 343i as a AAA studio even viable? Probably not. Priority Zero is agreeable, but stop using it as a fence to hide behind each time you further disappoint the community. They've given you their money and half a year of their time. If you can't deliver anything reasonable to a supposedly live service title in that time then regardless of whether you want to focus on team health, the reality is that THIS ISN'T WORKING.


Claiming they care about employee health while using contract labour is a bit rich


Yes, crunch is bad. They launched a live service game without and long-term content support, we are allowed to be annoyed that the lead devs don't have great judgement.


On a side... Sure thing. However, after 7 years development time and not even getting to a content level we could expect from a Halo game 2 decades ago, what the hell is this development cycle? Exactly why is it so fucked and how come they are actively de-prioritizing map development? Why do we still have so little and after a year we continue to have very little in terms of map variety. Almost sure people would be fine if there were more maps and the Playlists included better game modes, how fucked must a development be to be building off from H5's engine and not even be able to add a simple game mode like infection, the functionality of which is already in the game, they just won't enable it


I’m not mad at the devs. I’m mad at the higher ups. The people who have been in charge of the studio since they took the reins of Halo from Bungie. This isn’t about just Infinite. This is about a cycle of Halo releases that have underhwelmed. Infinite is just the latest reason. I appreciate the people on the ground floor grinding everyday. The people in charge have done you a disservice.


No one is mad at the devs. The “priority zero” rhetoric comes across virtue signaling to gain sympathy for 343 instead of the management who made this mess (whether 343 or Microsoft) taking accountability.


I have said it before, and I will say it again: the game should have been delayed for another year. Perhaps more. The fact that A. we are only getting two new maps and B. they are only now trying to minimize crunch AFTER THE GAME HAS LAUNCHED is a direct consequence of horrific mismanagement and poor leadership on both 343 and Microsoft's sides. Despite a decent launch, Infinite has gone on to become yet another example of why live services are so hated.


How about using the years they had to set themselves up for success? They caused this crunch by not using time and resources wisely.


If they actually cared about devs they wouldn't be doing a live service model. They killed the devs rushing this game and then pretend like they care about the devs because the physically can't push them anymore.


Just a reminder, we didn't have Big Team working until February because they took a month and a half vacation for "team health". Now a few months later they're talking about how crunched they are? No.


This whole thing is bullshit. They’re trying to paint the situation as if there are only two possibilities: A) let the devs work at a healthy pace that allows work/life balance B) run their devs into the ground by forcing unhealthy and unsustainable workloads on them Uhhhhh, how about hiring more people? How about better management of your workforce and assets? HOW ABOUT— you don’t release a “live service game” without the means to follow through on that. They could have delayed it and had seasons prepped and ready to go. Even for a yearly release franchise like call of duty, this wouldn’t be enough new content for a 12 month period. And don’t even try to compare it to fort or apex, or even rocket league. It’s pathetic. And it sucks because this was their chance to make halo a big franchise again. But I don’t see it coming back from this.


Priority zero responsibility


😂😂 Oh that’s why they’ve fucked up 4/4 releases


Unpopular opinion Ya know, them being on crunch for the better part of a year should at least mean they have a semblance of what they promised. What am I saying? I don't really think they're working as hard as they say they are. I think this is just to get sympathy from appropriately pissed off fans. The things people are asking for are not hard to implement, especially for a game that had five years to develop after the previous release. I grew up on Halo, and it has always been my favourite franchise. It died and these people are just burying it. Halo Infinite had a shot at glory and they crashed and burned it in a way I would have never thought possible.


Genuinely curious... I keep hearing a lot about crunch lately but what exactly is considered crunch? Anything over 40 hours a week? I work in a warehouse so I'm 100% no stranger to overtime especially during the weeks preceding holidays (especially Thanksgiving.... F Thanksgiving lol). In my mind I picture a big game release to be akin to what Thanksgiving is to us and subsequent dlcs/new seasons would be like our work ups to other holidays. Not everyone likes the OT but we all know it's gonna happen due to us having much higher case counts than normal. That said if we weren't getting paid time and a half for anything over 10 daily or 40 weekly I'd be singing a much different tune and if devs aren't compensated for overtime then f that. I'm not saying that devs need to be working 20+ hours of overtime a week during these times but it really feels to me like the current anti-crunch movement the last couple years seems a bit overdramatic.


It’s not our fault for wanting more content, it’s the exec’s fault for assigning like 12 people to maintain a live service game in one of the biggest, most beloved franchises in gaming history.


I have no trust in 343 that they arent crunching


6 years…..6…… ::plays world’s smallest violin that the UI can handle::


No way. You must be joking. They delayed this game FOR A YEAR. and it still is sub par. 343 does not know how to handle the halo ip. They probably all made popcorn and cheered when master chief took off his helmet in the paramount + show (which I will never watch)


Respecting the devs rights is not the costumers' duty. It's the employers.


It would be easier to be patient if they shared anything with us about how their team/outlook has shifted in the past, say, year or so. Is this the same team that thought turning team slayer into a playlist was a good idea?


I love watching this dumpster fire burn. Watching huge companies screw up their launches for greed gives me warm feelings. This, Battlefield2042, Cyberpunk, Anthem. It was fun to watch. The only way to actually make this better is to not support it. Uninstall and don't buy their garbage cosmetics. I guess people like that... so I'll just sit in the corner with my popcorn and poke a comment here and there.


Cope. They’re part of a billion dollar mega corporation. If they don’t want crunch they should hire more people. (This would eat into their profits tho :/)


It’s not one or the other. Crunch sucks and I’m glad they’re not forcing it, doesn’t mean I’ll give them a free pass for this joke of a game.


Jesus the oily one! Defending a studio that has historically bungled all their attempts at freshly launching a multi-billion dollar franchise does nobody any good. All studios work, and almost every AAA studio suffers crunch. Consumers do not demand crunch, consumers do not insist on crunch being a requirement for production of said goods. It is the management who sets absurd goals and refuses to budge from their position, forcing the workers to crunch. Tell the 343 management to go take a refresher course on how to run an organization in the 21st century. Look at other AAA studios with major titles and how they are doing. Playground Games is an excellent comparison. They make Forza by themselves. 343 made Infinite with SkyBox Labs, Sperasoft, The Coalition, Certain Affinity and Atomhawk and still couldn't deliver on their vaunted promises. Poor excuses for poor decision-making. Tsk.


This is the dumbest cop out ever. Fucking hire more people. Nobody cares about excuses, we care about the end product. Use the millions of dollars at your disposal to figure it out. This is the type of lip service they give to the basic ass fans and the basic ass fans just eat it right up.