This is a reblog from Halo Waypoint (with my commentary in blue):
From the very beginning, community creations have been central to the Halo experience. From stacking up grenades underneath an unsuspecting Warthog to multiplayer movie-making, the Halo sandbox has always been fertile soil for millions of moments and memories created for, and by, the fans.
In 2007, Halo 3 upped the ante with the introduction of a map editing tool called Forge, and quite literally changed the game forever, enabling a cascade of creativity, from new map and unique game type experiences to interactive art – all created by the community itself.
When Forge was redesigned from the ground up for Halo 5: Guardians on the Xbox One, it opened the door to even more inventive community-created content, pushing the boundaries even further to give players more power and control than ever before, and removing barriers to allow for the creation of incredible, high quality maps. From the stunningly beautiful maps created by WyvernZu, to the hilarious mini-games from TurbTastic, we’ve been continually blown away with the countless crazy and creative experiences that Halo fans have made. As a famous Spartan once said, however, “I think we’re just getting started…”
Today, we’re excited to announce that we’re bring this same spirit of creation and collaboration to the PC later this year with Forge – Halo 5: Guardians Edition for Windows 10. Best of all? It will be absolutely free. In addition to the evolutions already present in the mode on Xbox One, Forge – Halo 5: Guardians Edition for Windows 10 will include some exciting new features designed specifically with PC users in mind, including:
Keyboard & Mouse Support – For the first time ever, Forgers will have the option of using a keyboard & mouse allowing for more precision and control than ever before.
Increased Resolution – Support for multiple resolutions including 4k.
Test and Play with Friends – Enlist the help of Friends to help build, test, and play your Forge creations on Windows 10.
Build on Windows 10 and Publish to Xbox One – Experiences built on Windows 10 can be published to and played on Xbox One, opening the doors for countless new experiences to be enjoyed by players all over the world.
HFFL: Okay, while this news may be exciting for some, I for one am extremely apprehensive about this. I’ll explain fully, later in the article.
If you’re already finding yourself excited about the incredible possibilities that are opened up by expanding Forge to the Windows 10 platform, trust us, you’re not alone. 343 Industries UGC Director, Tom French, and his team are already chomping at the bit to get these new creative tools into the hands of the community.
Forge on the PC will finally give the mouse/keyboard editing precision the community has always been clamoring for. On top of that, an updated and optimized UI geared towards mouse interactions makes a lot of the inputs in Forge easier/faster than before.
Since we released Forge in Halo 5 we’ve seen so many amazing new things come from it – from weird mini-games we could have never anticipated to meticulously crafted maps that are even approaching the visual quality of internally built maps. The team has continued to wonder what we’d get if we could put Forge in the hands of as many people as possible, and making it free on Windows 10 literally gives the chance to anyone who wants to jump in and try their hands at building a cool new map for Halo 5. I’m excited to see what the future content from the community will bring!
– Tom French, UGC Director, 343 Industries
We’ll have a lot more to share about Forge – Halo 5: Guardians Edition on Windows 10 later this year, but look for even more exciting updates coming to the Forge experience in Halo 5: Guardians on the Xbox One in the coming months – including new environments, advanced file sharing capabilities, new pieces, palettes, props, and much more.
HFFL: So, why, you may be wondering am I apprehensive? Quite simply, I foresee this as the start of the end of Halo on the XBOX. To take it a step further, I foresee this as the start of the end of XBOX. Why? Microsoft has already made it known that they lose money on consoles. As well, they have a desire to put games on PC. While PCs outnumber game consoles in general and from a business perspective it might make sense, this will leave behind those who do not have PCs or do not wish to use theirs as a gaming platform. I for one am a MAC owner and can’t afford a PC just for gaming.
So why would this be the end though for Halo on XBOX? Well, first, let’s look at one key thing. Why of all games would Microsoft put Halo, it’s flagship game franchise on PC? Surely there isn’t that many Forgers out there to warrant a PC release. Rather, I should say, that many who would actually forge using their PC. Yes, quality of graphics may see better, but if you’re publishing those maps to XBOX (at present), then the quality becomes a non-issue, as ultimately it would still end up on the XBOX. No, bringing Forge first to PC enables a window for which to test the waters of the viability of Microsoft games succeeding on PCs. And yes, I know Halo 2 was on PC….That was a long time ago though and things have changed.
PC gaming has exploded in popularity. Microsoft wants a share of that. By bringing it’s most well known franchise (back) to PC, it signifies a shift in concentration from the XBOX console to a whole new level for them. Should Forge take off and do well, there is nothing stoping Microsoft from bringing the full game to PC. THIS is where the problem then lies. Why again you may ask? Well, if Halo goes PC, there is no reason for Microsoft to continue making XBOXs. They would save themselves a ton of money by not making consoles and shifting focus to developing games for PC solely. This would put the cost on the consumer to upgrade their PCs as necessary to be able to play more and more robust games and have the memory for them as well. Whereas now, consoles in general have a shelf life. We’re already on our third XBOX console, with the original XBOX, the 360, and now the One.
Quite honestly, there would be no turning back. Microsoft knows PC. In fact the PC is rather reliant on Microsoft(ware) for much of it’s functionality from a user standpoint. Cutting out their own middle man (the XBOX) again saves them money, and just as importantly, development time of consoles as well as constant support. Without have to concentrate resources on those, developing games becomes MUCH easier for MS.
So again, you may be saying, but why is this a bad thing? Let me give you some examples:
• As stated earlier, not all gamers are PC users. I’m a MAC guy
• Not all homes have PCs (though that’s less and less each day)
• Not all gamers want to play on their PCs.
• Families that have only 1 PC may not want their kids to ‘hog up’ the time with the PC for gaming (this is one I see as the deal breaker for many)
• PCs are MUCH more prone to cyber attacks, hacking, viruses, etc.
• For those not owning/using PCs, it would mean learning a whole new operating system. (Yes, I know, minor to some, but not to all)
Folks, there are many of us that just want to have a gaming console for games and keep our computers for other things like the web and business. How many of you are in at least partial agreement that the XBOX One has just too much added stuff? It’s become more than a gaming console. Something many of us didn’t want. Not to mention the added expense we had to pay for them, with options many of us just don’t use, or use very infrequently.
Microsoft shot themselves in the foot a couple of years back when they focused their E3 presentation on all the other aspects of the XBOX One and not games. As a result, Playstation 4 became the ‘winner’ of the console race for this generation of console wars. By eliminating the need for an XBOX console by developing games for PC, Microsoft doesn’t need to win a console war, they just need to win you over on using your PC for gaming.
Undoubtedly, there would be many who would shift to PC for gaming. However, many would be left behind. Using myself again as an example, unless things change for me financially, I wouldn’t be able to get a PC and my gaming days would essentially be done.