Every first-person shooter Halo game from now on will have split-screen, developer 343 has said.

Halo 5 launched without split-screen, much to the annoyance of long-term fans of the series. At the time, then 343 chief Josh Holmes said the decision to remove split-screen from Halo 5 "was one of the most difficult ones we've ever had to make as a studio".

"We know that for many of our fans, Halo has meant playing together with friends in the same room," he said. "We all have great memories of past Halo split-screen multiplayer matches.

"To move Halo's gameplay forward and deliver a true next-gen experience, tough choices had to be made. Our decision was driven by a desire for scale, fidelity and focus to ensure that we would deliver the best quality experience possible.

"With Halo 5 we are delivering massive scale environments, improved AI behaviour, increased visual and gameplay fidelity... something that truly takes advantage of a new platform. Many of our ambitious goals for Halo 5 would be compromised in a split-screen setting and the time spent optimising and addressing split-screen-specific issues would take focus from building other parts of the game.

"Game development is a balancing act of resources, time and technology, and in this case we made the tough decision to sacrifice something that's been near and dear to us all."

Now, in a talk at the DICE conference, 343 boss Bonnie Ross confirmed that the studio had learnt from its mistake.

Here's the quote, which you can watch in the Twitter video below:

"We've also had a lot of learnings along the way. When we fell down with multiplayer launch of MCC, or when we didn't put split-screen in with Halo 5, it was incredibly painful for the community and for us. It erodes trust with the community, as the community is a part of our world-building.

"A lot of learnings from that. I would say, for any FPS going out will have always have split-screen in going forward."

Ross' comments suggest the inevitable - but so far unconfirmed - Halo 6 will have split-screen, which is sure to delight some fans of the series. Halo has a wonderful history with local multiplayer, from LAN tournaments with Combat Evolved to taking on the campaign with a couch co-op friend in Halo 2. I spent countless hours soldiering through the campaigns of Bungie's Halo games split-screen with my brother on the hardest difficulty, and a lot of fun it was, too.

I have to admit, by the time Halo 5 came around, I was less bothered by the lack of split-screen than I would have been during the Xbox 360 era (as I noted in my Halo 5 review). With the rise of online multiplayer and my own personal living situation, I don't often have anyone around to play couch co-op with. Instead, I mostly play online with friends.

But I totally get why the lack of split-screen was a shocking omission for some fans, and why 343 was criticised for it. Clearly, the backlash had an impact on the success of the game - and the developers at 343.

While we're on the subject of Halo 6, can we expect a tease at E3 this month with a release in time for Christmas 2018 on Xbox One, Scorpio and PC? I reckon so!

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editor

Wesley is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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