343 Industries previously stated that the Halo: The Master Chief Collection update that included Halo 3: ODST and was coming to the Xbox One in May. That target may be missed however following a retracted Xbox Store post and a comment from 343 Industries.
343 Industries originally announced in April that the Master Chief Collection update that came with a number of fixes to the game, Halo 3: ODST, and the “Relic” multiplayer map was on track for a May release. A follow-up on May 12 reiterated the content update that included the re-release of the game and multiplayer map would be out this month.
Things came to a head Tuesday evening when a Halo 3: ODST listing showing a May 29 release date was discovered on the Xbox Store by a user on the Xbox One sub-Reddit. Microsoft pulled the link once word began circulating which forced 343 Industries to make the following posts on the official Halo Twitter account.
A placeholder release date for the ODST campaign for Halo: The Master Chief Collection was inadvertently listed on the Xbox Store. (1/2)
— Halo (@Halo) May 27, 2015
We continue final testing and will make an official announcement once our release date is determined, and apologize for any confusion. (2/2)
— Halo (@Halo) May 27, 2015
For those unfamiliar what is meant by “final testing,” 343 Industries submitted the Master Chief Collection content update to Microsoft to be certified for release. Once the update is approved, a release date is nailed down. If the update is not approved, then 343 Industries has to fix any issue and resubmit the update for certification once again.
The certification process takes a maximum of two weeks. Without knowing when the update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection was submitted for testing, it’s hard to estimate what the release date is actually going to be. Friday, May 29 does seem to be the last opportunity for Halo 3: ODST to make a May release though. Weekend update releases are not unheard of but are rare outside of patches to fix a major issue.
The reaction from Halo fans has an understandable mix of disappointment. At the same time, the importance of Halo 3: ODST working out of the box can’t be stated enough. 343 Industries has been hammered by fans and the press since the Master Chief Collection‘s broken release in November. A recent update even caused the delay of the Halo Championship Series online tournament because it broke matchmaking for those with large numbers of people on their friends list, which caused another round of bashing on the developer.
The priority for 343 Industries is likely to ensure that the changes in the update that brings Halo 3: ODST and the “Relic” multiplayer map works as advertised and does not break anything else. The studio can handle delay gripes over a few days at this point better than another round of condemnation for a broken game.
Halo 3: ODST and the “Relic” multiplayer map will be offered for free to those that played The Master Chief Collection between November 11 and December 19, 2014. There’s been no word yet on pricing for everyone else.
[Images via Halo Waypoint]