Last Friday, we ran a story about a missing feature in Halo 3 called “XBL Public,” which at one point Bungie said would be in the game. XBL Public would have allowed users to specify the kind of gametype they wanted to play and then, using a matchmaking-esque system, would have searched for a party playing that kind of gametype. We contacted Microsoft for comment about the missing feature, and today we received a response from Tom Eberspecher, Xbox 360 Community Manager for Microsoft.
“The main reason the custom games match making feature was not included because of the nearly infinite possibilities that are possible with the games settings and Forge features,” Eberspecher told AMN. “For example, what if you only wanted to play a game of Slayer on Sand Trap that had all of the vehicles taken out in Forge, the players at 50% gravity, rockets only, with a 5 minute timer? You would be sitting in a game lobby all week while you waited for that variation to pop up.”
He went on, saying that from a game development standpoint, it’s just too difficult to pull off. “People need to put themselves in the programmer’s shoes and think of all the game iterations that are possible. It would be a massive undertaking to say the very least.”
In closing, he says that he understands the “OMG, they lied!” responses on forums across the Internet. “But once people think about how monumentally challenging building a custom games browser would have been, they will understand the decision not to include it.”
So, the question is: do you understand?