Bonnie Ross, corporate vice president at Microsoft Studios and head of 343 Studios, confirmed this week at the DICE 2017 gaming summit that all future FPS Halo games will “always have split-screen going forward.”
The news comes after the removal of local cooperative play in 2015’s Halo 5: Guardians, which was the first Halo game in the series to lack the feature. That decision was met with considerable backlash from fans, especially given the Halo franchise’s long history as a couch co-op and LAN party mainstay.
According to 343, split-screen was cut in Halo 5 to better focus on the "massive scale environments, improved AI behavior, increased visual and gameplay fidelity,” a somewhat strange move given both squad-based mechanics of that particular game and the series’ history of local multiplayer.
The restoration of cooperative play to future Halo titles is particularly welcome news in today’s gaming landscape, where companies tend to focus on offering better graphics at the expense of offering things like (the admittedly computationally demanding) split-screen play.