My feature this week I want to focus on is the state of "Halo 4" and competitive gaming. Last Saturday Dec. 29th, 2012, Sundance, Co-Founder and CEO of Major League Gaming, made a series of tweets that indicated that they are not getting support from Microsoft or 343 Industries and that Halo and MLG's relationship may be waning. He followed those tweets with another saying that Microsoft has signed a deal with Virgin gaming but 343i has expressed interest in working with MLG. This caused a lot of questions concerning the position that competitive gaming and Halo 4 will be because up until now Halo has always been a big part of MLG tournaments. The Halo competitive community isn't what it use to be but is still strong and leaves all players (pro and non-pro) wondering where it's headed in terms of competition. In midst of all the questions Virgin Gaming's community manager, Carl Clendenin, has responded on the Halo Waypoint forums on Wednesday, Jan. 2nd, 2013. Currently the forums are down but the highlights have been posted on The Halo Council if you wish to read them. He responded saying that "Virgin Gaming provides tournaments for all skill levels." and continues on to say:
"Game integration and working with game developers to ensure a fun, fair and competitive atmosphere are what we pride ourselves on." They claim they want to make tournaments for everyone from casual to professional and they wanted to start off in a big way with the Infinity Challenge.
Regarding the claims with Sundance and MLG, which is probably what caused Clendenin to post on the Waypoint forums, Clendenin responded saying:
"Last summer we signed a deal with Microsoft to develop an application to allow gamers to use the Virgin Gaming service directly on the Xbox console via Xbox LIVE. You can read more on this partnership here. My sentiments about competitive and casual tournament options are echoed in that release from last summer. Our deal was with Microsoft, and Halo 4 falls under the Microsoft Game Studios catalog. We wish to express that we have no ill intent, and have nothing but wishes of continued success to Sundance and the rest of the MLG team. "
Clendenin followed up his last remarks on MLG by saying:
"Regarding getting ahead of ourselves, I only meant that in regards to that poster’s speculation of Halo 4 on the MLG circuit. For obvious reasons, I simply cannot participate in that sort of conversation."
The next few weeks will be interesting to see what will happen with MLG, 343i, and Virgin Gaming and I'm not about to speculate. There have been a lot of statements about each group (MLG and Virgin Gaming) that it's unsure where they will be in terms of Halo 4. If Virgin Gaming is truly going to support Halo 4 the way MLG did/does then it could mean a good thing for the community. Time be the ultimate story teller in this saga.