Bonnie Ross, Head of 343 Industries, has announced via Xbox Wire that Halo 3: ODST will be made available to owners of Halo: The Master Chief Collection as a thank you for continued support during its unexpectedly rocky launch. The news comes hot off the heels of scandals concerning the game’s online performance, which has been riddled with bugs and other game breaking issues.
The official statement reads:
Last month, I promised the Halo and Xbox community that addressing the matchmaking issues and other bugs impacting players’ experience with Halo: The Master Chief Collection was our #1 priority. We’ve been working around the clock deploying weekly content updates and numerous server-side adjustments that have shown good results and we’re encouraged by the feedback we’re hearing from you. Another big hurdle was overcome when we added fan-favorite playlists, such as SWAT and Halo: CE, back to our matchmaking menu and we plan to add more soon. Next week, we’ll release a content update that will add all 10 episodes of the cooperative experience “Spartan Ops” for Halo 4, and will address other issues. I assure you that the team will continue to work on additional content updates to further improve the all-up gameplay experience.
This has been a humbling experience and highlighted how we as a studio can – and need – to do better for Xbox fans around the world. We are so grateful to our fans who have stood by our side and we appreciate all of your patience as we worked through these issues. As a token of our appreciation and to thank fans for the continued support and understanding, we will be offering the following items, for free, to anyone who has played Halo: The Master Chief Collection online since launch (11.11.14) through today (12.19.14).*
1 Month of Xbox Live Gold
Exclusive In-Game Nameplate
Exclusive In-Game Avatar
* For specifics on eligibility and further details on the offer, visit the FAQ at:https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/community/blog-posts/halo-the-master-chief-collection-thank-you-faq
Additionally, you’ve told us that you want more Halo 2: Anniversary multiplayer map content and Halo 3: ODST on Xbox One. As a future bonus, we’re going to make these happen and give them to you for free. We are just now starting work with our partners to bring both toHalo: The Master Chief Collection and will share more specific details on timing in the coming months. But for now, here’s what you can expect:
Halo 3: ODST Campaign – Development has just started on the campaign for Halo 3: ODST, which will be available within Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and upgraded to 1080p resolution, running at 60fps. It will be available for free to anyone who has played Halo: The Master Chief Collection since launch (11.11.14) through today (12.19.14).* Thanks to our friends at Bungie for creating the original “Halo 3: ODST” campaign.
“Relic” Halo 2: Anniversary Multiplayer Map – Available via a free content update to Halo: The Master Chief Collection, we will reimagine the fan-favorite map “Relic,” fully remastered and running at 1080p resolution and 60fps. We chose this map based on its suitability for Slayer and Objective modes and its ability to support teams of varying sizes. And you can trust that Certain Affinity will tune and tweak the map to make it even better than you remember.
The catch to receiving ODST, if you happened to have missed it, is that you must have played The Master Chief Collection prior to today, 12/19/14. It is currently unknown if Halo 3: ODST will be made available for purchase at a later date to those who might have missed the cut off date, but it is difficult to believe that it will remain exclusive to this special offer for very long. No release date has yet been given.