Xbox 360 not updating properly
So to be super clear, these fixes will apply to both regular Xbox One version and the Xbox One X enhancements.
We’re also getting a lot of help from the (wholly separate) Halo 5 team, who created a much more robust system for the launch of that game and continue to make improvements to their networking model. I have not spent a single day since the night the game fell down in matchmaking where I didn’t think about it.
Now the above isn’t particularly unusual or original in terms of approach, but at the time the systems were less resilient in terms of churn, and bad information could cause a lobby or match to get caught in a state where it couldn’t ultimately complete a group and join them cleanly into a session.
At the time we made tons of changes to the backend server configurations to try and reduce those wait times, but ultimately it was a self-fulfilling prophecy – players understandably would leave sessions because they got tired of waiting for a match to begin, and that would amplify the issue across the board.
And one way we’re going to avoid that in future is through a retail flighting program – testing the game fixes in a real-world environment with real players, including many of you.
Naturally we’ll also be doing much more rigid conventional testing with the benefit of both hindsight and new, better systems.
This was built for Xbox One – and prior games were spread across 360 and OG Xbox.
It gets really technical, and this is as much metaphor as technical explanation, but each potential player was assigned a kind of “ticket” which would then grant them entry into a match or session – picture a virtual waiting room at a train station – when the train arrives (a match) – everyone has to board – or the train can’t leave.
Issues arose when folks left sessions before games had started that would cause the initial ticket distributions to fail, and that sometimes meant very long wait times for matches as tickets were issued and reissued – especially in countries with lower populations.
We also had some very new (and frankly these have evolved since then and are now much better) online systems on a new console and made some educated, but (with hindsight) ultimately faulty, assumptions we made during development and testing.
To be clear here, the platform networking model was working as intended, but we made errors and ultimately approached it with the wrong strategy. While we had some valid reasons to believe the game would function properly in the retail environment, we’ve shifted our development philosophy to basically assume nothing anymore.