Written by KSI Alastair
There is some interesting news for Halo fans. As of January 28th, we now have a community representative apart of the Halo Infinite development team. This will mean, along with all the other ways to give feedback to 343i, we now a direct way to communicate our thoughts and ideas for Halo Infinite.
Justin Robey aka @RobeyoneKenobi on Twitter is now the Director of Player Voice at 343i, and he will "work with the Halo player, to have an active voice throughout the development, launch, and lifetime of Halo Infinite... using different methods to ensure that Halo Infinite is built along with the community, and that players voices are being heard." *
For more clarification of what Justin will be doing, the Halo community manager, Sketch says, "Justin sits on the development team to do critical work inwards and will partner closely with our community team, research, analytics, etc."*
Essentially, he has the authority to say, "the players want this, do it,” and the dev team will do it. 343i has been putting a focus on player feedback in being heard, and this will only help 343i's image and will, of course, help with sales when Infinite launches.
Let's take a look at who Justin is and what he has done. Justin Robey has worked for Microsoft for least 17 years; his roles included Software test engineer and then senior producer for nearly two decades. He's a Mixer partner and co-hosts Powerbuilds and This Week In Esports on Mixer.
Despite what Justin tries to present himself as, he isn't "just a fan" of Halo. He's a Microsoft veteran, and is very connected to them in his professional life. He will not be the "fresh perspective" 343i needs for Halo. I'm not saying he was never a genuine fan of Halo, nor that he isn't now, but the fact is that he's a Microsoft employee through and through, and his job is to ensure they look good. His role as "Director of Player Voice" is merely a ploy to make 343i appear to be taking more player feedback. I seem negative about this, but I am actually happy this development happened, because it means we as Halo fans have even more ways to voice our opinion and now with someone with authority to make it happen. I said ploy, because it is mostly to create good PR for them, but it can make a difference.
Here is the main question though, will Justin Robey be able to take our feedback and make large important changes to Halo Infinite? If the majority of the Halo Infinite fan base has an issue with main features with the game, such as the story or sandbox, will Justin make a difference? I would say, since Justin is a Microsoft employee first, and a fundamental Halo fan second, Justin will not force changes. That is a hard pill to swallow, but it's ok. I believe Justin will have effects on playlists, updates, weapon tuning, events, and things of that nature. That will still be more than we have had in previous titles, and it will make a large difference in my opinion.
So this is where I hand this to you, the reader. What are your thoughts on this development? What do you think about our new "Director of Player Voice"? How will it affect Halo Infinite at launch and how will it affect Halo Infinite during its life span?
* @RobeyoneKenobi on Twitter
* @Ske7ch on Twitter
* Cover image is a compilation of those posted by Microsoft and Justin Robey and are not in their native format.