Halo Is Mr Unpopular In South Africa?
If you haven’t noticed there has been news floating around about Halo 4 over the last few days. With many fans and haters interpreting the incoming news with both dissent and wonderment. The success of this next installment in the Halo franchise, and the first release by 343 Industries, will undoubtedly be popular in the United States. But other regions of the world? This is questionable.
South Africa in particular has never had a strong local community supporting the Halo franchise. Of course, I’m not saying that South African gamers don’t play any Halo games. What I’m pointing out is that the support dwindles in comparison to other games that the community plays. The community is playing games like Modern Warfare, Battlefield and Gears of War. This is not going to change any time soon.
Why does the Halo franchise not have a strong footing amongst South African gamers? I think that much of it has to do with the movement in the South African gaming community towards an appreciation of military shooters, and the long standing popularity of games in the Modern Warfare, and now Battlefield series. These games have now become the staple multiplayer experience of many South African gamers. The first Modern Warfare game, in particular, took South African LAN culture by storm and became a staple of many events to this day. Although, this may be soon changing with the release of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive around the corner.
Perhaps, there is a perception in the gaming community that Halo is an ‘average’ FPS that is a derivative of other hyper-paced first person shooters, like Unreal Tournament, Quake and Tribes. These are common assertions amongst haters of the franchise. But the same type of rhetoric, and overall argument, can be applied to the very military shooters which are popular nowadays. Every Modern Warfare release so far has been deemed a glorified ‘map update’ with a R600 price tag. So calling Halo generic and derivative is both hypocritical, and an exercise in idiocy of the highest order.
Relatively speaking, I think that the trend in South Africa at the moment for FPS gaming is vested competitively in both Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3. The prospect of Halo 4 taking on these titans is pretty much a hard sell, where the Halo franchise being exclusive to Xbox 360 doesn’t help matters in the least. The next Halo game becoming as popular as the aforementioned games is a pipe dream for Halo fans in South Africa.
It’s all a matter of what is popular and trendy. With the eventual release of Halo 4, the game is going to have a tough time grabbing the attention of South African gamers. Sadly, military shooters are still king.