Halo 4 Spartan Ops: 'A TV Show You Play' & 'A Game You Watch' - O'Connor

David Lynch


Halo 4's Spartan Ops is set to alter how we consume our games. 343 Industries Frank O'Connor explains how it works.

Published on Sep 20, 2012

Halo franchise development director Frank O'Connor has told NowGamer that Halo 4's post-launch, weekly Spartan Ops content will combine the "best parts" of TV and gaming.

Halo 4's Spartan Ops is attempting something few games have ever managed. Creating big budget, episodic content that's delivered in a timely fashion each week, just like a TV show.

A few games have tried – Alan Wake and TT Games’ The Walking Dead spring to mind – but none have really succeeded in capturing a regularly audience; at least not in the same way as TV shows like Game Of Thrones or Breaking Bad.

343 Industries is set to deliver episodic content with Halo 4 in the weeks after the game’s launch and Spartan Ops is sure to become a talking point. But what exactly is it?

343 Industries’ franchise development director, Frank O’Connor, defines it as a TV show you play…

"The dumb version is ‘it’s a TV show you play’ or the flipside ‘it’s a game you watch and experience with your friends’."

"There are lots of ways to define it, but we knew instinctively once all these elements clicked into place, getting to that point was really difficult to do and it wasn’t about invention or some crazy patent scheme, it was just about effort."

It's something that's never been attempted on the scale that 343 Industries is aiming for, too. "We’re not setting out to make the best TV episodes ever," explains O'Connor, "and we’re not setting out to make best videogame experience."

"We’re setting out to see if the two can be combined in a real and meaningful way and give the best parts of both. We want them to play off and enhance each other."

Blockbuster TV, like Game Of Thrones, has obviously been an influence, but O'Connor wants still wants Spartan Ops to feel like an integeral part of Halo's world.

"The technology and methodology of making TV these days is almost on-par with movies in terms of spectacle and richness, I think that’s been a huge revolution and we’ve been following in their footsteps somewhat."

"We’re still a game, there are CG episodes, but they give us the opportunity to explore stories that are deeper and more character focused than you normally can in a videogame."

Will you be sitting down each week to play Spartan Ops? Let us know below.



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