The beloved devs of the Halo franchise have been pretty quiet lately–presumably working on Destiny and other projects in the background–but Bungie has recently opened their website for a public Beta test of the new site-wide features.
Bungie will forever be imbued with a mystical popularity for its creation of the Halo universe…however its fan base seems to have fractured since the company sold the Halo franchise and teamed up with Activision. Since then, Bungie has been off the radar, being mysterious about its new Destiny project.
This fractured fan base, made up of a variety of long-time Bungie fans and newcomers, come together to voice their opinions on the new changes to Bungie.net. Held in an open beta, anyone can log into their Bungie.net account and check out the new changes to the site's interface, featuring a very social media-esque experience that seems to take away many of the familiar forum elements of yesteryear.
The changes, which include Twitter-like hashtags and "Likes" straight out of Facebook, have the forums divided. The most obvious change is the stark white background that many have complained is "hard on the eyes", as loyal forum-users remember a darker and less contrasting color scheme.
Also the new Bungie.net interface makes use of Facebook, Google, and even PlayStation Network integration, allowing users to sign in with their social media/PSN accounts rather than having to make a username. Bungie.net still supports Microsoft account sign-ins as well.
Bungie will likely take both the negative and positive comments into consideration and utilize that data to build a more user-friendly website presence…but even still many loyal die-hard Bungie fans feel alienated and as if their virtual "home" has changed for the worse.
Overall the site seems cleaner and more convenient, but it does feel more like a social media network rather than the hugely-active fan base of epic proportions that it used to be.
The new interface may indeed be an early build to pave the way for Bungie's current Destiny project, as the game developer is well-known for providing web interfaces for its games, as it did for global Halo stats years ago.
Also the inclusion of PlayStation Network sign-in support is a bit mysterious, and may be a clue to Destiny's integration.
Be sure to check out the changes for yourself at Bungie.net.