It's been a tough year for most Halo fans.
We've had to say goodbye to our much loved Bungie; a tear-jerking experience for most of the people that have been with the Halo brand since it's start back in 2001. It's the end of an era...
But! Not every era is a 'precursor' to failure. And after monitoring the situation for up to nine months now, I hear people saying 'The Halo franchise will fail without Bungie' or something along similar lines. It makes me sad to see it, partly because those comments are from misinformed or uninformed fans of the series who jumped ship to COD after the Halo saga 'ended' in 2007. The main reason I'm optimistic for the future? Because 343 Industries have been working away in the background for a year or so; admittedly starting with smaller projects (such as Halo Waypoint) but building up to a (in my opinion) successful remake of Halo: Combat Evolved.
People are quick to judge 343i as 'incompetent', but quite frankly it's very harsh! The whole studio has been assembled out of some of the top and rising stars in the gaming industry, not to mention half of the staff there being former members of Bungie (whom ALL worked on Halo: Combat Evolved). So, in my book, this gives 343i very good credentials, makes them a pair of safe hands. I mean, they were invented for the sole purpose of furthering the Halo franchise; they haven't just been pulled in after making some lack-lustre franchise that isn't half the game that Halo is. Give them a chance, people! Don't judge them on Halo: CEA. In my opinion, it was brilliant! It brought back all those fun memories of playing through it at the tender age of seven and having to stop playing after every mission involving the Flood. They previously stated that the remake of CE was simply just a reboot of the graphics and additional maps for Reach, they wouldn't dare mess with such legendary game play. Yes, it's dated and old now, but at the time it was ground-breaking.
So in my opinion guys and gals, don't worry about the Halo franchise. We do this every time a new title comes out, we scare ourselves into thinking it won't measure up to the much loved previous installment (and admittedly some are more disappointing: ODST and in some circles Halo Wars), but they have always been critically acclaimed, and for the majority of us, they provide a new, completely re-worked experience of Halo.
Halo 4 is something to look forward to, not something to worry about.
Have faith. We're still on the path of the Great Journey...