Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Great Halo Schism and Halo 2

If you're reading this, one of the thoughts that may be plaguing your mind at the moment is "ware iz meh Halo 2 guide tyrantz?!"  This is one the leading questions I get asked on a day to day basis.  Yes, it's true that in the past I've shunned the game, and many of you already know that I consider it to be the black sheep of the series, but that hasn't stopped me from promising a guide eventually.  So now the question is, with Mythic and Legendary guides already in play for Halo  3, ODST, Reach, and soon to be Anniversary, what's the hold up?  I'm here to educate you on why I've been holding back and when you could possibly expect the first guide to pop up.

My original niche in the community was the Halo campaign overlord.  Yes, I'm being a bit egotistical with that title, but I've been told by even the developers that my guides tend to be the most referenced within the community itself.  That's quite a compliment coming from the people that I continue to admire and look up to on a daily basis.  This, of course, started back with my first guide produced on HBO back in mid 2008, and when the "Mythic Difficulty" became an avenue to earn Recon Armor the following year, it's presence exploded like a viral plague. 

Now under pressure for the community, I continued my "Mythic tradition" through ODST and Reach, but was ultimately very proud of my work and extremely grateful that I could use my knowledge of the campaign to help others in need.  The sense is nothing short of rewarding.

Following the close of the Reach Mythic Guide, I decided to start my own path and this was the birth of the Tyrant Productions YouTube Channel (  Admittedly this was my biggest personal downfall as someone who eventually wants to turn his hobby into a legitimate business.  YouTube had been a BIG thing for years, and I was getting into the act very late in the game, not just by YouTube standards, but also by the Halo Community's.  The channel officially began in November of 2010 and became the hub for all of my video guides.  With Bungie's support, I was able to gain the attention of MUCH of the Halo community.  They were the backbone of my channel's traffic.

However, in mid 2011, what I commonly refer to as the "Great Halo Schism" occurred in which Bungie relinquished themselves from Microsoft's grasp by forfeiting the rights to Halo.  The damage wasn't apparent at first, but once 343 Industries stepped up to the plate to become the main Halo hub via Halo Waypoint, it resonated like a tremendous West Coast earthquake.  The community slowly became divided between what had been their main Halo hub for nine years and the newly formed Halo Waypoint.  Soon, Bungie "went dark" all together, leaving the community to find their own way.

As I said before, up until that point, Bungie had been my main source for advertisement.  With millions of people surfing their site on a daily basis, and many of my guides being posted on their front page within a day or two of release (even once in the Weekly Update!), it wasn't unusual for my guides to receive 10,000-15,000 views on a regular basis with some going above 20,000.  When the Great Halo Schism hit, it hit hard.  The change could almost be seen over night.  With no source to connect people to the site other than the current subscribers, I was pulling in roughly 1,000-2,000 hits per guide video.  Had this been a business rather than a channel, I would have viciously sought the nearest buyer.  For those of you trying to do the math, that's roughly 90% traffic drop.  Looking at my video history, you can plainly see when and where this occurred.

343 Industries, the division of Microsoft handling Halo's production, sought out well-known community members to help bring them on board to the new order of things.  I'll give them props for trying, and hopefully with time, they can slowly regain the same popularity that had earned over the years, but even when they would post my items in their blog (which hasn't been nearly as often as Bungie), at best the guide videos would get roughly 2,000-3,000 hits.  To this day, the highest count post-Schism is around 6,300.  Not bad, but still severely less than how it began.

I do blame myself for much of this as I wish I had gotten into the game much earlier on.  Perhaps if I had gained more initial subscribers I wouldn't have felt the impact as badly as I have, but alas we cannot change history, so it remains to be what it is.

Recently, I've been in talks with a company called Game Station--a large YouTube network made up of popular gaming communities, and as of right now, partnership with them is in the works.  My hope is to gain back at lease SOME of the traffic that I lost after the Schism so that I may continue to reach out to people and spread the love of my guides.  Until then, we're still on the slow train.

Many of you have asked about the Halo 2 guide, especially since recently I've veered slightly off course with other games such as World of Warcraft, but here's the deal, subscribers.  When I create guides, I do it for two reasons.  The first is that I enjoy playing the game a lot, and in doing so, I learn to reverse engineer many of the campaign mechanics.  This leads to my second reason.  I like sharing those secrets and strategies with the world to help other folks better their experiences with the game.  What I do not do is make these guides for entertainment purposes.  The jokes and comments you hear are simply my nature and are a side benefit to the folks who watch my work.  So when I'm inquired to do things like pain-staking tasks in current games, OR going back and making a guide for a game I really didn't enjoy, I see little to no benefit from it.  If only a few hundred people are going to see it versus the tens of thousands who used to, is it really worth all the time and effort?  Hence I have made a bargain with my community.  I will commence with the Halo 2 Legendary guide ONLY when and if my partnership with the Game Station is finalized.

So what can you the viewers do?  If you're one to simply watch my videos and move on, while your views are appreciated to a point, you also do the least amount of anyone to pass through my site.  Many others take the next step and like, comment, and subscribe.  Others go even further and solicit my work to their own friends and colleagues to attract more attention to the videos I work so hard to produce.  A few people in the community have even gone as far as to actually taking advantage of the DONATION button on the right side of the homepage and have actively and financial found ways to help the site continue onward.  These folks are the true heroes in my eyes and have the most leverage in what I post and what I don't post.

So now you know the story.  There are many great things to come for, but you as the subscriber must take action as well.  Even if that means giving videos a chance that aren't Halo related.  Since I do play other games other than Halo (there's only so much I can do with campaign), give them a try.  Even if the game is different, if you primarily watch for the commentary and jokes anyway, than I doubt you'll be disappointed by what you see and hear.

Thanks again for reading my wall of text, and more so, for continuing to stick by me and my community as we continue to grow!

The Tyrant


  1. Unblock me and I'll re-subscribe and share your videos. I might even donate, but I will not support someone who treats fans poorly simply for disliking a single youtube video about a cat. Take it easy, Tyrant, and thanks for all the great guides.

  2. While I appreciate you going out of your way to address the issue, the user in question was not blocked for disliking a video. The user was blocked for the vulgar comment of "Sh** like this makes me want to unsubscribe". Constructive criticism is one thing. Rudeness is another. And considering that in my 1.5 years of being apart of YouTube I've only blocked a grand total of two users, I don't consider my general treatment of fans to be "poor". Both users earned their block, and I'll also add that folks who are in fact blocked can still choose to view my videos if they wish. They simply can't comment, a privilege that I removed due to actions of their own doing.

    As I stated in that same video as a response to your second account, I understand that many folks subscribe for Halo-related content, but being a campaigner, my content is limited. I post other items that I also find to be interesting to help fill the gap. Many viewers appreciate these videos and continue to watch them. Others do not. I do not force folks to watch videos they do not wish to see, and in nearly all cases, the title and description in the video sums up what you're about to watch.

    I still post Halo content on a weekly basis and plan to continue to well into the future, but since I do not consider to be a Halo-exclusive channel, nor have I ever, I will continue to post other items that interest me as well. Some will enjoy it. Others will not. But in the process, I still hope to open new doors that don't always lead to Halo. That is, after all, how we grow in this world.