The problem started with Bungie's final entry in the Halo series. Halo: Reach was not supposed to be seen as a primary Halo game, but a side story. And then they left Microsoft to work on their own projects, and the reins were handed over to 343 Industries. And we got Halo 4, which seemed to take us back where we wanted to be. Because, let's be honest, it just isn't Halo if we aren't Master Chief. And it was pretty good for a game that had so much working against it. Then came Halo 5: Guardians, and we got to play as Master Chief approximately 20% of the time during the game's short campaign mode. So, maybe a grand total of 2 hours of Master Chief? That's just not enough.
And it looks like 343 have learned the error of their ways. There were many mistakes to be learned from in Halo 5 and the studio has already promised that we'll be getting split-screen local multiplayer back for every future Halo installment. Now, it looks like we'll be getting our favorite cybernetically enhanced Spartan back.
Studio Head Kiki Wolfkill and Franchise Director Frank O'Connor were featured in a lengthy interview on the latest GamesTM magazine (issue #186) and the contents of that interview will be good news for fans. According to the transcription from wccftech, Halo 6 will indeed star Master Chief. The interview also revealed that the lack of Chief in 5 came down to a simple misunderstanding. "Chief we tend to think of as kind of a vessel for your adventure rather than necessarily this major character in the universe. He's really just your entry into the universe," O'Connor said.
343 somehow missed the memo that, after 16 years of Halo, Master Chief isn't just a vessel for the players to insert themselves. Master Chief IS Halo in a very fundamental way to most players. It's like trying to have a Metal Gear game without Snake, it may be a great game and you might have a point about the Marty Stu-ness of the main character, but we're never going to like the new kids as much. We may like them, we may even come to love their games, but they aren't the reason we play them. Because the main series protagonists aren't just characters, they are our touchstones for these properties in ways that Blue Team or Osiris or Raiden never will be.
Which is why 343 have decided that taking Master Chief away from Halo just wasn't a good decision.