Think deeply about the state of internet culture in 2007.
There was no TikTok or Instagram. There was no Twitch livestreaming. Twitter was at an irrelevant scale, and Facebook was just starting to fumble around with video. YouTube had a 10 minute timelimit. Subscriptions and Content-ID were functionally not working. There was no copyright enforcement, no moderation. Discoverability was driven through the the "Most Watched" category, and every week was a streetfight between your Halo montage and the latest Naruto rip. Differentiate yourself by the quality of your plays, the opponents, and your edit. Forum rep was king and a Haupage video card in a pro lobby was your ticket to glory.
We were also blessed to have some crazy talented creators come through the MLG community. Zola, who would go on to creative direct
for the Chainsmokers and Coldplay, made his bones with Halo 2
and Halo 3
classics. Dan Chosich, who built nearly a decade of Halo creative, began his career with tournament trailers like 50k Framework
Halo montages as a genre served as the blueprints for the first wave of Call of Duty sniper montages, which in turn were the foundations for Optic and Faze. Many CoD pros got their start competing in Halo and the two communities share a common culture to this day. Modern Warfare 4 launched this year but adjusting to accommodate a new game well is hard and expensive. CoD had fewer live events than Halo or Gears. It also became another 4v4 title.
Without big broadcasts and tournaments, top CoD players focused more of their attention on YouTube as the outlet to build their reputation. As Youtube began incentivizing longer videos, those players moved from montages to longer gameplay commentaries. A lot of this value was captured by multi-channel networks like Machinima who, as one of the few organizations trusted to funnel Google money, propogated the most succesfull formats. The success of CoD commentaries served as a blueprint for Starcraft commentaries, which were a transition point into Twitch livestreaming.
I'm not saying we wouldn't have streaming without Halo (or CS
) montages, but they played a part.