Bungie sure is a bunch of cocky a**h*l*s. Yesterday I talked at length about my one and only complaint about the early taste we’ve received. Today I realized that I literally adore everything else about it. Everything. I love the breadth of strategies that are possible as evidenced by my “Gorilla Tactics” and my hate of mid-range snipers.

This got me thinking though....Why in the bloody hell did Bungie even bother going through all the trouble of releasing this beta? Most folks will say that the beta was all a big ruse in order to force consumers to buy Crackdown. I don’t doubt that this had crossed Microsoft’s mind. They desperately want Crackdown to be their new big franchise. There’s a problem with that theory, though. Bungie doesn’t have to do a damn thing they don’t want to. They’ve single-handedly produced the two top selling titles for Microsoft systems. If the MS big wigs went to Bungie and asked them to do something for them, Bungie would probably stab them and say calmly, “you mean besides making you hundreds of millions of dollars? That’s what we thought, now go away or I shall stab you a second time.”

So that pretty much rules out that possibility, because I doubt MS executives like getting stabbed much. Another possibility is that Bungie wanted to get data to balance the game out. Not buying it for a second. Like I’ve said before, the balancing is as close to perfect as you can hope for. Bungie has a well-balanced wonderful game on their hands and they surely must know it.

Ok well if it’s not to sell games, and it’s not to balance the weapons and maps…then surely this must all be a stress test to make sure the servers can handle it. Wrong. The most people I’ve ever seen online in the beta is around 50,000. Good numbers for a normal online shooter, but it’s a tiny fraction of what the population will look like come September 25th. Their servers aren’t even getting a taste of what will likely be well over a million gamers trying to get online for some fragging.

Which brings us to the real reason: The facts. Bungie is a bunch of cocky, albeit benevolent show-offs. They knew they had a great game and they wanted every one to know about it. Think about it, this beta was a monstrous gamble for them. They don’t have to do anything and *poof* 3 million copies of Halo 3 would disappear from the shelves. All they’re doing now is giving people a chance to realize they don’t want it. Imagine if it didn’t go over well with gamers. That could be truly disastrous for their number when all they have to do is put Mister Chief on the cover and they’ll go platinum on day 1.

For those of you who can’t see this for yourselves, when you load up the beta, during the loading screen there is a little message that blinks “Loading Halo 3 Beta…Love Bungie.”

It might as well say, “You’re welcome.” Or to be even more direct they could have written, “Congratulations we’ve decided your ancestry is of high enough nobility for us to bestow upon you the chance to touch heaven itself.”

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