He admits the studio has "a lot to learn," citing "a lot of mistakes" were made in Halo 4's development. O'Connor is adamant that it "wasn't half bad" for a first effort at Halo.
They had the huge daunting task of stepping into the big boots of Bungie, as the Halo creator left the franchise behind with Microsoft to pursue other projects with Activision.
"Halo 4, despite being the seventh or eighth game in the Halo series (depending on how you count them), was our first game. That is to say, our first-ever fully fledged title, built from the ground up creatively and technologically," began Frank O'Connor's on the official Halo Waypoint community website.
"So let me save you the trouble of trolling my statement: We have a lot to learn. We made a lot of mistakes. We can do better. And we know this, and we will. But I don’t want to spend the first moments of the year thinking about the negatives, because frankly, I am incredibly proud of both the team and the game that team created."
"And for a first effort, it wasn’t half bad," added the Halo boss.
"Stepping into Bungie’s oversized shoes would have been difficult, even for a well-established team. The challenge of wrangling that engine, that universe and that community was dizzying, even withering. Four years ago when our charter began, the challenge of starting the seed of a development team and then creating a sequel to Halo terrified us."
Looking to the future, O'Connor thanks the community that has arisen - "a demanding, imaginative, engaged, vocal, varied and intelligent swarm of personalities, groups and individuals, each with subtly to radically different interests in this vast and varied universe we’re charged with. That isn’t lip service, nor is it pandering. You guys pay for the privilege of playing our game, and you have every right to have a voice in its development," he continued.
"It may not have ended up precisely the way you imagined – there are simply too many voices and perspectives to make all of the people happy, all of the time – but we think of the community as a direct and democratic extension of the team and, indeed, of the development process."
O'Connor makes no specific mention of the next Halo instalment but it's likely to be a next-gen affair what with the new Xbox console looming over the industry. "Technically, this should be a retrospective, but it’s safe to say I’m more excited about the future than the past. Excited about what this team is already working on. Excited about what this team is capable of. And excited about the future of Halo. A future we want you to be a part of. A future we’re building for you."
Halo 4 released on Xbox 360 back in November with a generally high Metacritic of 87.