In an interview with Official Xbox Magazine, Bungie have stated that their biggest regret from the whole Halo series is the lack of matchmaking in Halo3 ODST because it’s probably the reason it is not as popular as other Halo games.
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Bungieâ€™s community boss Brian Jarrard (aka Ske7ch) recently stated:
“I regret not being able to go back and make Firefight in ODST work and have match-making,” he told us. “I think we would have loved to have done that. We’ve heard it from the fans, we’ve heard it from the press. It’s definitely something we’d have loved to be able to do but we didn’t have the scope on the project. We didn’t have the time.
“We accomplished a tremendous amount, but that’s probably the reason ODST isn’t being played as much right now as we’d like. It has had a shorter lifecycle than any of the Halo titles before. But Reach is our big chance to make up for some of those things. “
The Halo 3 engine doesn’t have support for Matchmaking in the synchronous networking model (which is what powers Campaign and Firefight) for the reason as to why an update couldn’t be applied to incude future Matchmaking. The investment and people power required for the networking side is completely out of scope for an update project - but by all accounts with Halo Reach it implies by Jarrads statement that a public firefight mode could be included.
The Halo Reach Beta has been dated for May 3rd from within the Halo ODST campaign disc for a sneak peak into the matchmaking system for this upcoming title.