343 Industries seems to have the right approach when it comes Halo Infinite’s free-to-play multiplayer.
Multiplayer in Halo has always been one of the series’ key pillars. This is no less true for Halo Infinite, which is going free-to-play for the first time to allow as many people as possible to experience its signature multiplayer.
The reception to the free-to-play news was mixed, in large part because many feared the balance and look of the game could get diluted with all sorts of purchases to keep the live service going. So far at least, it doesn’t look like things will end up that way.
In a big development update, a number of the team members responsible for the game’s live service shared their thoughts about how 343 is tackling the challenge of being authentic, while at the same time appealing to new players and offering items you can feel good about buying.
For starters, 343 confirmed that Halo Infinite will not feature loot boxes of any kind, whether paid or rewarded in gameplay. In fact, you won’t see any randomised rewards in Infinite. The developer says the value of every item in the game should be clear, so players know exactly what they’re getting.
While Halo Infinite is going to have limited-time events, 343 doesn’t want to weaponize FOMO, and is instead hoping players will jump in because they want to, not out of some sense of obligation or guilt. In terms of the content you can earn, the goal is to have clear requirements that don’t rely on too much grind.
This obviously means the money will need to be made somewhere, and in this case, it’s going to be premium cosmetics. 343 is keeping some of those details close to the chest for now, but the developer stressed that you’ll be able to earn rewards in many more ways outside of spending money. It’s not clear, however, if the same piece of content will offer both options.
As with other free-to-play games, Halo Infinite does have a big focus on player expression customisation. Armour coatings will be part of that, and they’re essentially shaders that dictate colour, wear and tear, texture, patterns and so on.
You can read the full blog post at the link, where 343 also confirmed fall 2021 as the new release window for Halo Infinite.