When it was initially announced that Halo Infinite’s multiplayer suite would be completely free-to-play across console and PC, many players expressed their concerns over what the monetization methods would look like, especially after Halo 5: Guardians’ rather aggressive loot box-inspired REQ Pack system.
Thankfully, in an overview video posted earlier today, we got a much better idea of what to expect from our financial investments into Halo Infinite multiplayer. While pricing hasn’t officially been confirmed, here’s why 343 Industries’ progressive approach to Battle Passes alleviates my free-to-play fears.
The current state of the ‘Battle Pass’
For some players, this isn’t inherently an issue as these are always optional customization commodities that don’t fundamentally change the gameplay experience. However, I’ve always felt that standalone cosmetic purchase had the potential to seriously hinder the developer’s desire or need to incentive gameplay-driven rewards. This isn’t necessarily an issue with every free-to-play title, but with Master Chief in Fortnite for example, you had to pay a whopping $15 to unlock him. So, while I was 100% expecting Halo Infinite to adopt a Battle Pass system of some kind, I couldn’t be happier with the way it’s looking to be implemented.
How Halo Infinite’s approach is different
This somewhat unorthodox approach respects your time and financial investments in a way many other games-as-a-service titles simply don’t.
Seemingly inspired by the beloved progression system in Halo: The Master Chief Collection (albeit with a premium twist), you’ll also be able to go back and purchase previous Battle Passes to unlock their rewards. This somewhat unorthodox approach respects your time and financial investments in a way many other games-as-a-service titles simply don’t.
343 Industries also stressed that the rewards within these Battle Passes can only be unlocked by playing the game. There will be no loot boxes and no premium price tags associated with unlocking any of these items. For me, this is incredible news that reinforces my preference for gameplay-driven rewards.
As it stands, we don’t know exactly what the cost of entry will be for these premium Battle Passes or what the players who don’t shell out the cash can expect when it comes to in-game unlocks and progression. We also aren’t quite sure what the cadence will be when it comes to releasing these themed Battle Passes, but the mission statement from the Halo Infinite team seems to suggest it’s learned from its mistakes and genuinely wants to deliver a multiplayer experience that’s not only welcoming, but rewarding as well.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was legitimately concerned about what a free-to-play Halo game might look like, but the more I hear about 343 Industries’ plans for this title, the more my apprehension subsides.
Share your thoughts!
What are your thoughts on Halo Infinite’s approach to Battle Passes? Do these new details make you more or less worried about the game’s free-to-play monetization strategy? Let us know in the comments below! And if you’re looking for something to keep you busy while we wait for Halo Infinite’s Holiday 2021 release, be sure to check out our list of the best games on Xbox Game Pass.
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