It looks like Halo Infinite is taking notes from recent trends of “live service” or “game as a service” model. Just like how popular multiplayer online games from Fortnite, Warframe, to Monster Hunter: World keep getting updates, so will Infinite. At least that’s how this interview seems to imply.
Talking to Polygon, head of the Xbox division Phil Spencer said they have learned much from launching Halo: The Master Chief Collection. By making one “platform” that contains all essential Halo stories, you wouldn’t need to move to “a new version” of the game and end up starting from scratch again. The same goes for the developers who have to “spend energy” to convince fans to move out to the sequels as well, as he points out. Hence the need of keeping Halo Infinite up to date all the time.
There’s been a ton of learning in the studio around what does it mean to actually have a collection, the kind of totality of the Halo lore and stories and experience inside of one Halo world, one Halo UI, and platform,”
“As [343 Industries] has gone through this journey, they’ve seen some of the benefits of not requiring that our customers make a decision between ‘Do I want to play this one or that one?’ I feel like in a way, the games almost compete with each other. You see that with some of the annualized franchises that are out there — which clearly Halo‘s not annualized — but you see that where you spend a lot of energy actually trying to move the customers who are already playing your game to a new version of your game.”
In a way, the Halo team (343 Industries) might’ve also learned from how people reacted to Halo 5: Guardians. Even if the multiplayer base is still active, fans were disappointed in how they handled the story mode. Maybe things could have gone differently if they can keep updating new story contents to Halo 5. They could’ve let players know more about Fireteam Osiris or added more missions with Master Chief and Blue Team, for example.
He then adds how the Infinite subtitle will have similarities with Xbox Series X and ties-in with the “structure” of the game itself. While vague, it’s safe to assume that Spencer is trying to convey that Halo Infinite isn’t going to be held back by “generations” — or new entries/titles if you will. Plus it might come to PC too considering how hard Microsoft is pushing the Game Pass subscription and xCloud streaming system.
I think as gaming has evolved, there’s a view of ‘Our customers are our customers and we should respect them where they are.’ It’s similar to our Xbox message, and I think you’ll see that in terms of the way [Halo Infinite] is talked about — even the structure of what the game is itself.”
We will see more of Master Chief and what Spencer is promising in Xbox Games Showcase this week, on July 23, 2020. What are your hopes and dreams (and fears!) about Halo Infinite? Share them all in the comments below!