Halo Infinite marks a big shift for the franchise, as the sci-fi shooter’s multiplayer will be free-to-play. Developer 343 Industries has now spoken further about this change to a “true service” model and why feedback from fans will be critical in shaping the future direction of the game.
In a blog post, 343 said it will do its best to respect the 20-year history of Halo and try to please as many players as possible who have difference preferences for the Halo experience. With Halo Infinite multiplayer now going free-to-play, responding to fan feedback and delivering ongoing updates will be more important than ever, the studio said.
“As our free-to-play multiplayer shifts to a true service, it’s more critical than ever that we drive continued feedback loops to ensure we are prioritizing the right work and continually improving the experience,” the studio said. “Player feedback–via community input and additional vectors like user research studies–serves as our ‘north star’ that we’ll evaluate alongside game telemetry data and our team’s instincts to inform a specific outcome.”
The studio said it’s sure it won’t get everything right all the time, and it won’t be able to respond to every piece of feedback it receives, but the overall goal is to be more transparent. If 343 is doing its job correctly, players will understand the “why” behind the choices the studio makes, even if they don’t always agree.
“We know we may not always get it right, and we won’t be able to act on every piece of feedback we receive from a community as large and diverse as Halo’s, but we are committed to operating with transparency to acknowledge issues and most importantly, explain the ‘why’ behind our decisions.”
For the developers, Halo Infinite features back-end tools and systems that provide the studio the ability to more quickly and substantially respond to fan feedback.
The studio said Halo Infinite’s sandbox elements will be “much more malleable” than past iterations. “We are committed to this game, the community, and to ensure that it stays fresh with not only adding new content but taking care of the sandbox that will be there on day one,” the studio said.
343 said players can look forward to tuning adjustments for Halo Infinite’s equipment, weapons, and more. For weapons specifically, 343 said the meta is constantly evolving, and the studio will do what it can to respond to this and make changes as necessary.
The Halo Infinite blog post touches on a number of other intriguing topics, like remappable controls and how all of the launch content is finished and playable. 343 also spoke about why it decided to ditch the old shotgun.
Following a delay, Halo Infinite is scheduled to release in Fall 2021 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. Due to Microsoft’s recent policy changes, the free-to-play multiplayer mode will not require Xbox Live Gold.
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