Ubisoft’s Report: What Developers, Brands and Consumers Want

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Game Development Week — Data-driven assessment of the Halo series has shown that players are at their most satisfied when the game is played asynchronously, with multiplayer modes running concurrently. That’s why, five years ago, 343 Industries decided to release a regular stream of Halo content in a free-to-play microtransaction model. The core goal of Halo 5: Guardians was to marry current gaming technology with the old-school mentality that made Halo the leading shooter franchise in the world in an effort to attract an audience that remained strong, despite the slower introduction of new game releases that plagued the action-centric genre in recent years. This meant creating a well-balanced game with better story and eSports hooks to attract a new generation of fans.

A core part of that strategy was the introduction of multiplayer, which had been missing from Halo since Halo: Reach (released in 2010). The decision to introduce multiplayer on a per-week, paid-for, free-to-play model proved to be a wise move: the game has sold over 35 million copies globally and garnered over 80 million hours of gameplay on Twitch alone. Now, after a five-year break, 343 Industries is back with Halo Infinite.

In Halo 5, co-produced by Sumo Digital, Infinity Studios , and 343 Industries , one player couldn’t play online with her teammates. Instead, the entire team was divided into single-player and multiplayer modes and then sent off to play both against other players and against an AI opponent. The two-player, maxed-out cooperative ” Warzone ” mode worked well, but the mode never achieved the same level of popularity as the single-player ” Warzone .”

In Halo Infinite, Halo is back — and in an entirely new way. The Halo franchise had been sitting on a “pipe” since Halo 5, so 343 decided to generate a bit of excitement among fans by launching a short ” Reality Extender ” a short six-minute episode that told a single story centered around the main character. Halo Infinite takes the minutiae of the storyline and streamlines it into a single mission that allows three players to simultaneously play the multiplayer mode. But, instead of single player, Halo Infinite is also available as a free $19.99 season pass, allowing players to subscribe for full access to all of the future single-player and multiplayer content.

While the current single-player campaign continues, this adds a nod to the franchise’s classic style of gameplay with action-oriented enemies that pop up throughout levels, much like in traditional video games, as opposed to a more hardened story in multiplayer where enemies appear to be welded together and unable to move in unpredictable patterns. The story alone for Halo Infinite is a big change from what has come before, but that will surely be revealed with multiple “Daily Missions,” and a weekly story stream where the characters expand on the game’s tale for fans who have long wanted more stories about the well-known protagonists. It will be no surprise if Bungie continues to develop Halo games in the future, or if 343 chooses to continue support for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which has been generally well-received by fans.

The upgrades and changes to the multiplayer are massive. I chose to play through the multiplayer portion of Halo Infinite during a mid-week draw when the servers were having performance issues. Everything worked flawlessly, including the online multiplayer and online co-op. This particular “draw” was conducted by a third-party service that is only available at certain times during the week. The group of four played co-op along with five humans, offering an experience that felt very similar to the old popular, offline mode called “Guardians.” If you spend a good amount of time using gameplay mechanics that were introduced a few years ago, then the rewards within Halo Infinite are perfectly suited to those who already know the Halo series like the back of their hand.

The game is first out of the gate for the new Microsoft-backed Battlefront Online PvE subscription service, which, at a cost of $39.99 per month, is meant to serve as a bridge between the multiplayer matches of Halo and other subscription-based games like Elder Scrolls Online. Anyone who already owns Halo 5: Guardians and Halo Wars 2 on a Switch will be able to get online and play the Battlefront Online PvE content with existing accounts, while those who did not own either games will have to buy the Battlefront Online matchmaking add-on.

Halo Infinite does not have multiplayer as an official DLC option, though it can be purchased directly through the game’s creator. In fact, Halo Infinite doesn’t even have multiplayer in the main menu. The system for choosing

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