What you need to know
- Certain Affinity is a industry-leading video game support studio based in the U.S. and Canada.
- Contributing to dozens of titles including DOOM, Call of Duty, and Halo, Certain Affinity is rumored to be working on a battle royale-like mode for Halo Infinite, alongside a new title codenamed Suerte.
- In a new interview with VentureBeat, they may have offered some hints as to both project's existences.
Founded by ex-Bungie veteran Max Hoberman, Certain Affinity has been working on Halo since Halo 2, providing support on the campaign and the multiplayer alongside Bungie and now 343 Industries. Certain Affinity built the (underrated) arena death match gameplay for DOOM 2016, while providing support on Call of Duty Modern Warfare Remastered, as well as helping fix up Halo: Master Chief Collection while supporting Halo Infinite.
Earlier in the year, we revealed that Certain Affinity is working with Microsoft in a big way across the Xbox portfolio. We discovered that Certain Affinity is working on a brand-new original game, codenamed Project Suerte, which reports suggest could be in the vein of games like Monster Hunter — although hard details remain murky. But for Halo fans, we discovered that the team is leading development on a brand-new multiplayer mode, currently codenamed Tatanka.
Since we revealed the codename, an extensive list of hints emerged via public Halo APIs and datamining, giving us a glimpse into what it could be. The best way to describe it perhaps lies somewhere between Halo 5's big team Warzone and a traditional "lite" battle royale, complete with shrinking circles to create pressure and drive combatants together. Unlike a traditional battle royale, however, it seems you may have "lives" and other opportunities to revive within the match, which sidesteps the elimination-style gameplay pioneered by titles like PUBG.
In a new interview with VentureBeat, incoming Certain Affinity COO Paul Sams described a range of topics, teasing a large Halo project that certainly fits our Tatanka reports from earlier in the year.
"The biggest thing we’re doing that’s public right now, for more than two years now we’ve been working on Halo Infinite doing something that–they’re very prescriptive about what we can say. But we’re doing something unannounced, and we’re doing lead development on that unannounced thing, from conception and design. It’s something big and new for the franchise. But I can’t say any more about it. That’s our single largest project of our three projects currently. We have close to 100 developers working on that."
Sams discussed a variety of topics in the interview, about Certain Affinity's legacy to working on more recent titles like Amazon's New World MMO and Harry Potter RPG Hogwarts Legacy.
Hoberman joined Sams in discussing the potential for developing their own games within the studio, which could lend further hints towards that mysterious "Suerte" codename we received a while ago. When asked if Certain Affinity would like to move away from being a support studio and build its own intellectual properties (IP), Sams and CEO Max Hoberman had some interesting responses.
"It's certainly aspirational for us to be able to do that. We see the benefits of building our own IP and owning our own IP. It’s something we’re committed to. Max can talk to it more. [...] He’s done [building IP] more outside of the game space with his novel work, but he’s also been doing it at the company. Every single thing I’ve seen that’s come out from him has been really solid. I think it’s going to position the company well as we’re building our own IP."
Hoberman chimed in that their IP explorations are "still an experiment," and that they don't want to "overpromise." So, if they indeed are referring to Suerte, it's certainly possible that it may never actually see the light of day. Given Certain Affinity's prowess and the developer pedigree that exists within the team, I for one, certainly hope it does.
You can grab Halo Infinite's multiplayer now for free on Xbox and PC, or play the campaign as part of Xbox Game Pass.
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Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!