Halo Infinite fans frustrated over poor communication, missing roadmap
Halo Infinite's free-to-play switch-up looked to be a home run, but players aren't sure what to expect from its "live service" in 2022.
Fans of Halo Infinite have voiced concerns over the title's future, with what some have described as "zero communication" from developer 343 Industries. It comes as many await a formal content roadmap, once scheduled for January, with no updates on its status one month down the line. It comes as posts highlighting ongoing issues with Halo Infinite loom large online, leading some to question the viability of its live-service model.
343 Industries first launched Halo Infinite's multiplayer component last November, offering up a new free-to-play spin on the revered Xbox franchise. The Microsoft-owned studio extended its first season of content from three months to six, with its first significant post-launch update, Halo Infinite Season 2, now slated for May 2022. The Microsoft-owned studio outlined plans to host various limited-time events to bridge the gap, with a formal content roadmap to arrive sometime in January.
January passed with no updates from 343 Industries, with creative head Joseph Staten later stating the studio needed more time to assemble plans. One month later, Halo Infinite fans continue to voice frustrations, with no bearing on what to expect from the title in 2022.
While Halo Infinite has received new content since launch, spanning a few week-long events to minor bug fixes, online discussions echo uncertainty over what the game's "live-service" approach actually entails. That's only amplified by its lacking launch content, an issue that won't be fixed overnight, excluding many once-standard features from day one – co-op Campaign and Forge included.
"This game has been nothing short of a rollercoaster. The launch period of this game has had so many ups, and also so many downs, and this game, right now as it stands, is in such a peculiar state," said Halo YouTuber HiddenXperia in a recent video. "The main issue with this game right now, which encompasses all of what I just talked about and more, is the uncertainty surrounding it thanks to 343 [Industries'] peculiar silence with the fixes and the content additions we need."
"Halo Infinite moved to a live service game, but I have seen no content to show that it's actually live service," said YouTuber Remy 'MintBlitz' Nadj. "It has gotten so bad that I read your comments every single day, and many people have said they're not playing until Season 2. There are content creators who have put down the game permanently because they have just nothing to show for it."
Top posts on the Halo Infinite subreddit also echo these concerns, including some "tired of begging for the bare minimum," pleading 343 Industries to "tell us what is happening with this game."
Once Halo Infinite receives some form of a content roadmap, players should better understand when to expect new maps, permanent modes, or the return of staple game features. But it's not just about new additions, with reports of rampant cheating and game-breaking issues, all present midway through Season 1.
But many frustrations stem from spotty communication, with no update on the progress of new features, in contrast to an abundance of developer updates for Halo: The Master Chief Collection. A recent 343 Industries blog post addressing de-sync and latency provided an example of communication done right, providing deeper insight, with steps taken to tackle issues. It's clear Halo infinite hasn't lived up to its live service promises, and just a little context could go a long way in alleviating player concerns of what's headed to the title.
Game development can be hard – especially delivering regular updates to a live game. Halo Infinite, once slated for 2020, ended up arriving at the tail end of 2021, with development seemingly down to the wire to hit the holiday. With Season 1 already delayed, alongside core features, it's clear 343 Industries is battling several factors to deliver upon its vision for Halo. But as Xbox's biggest and longest-running franchise, players are hoping for more communication as live offerings grow.
Halo Infinite is now available on Xbox consoles and Windows PCs, with a free-to-play multiplayer experience, plus a paid $60 campaign, also included with Xbox Game Pass subscriptions.
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Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.