Could Halo Infinite be an 'infinite' platform? Phil Spencer hints at an ongoing experience

Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite (Image credit: 343 Industries / Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • Halo Infinite is the next big entry in the Halo franchise.
  • Speaking with Polygon, Phil Spencer hinted that Halo Infinite will be something of an ongoing platform.
  • Per Windows Central's sources, the multiplayer may be entirely free-to-play.
  • Halo Infinite is currently set to launch alongside the Xbox Series X in Holiday 2020.

Halo Infinite is easily the biggest upcoming title from Xbox Game Studios. So much of what has been shown so far has been 343 Industries focusing on a spiritual reboot that draws from Halo's beginnings. The exact form the game will take post-launch however, could be very different from traditional Halo titles. For everything we know so far about Halo Infinite so far, head here.

Phil Spencer, executive vice president of gaming at Microsoft, recently spoke with Polygon about how 343 Industries has learned as a studio. His comments also provided some interesting, if cryptic, insights into the type of game Halo Infinite will be.

"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," Spencer said. "As 343 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. 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 Infinite is talked about — even the structure of what the game is itself."

With this in mind, it's possible that Halo Infinite receives extensive post-launch support, turning Halo into a platform instead of just a game. This kind of service-esque approach would certainly make sense in an age of massive ongoing titles. It's also in line with some unconfirmed rumors that sources close to Windows Central have disclosed, including the strong possibility of Halo Infinite's multiplayer being free-to-play, not unlike how Call of Duty: Warzone is available without purchasing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

The Xbox Games Showcase on July 23 will finally unveil just what's in store with Halo Infinite. Even if the focus is on showing the campaign, we still might get an idea of how this title is a platform that'll grow over time. Halo Infinite and the Xbox Series X are both expected to launch at some point in Holiday 2020.

Xbox Series X/S


Samuel Tolbert

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

  • I'm starting to get this worrying feeling that MS has learned nothing from the lack of single player content during this current generation. Leave service games to the third parties. Focus on event style blockbusters from your first party studios. Keep it simple. Sony just released back to back to back hits. Nintendo is well established and still has unique high-quality games in varying genres. On Xbox there is nothing...Grounded? I love this platform, but I hate that Xbox keeps chasing this imaginary bro gamer with unlimited amounts of time. A lot of people want games that have a beginning, middle, and end. There is nothing wrong with that.
  • I am with you on that but Halo is all about the MP side. If you look at it on the original xbox it was lam party's and then 360 hit and MP hit levels it has never before add that to the sp mp to. I do think xbox needs more sp games though along with new Ips. Halo is the game to being the new xbox image together in all xbox consoles, pc, xcloud ect.
  • What if they continue to add single player content like Bungie does with Destiny? I would totally pay annually for new single player stuff and cosmetic stuff every now and then for MP
  • Came to say it sounded like they wanted Halo to follow Destiny, I mean didn't a lot of 343 come from Bungiesoft..? 😅
  • Yet u haven't Seen anything from Xbox Game Studios and their new studios.. How can you already claim they won't have single player content with over a 100 XGS exclusives in the Making 🤔 Grounded was already made before Microsoft acquired them. Sounds like a typical PlayStation fanboy pretending to worry.
  • I'm going off the comment that quoted the head of Xbox in this article. I hope they have learned a valuable lesson. Xbox One had a severe games problem where the 360 and OG Xbox did not. The types of games I loved this generation such as, Sunset Overdrive, Ryse, Quantum Break and among other single player IP, were not supported with sequels. Interesting games like Scalebound and Fable legends were cancelled outright. Games with interesting concepts like Recore were pushed out and floundered. I own and Xbox One X and a Switch and the Switch library is by far more impressive both in its diversity and quality. There is no Breath of the Wild or Mario Odyssey equivalent exclusive the Xbox. I do have hope in Phil based solely on Gears 5. Which was both polished and different yet familiar. It was a perfect game. But you never hear Nintendo or Sony talk about services regarding their main franchises like this. Halo shouldn't have to carry that burden it should just be a good game.
  • I agree with what you are saying, I would love a new Sunset Overdrive, and I think Control is the closest we will get to a Quantum Break sequel. It's funny you mention Gears 5 as although the campaign is quite impressive and tries to take the game in new directions, let's not ignore the fact that The Coalition COMPLETELY changed their progression model due to customer backlash (fun fact, the same thing happened with Gears 4 as well).
  • It has a full campaign. It's confirmed the campaign is what's being shown on Thursday. So don't panic.
  • For me, Halo is a story-driven game with campaign co-op and awesome multiplayer.
    Please don't go too far from its roots!
  • Fact is Halo has always been both. Deep story campaign along with awesome multiplayer. Halo fans expect to get both components. This sounds more like the multiplayer side will become an ongoing platform similar to like how GTA 5 Online has become.
  • Oh but ofc games as a service is MS's vision. And this stage, MS looks more about providing services to customers rather than games. They are chasing the GTA Online dream. Release a game once and have the microtransactions take care revenue for the next 8-10 years. A bit like a free2play model... And what does it mean with game pass? Spencer talks about yearly franchise. And what about his yearly franchise, Forza? Is he going to "respect" the players by having only one version of Forza that will last 8-10 years or his he going to keep milking that racing franchise?
  • Its worked out for them so far with Halo 5. They’ve made tons off of it for what, 6 years now? And peoples still play it and still buys req packs lol. Do that but with multiplayer maps and multiplayer missions like COD has and you’ve got Halo Online for years of financial peace for Microsoft haha.
  • Man, the day Forza Horizon goes to a games as a service model is the day I'm a very happy man. I'm already paying a subscription to play all the Microsoft titles, might as well give me a reason to continue paying it.
  • Good, I'm over buying a sequel every other year to games, just build on what is already there. Gone are the days where developers had to release a new game because they couldn't just "upgrade" a cartridge or CD. Now it's different. Give me a game and then release additions to that game and I will be much happier. Funnily enough, there's a reason why my most played games are things like Elite Dangerous, Neverwinter and Warframe.
  • Halo infinite apparently has grappling hooks, sprinting and more. Halo: Dying Light edition😁