With Halo Infinite's still non-specific "holiday 2021" release window creeping closer, 343 Industries are continuing to put out their big chat blogs on what to expect from the newest Halo adventure. This time they sat down to talk about their planned seasonal model and battle passes that so many online games come equipped with now. The big difference is that 343 say their battle pass reward tracks won't actually be limited time. You'll be able to play them forever, which sounds pretty stellar to me.
To begin with, 343 explain that they're planning to start a new season of Halo Infinite roughly every three months. As all your online service games do these days, that will bring new content fresh from the farm, new customisation bits, events and all. Halo Infinite will also be running seasonal battle passes with free and paid tiers.
Where it differs is that Infinite's battle passes won't disappear after the next one launches. They'll stick around for you to pick up, either free or paid, whenever you like later on. Infinite's Live Team design director Ryan Paradis explains it here:
"First and foremost, we’re working hard to ensure that the Battle Pass isn’t a ‘grind’ for players. We want it to be a supplemental reward stream for the time you were already putting into the game. I for one can’t stand it when I’m playing a game JUST to complete the Battle Pass – it feels like a chore to me.
"On how we’re going to be different... We’re going player-first with our Battle Passes: All Battle Passes will be permanent. This means that the Season 1 Battle Pass will be around forever; you can always go back, select that as your active Battle Pass and continue to earn progress in it. If you decided to take a Season off, or you simply didn’t have time to play, that’s fine. You can always go back and purchase any prior Battle Pass as well."
I'm a real sucker for limited time stuff like battle passes, whether its in RDR2 Online or Fall Guys or, heck, that gosh darn maypole in Valheim that I built earlier this week. I always feel like I'm missing out if I don't keep my rear in my chair and clock the hours to unlock that special limited time belt buckle or whatever it may be. I agree with Paradis. That's not actually a very fun mindset! Based on the talk I see in the comments section around these parts, I suspect I'm not the only one for whom this is a major sigh of relief.
If battle passes are going to be around for a while, I'd sure like to see more of them going this route. Part of the reason online games run limited-time events events is to keep players logging in regularly, of course. Perhaps Halo is big enough that it just doesn't need to be concerned about twisting the arms of its players.
You can catch the rest of the chat on seasons, battle passes, and a Halo Waypoint redesign in 343's June update post.
After failing to impress at last year's E3, Halo Infinite wound up being one of the best games of E3 2021 by RPS's count. For even more thoughts on the subject, you can spot Ed and Imogen chatting about Infinite and other online shooter E3 news in last week's Ultimate Audio Bang podcast.