Halo Infinite Microtransaction Concerns Prompt Clarification From Microsoft

Microsoft assures fans that customization items can also be earned through gameplay.

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After Halo developer 343 Industries recently announced that weapon, vehicle, and player skins in Halo Infinite will be called "coatings," fans immediately began expressing concerns about microtransactions. We've now learned a bit more about how these are structured in the game and whether you'll need to spend money to get new coatings.

Community manager John Junyszek responded to fans' concerns. Writing on Twitter, he said that while Halo Infinite will have a microtransaction store, it won't be the only way to get the game's customization items, which go beyond coatings.

This Halo Infinite coating is exclusive to GameStop
This Halo Infinite coating is exclusive to GameStop

"There will be all kinds customization items (including coatings) that can be earned in-game and earned as special rewards," Junyszek said. "Will there be purchases? Sure. Is that the only way? Absolutely not."

With the new seven-layer coating system, it appears Halo Infinite will offer many more options to players looking to create a player that is unique. "Although moving away from the old color system was a tough call, it has allowed us to go into greater detail and variation with armor color, materials, patterns, etc. You are going to look great in Halo Infinite," Junyszek said.

We have known for years that Halo Infinite would have a microtransaction store. In 2018, a job listing at 343 mentioned microtransactions and how developers will use human pyschology and behavioural analysis to encourage people to keep coming back.

While Halo Infinite will have microtransactions, there will be no paid loot boxes. Given that Halo Infinite's multiplayer will be free-to-play, it makes sense that the game will support microtransactions as a way to make money from the product.

It's understandable that fans would have concerns about microtransactions, given how they can be handled in various games. It's good to know that Halo Infinite will let players earn items through gameplay, but it's too soon to say how player-friendly the system will be until we learn more about the specifics.

It appears there are more shakeups happening following the game's delay, however. Director Chris Lee, who had been at 343 Industries for more than a decade, has stepped down from his role. Joseph Staten, a veteran developer who worked as a writer on the original trilogy, is back on the project as well to lead the campaign's development. He had left Microsoft when Bungie became independent but returned to the company several years ago.

Halo Infinite is using a slightly different art style than the past games, moving from a strictly realistic look for the armor and character models to something with a little more flavor. New merchandise for the game fits this style, as well.

While Halo Infinite doesn't release until 2021, you can get your hands on multiplayer skins by purchasing sugary snacks and shopping at GameStop. In the mean time, if you're playing through Halo on PC, you have Halo 4 to look forward to--it's coming to the Master Chief Collection soon. Halo 5, meanwhile, will remain an Xbox One exclusive.

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