Halo Infinite's Esports Plans Include In-Game Content You Can Buy
You can purchase in-game content in Halo Infinite to support your favorite HCS team.
Halo has always been a major eSports franchise, and this is set to continue in new and exciting ways with Halo Infinite later this year. In a blog post, 343's eSports lead, Tashi, outlined the various ways in which Microsoft is upping the ante with Halo Infinite. This includes the ability to purchase in-game content from Halo Infinite, with some of the money going to your favorite team.
Halo's competitive scene is part of the Halo Championship Series (HCS), and Tashi said Microsoft has received valuable feedback from teams that did and did not participate in previous HCS events to help make Halo Infinite's program better.
"We asked about how they decided which games they wanted to join, which game ecosystems are working for them and why, why did they decide to enter/exit Halo in the past, and much more. We also learned about where they saw their business heading and how they could potentially see Halo fitting into it," Tashi said. "This was a long but extremely valuable process. It helped us create and strengthen relationships with the Teams but also gave us vital information that went directly into the design of the Halo Infinite esports ecosystem."
In the blog post, Tashi also reveals that 343 considered adopting the Overwatch League's franchise model and format, but the company ultimately decided against it. Overwatch League franchises reportedly cost many millions of dollars to start.
"For Halo, we decided it was critical that Halo Infinite esports had an open format and ecosystem, and that we were building off of the philosophy that started way back with Halo: Combat Evolved," the developer said. "We wanted to create an ecosystem that was as open as possible to allow for new teams to integrate into the scene at any time, for up-and-coming players to have the opportunity to rise to the top at any moment, and for tournament operators of all sizes to plug into the ecosystem across any region."
Halo Infinite will have an official partnership program for teams, which is a first for competitive Halo. The goal is to create a system through which the teams and Microsoft alike benefit. 343 started accepting applications for Halo Infinite teams in 2020, and the list of partnered teams for Halo Infinite's launch this year is now "solidified," though the developer won't say who the teams are just yet.
"Unfortunately that's not news that we're able to share just yet. Also, it would be pretty lame if we just listed out all of the teams in a blog like this. Don't worry, we and the Teams are cooking up some awesome plans to make the announcement. We intend to make a lot of noise when we're ready later this summer," Tashi said.
While we don't know the teams, 343 did share more insight into the Partnered program itself. All teams will have their own in-game content that will be sold through the Halo Infinite shop at launch, and teams will get a "significant portion" of the revenue.
As announced previously, Halo Infinite has a microtransaction store where players can purchase cosmetic items to customize their Spartan soldier. All of the items, including presumably the HCS content, are cosmetic in nature only--they do not impact gameplay.
On top of that, partnered teams will receive broadcast VODs and footage captured at Halo Infinite events, while teams can also film their own content. Every partnered team's roster and coach will have their travel paid for, while teams can also take on their own sponsors, but 343 says they cannot conflict with HCS' own sponsors.
Check out the full blog post on Halo Waypoint to learn more about Halo Infinite eSports.
GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.