Halo: MCC Seasonal Updates Are Changing As 343 Focuses On Halo Infinite
But there is still lots of content planned for 2022, including potentially new content for Halo 2.
Microsoft is scaling back its support for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, announcing that the upcoming Season 8 launch will be the final new season of 2021 as 343 shifts its focus to Halo Infinite. That being said, 343 still has lots of new content planned for MCC in the future, including potentially new content for Halo 2.
In a blog post, 343 said the remainder of 2021 will be a "wild one" for 343 with the launch of Halo Infinite coming up on December 8. There are separate teams working on Infinite and MCC, but there are some shared areas like services, support, and community management. As such, 343 is understandably focusing more of its attention on Infinite.
"It's important to us that we position MCC's eighth season for success but also help alleviate any conflicts that could take away from the studio's focus on Halo Infinite's launch. To that end, Season 8's release later this Fall will be our last official MCC update of this calendar year. Suffice it to say that we’re going to finish the year on a high note with a jam-packed season that's actually swelled in some regards as pieces once ear-marked for later this year were pulled in to clear the landing zone for Halo Infinite," 343 said.
343 said it has already had "a lot of conversations" about the best way to continue to support MCC when Halo Infinite launches. Releasing seasonal updates for two games, at the same time, doesn't make sense for the studio. "One, we have more MCC work to do and support will continue; and two, as a studio it's not ideal to run and continue shipping seasonal updates for two different multiplayer titles concurrently. So, while we very much have more updates coming--including more content, fixes, and features--the manner in which they are delivered is expected to shift."
Beginning in 2022, MCC will move away from the seasonal model and shift to a focus on "smaller" updates. "These updates will continue to be free and will include the unreleased features and content from this year--as well as a continued effort to improve stability and tackle legacy fixes where possible. We still have a lot of goodness to deliver in 2022," 343 said.
"This likely brings up a lot of questions--namely what this might mean for challenges, season points, the Exchange, and all the other specific aspects that have come to make up a typical MCC season. We're working through more detailed plans for the future of MCC and look forward to sharing more info early next year. In the meantime, we’re focused on finalizing Season 8 to ensure we give you an amazing release to cap off the year for MCC," 343 added.
MCC could get even more DLC maps in 2022, it seems. The developers said in the blog post that there are more maps they would like to evaluate and consider for release in the game, for Halo 3 or other titles. The recent DLC maps for Halo 3 in MCC came from Halo Online, the canceled free-to-play Halo game for Russia. The latest one is Icebox, a remake of Halo 2's Turf, which is scheduled to release in Season 8.
"We are always thinking about what to add to Halo: MCC and the list never seems to end. The team loves these games and we hear your requests and feedback. The question is, if we wanted to add new content, which game do we add it to? We hear some players out there are looking for more Halo 2 content, for example..." design director Max Szlagor teased.
343 recently wrapped up a beta test for MCC Season 8, so an official release date might be announced soon. As for Infinite, after a year-long delay, it is scheduled for release on December 8. The multiplayer is a free standalone game, while the campaign is included with Xbox Game Pass.