Halo Infinite Multiplayer Release Should Happen First
When it comes to the biggest games of 2021 that we are looking forward to, one of them is Halo Infinite. For me, the Halo series is what first birthed my love for first-person shooter games that still thrives today. But, in my opinion, the Halo Infinite multiplayer release should happen sooner rather than later.
What We Know About Halo Infinite’s Release Schedule
In general, I have my thoughts and opinion on what I think that 343 Industries and Microsoft should do with the Halo Infinite multiplayer release. But before we jump too deep into that, it is worth recapping what we know thus far about the multiplayer and campaign elements.
Interestingly, Halo Infinite that you might already know is that the online multiplayer segment is seemingly separate from the story campaign that we have seen a glimpse of. Thus far, 343 has been pretty secretive about the multiplayer in terms of revealing it.
The main gameplay reveal that happened in the past was for the story campaign, which is all well and good, but the multiplayer has been hidden thus far. This is a problem on its own as the two sections are treated as two different entities.
Unlike past mainline titles, Halo Infinite will feature two different games. There will be the main story campaign that we have already seen a bit of that will be at least partially open world to an extent, and then there will be the online multiplayer that many love around the world.
These two different games are not there to get more money from you as the story campaign will likely be a full-priced release (hopefully also on Game Pass, but that is for another time). In contrast, the Halo Infinite multiplayer release will be a free-to-play one that anyone will have easy access to on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
Having the multiplayer be a separate title that is free-to-play could be controversial to some in the community. Still, I think it is a great option as it means that everyone will be able to get into the competitive side. It is also a chance for Halo to revolutionize multiplayer once again.
Microsoft Hasn’t Said If Both Parts Release at the Same Time
But there are some weird parts about the Halo Infinite multiplayer release that is worth noting. For one, I have already established that the campaign and multiplayer are separate things. Though they will likely feature the same gameplay, mechanics, graphics, and engine, they are treated as separate games.
In many ways, it is similar to what Modern Warfare and Call of Duty Warzone did. Except Halo is blowing the doors open by making the entire multiplayer section free rather than just something specific like a battle royale game mode (which I still want to see).
It is very intentional to have Halo Infinite have two different portions treated differently when purchasing them. More intriguing, though, is that Microsoft has not come out and said that they would release simultaneously.
It is easy to assume that both will just come out on the same day, offering players who want the main singleplayer or cooperative experience on the Halo world and see what the latest story about Master Chief is going to be.
Some other players will want to immediately jump into the online multiplayer, start exploring the new guns and mechanics and get a feel for the new map locations. But what if this isn’t how 343 does it and, instead, releases these two games at different times?
Opinion: Halo Infinite Multiplayer Release Should Happen First
This is something that I would like to happen as I think that it makes more sense to have the Halo Infinite multiplayer release happen before the story campaign comes out. The online multiplayer could come first and would be a massive win for Microsoft and 343 if this happened.
That is the purpose of this opinion article, as I will go over why I think that the Halo Infinite multiplayer release should happen first before the main story campaign on the new Halo world. There are several reasons why I think this should happen.
After all, I think it would be a darn shame for the two entities to be separate and not be released at different times, too. If they don’t, it does bring up the question of why is this separation even happening in the first place? It doesn’t make much sense otherwise.
Having both released on the same day would mean that the community could be divided between which game they would like to play first. Furthermore, they would also have to decide which to download first and have two potentially huge games to install on the same day.
I do acknowledge that the main reason why this is likely happening is that Microsoft can see the value in the online multiplayer and the potential success that it could be. Just like battle royale games have thrived in the free-to-play space, multiplayer FPS games could as well using the cosmetic and battle pass mechanics that have helped games like Fortnite and Call of Duty Warzone to be massive successes.
But there are other reasons beyond those for why I would like the Halo Infinite multiplayer release to be first. I will go over those in more detail below, as I think this is a decision that would be the best one for everyone involved.
Multiplayer Could Be More Ready Than the Campaign
The first point that I would like to go over is potentially the most controversial and unknown. I think that the online multiplayer side of Halo Infinite might be more ready than the actual story campaign is, even though it hasn’t even been shown off yet.
There are several reasons behind this, the bulk of which is that they are treated as separate releases. This could tell us that there are two different teams, if not more, that are working on these two sides to Halo Infinite.
There have already been many rumors and reports that 343 outsourced much of the development work on Infinite to third-parties to likely speed things up and lessen the massive work on the shoulders of the development team, especially with these two games.
That is understandable, but it does bring up how the division is being done. Are the third-parties working on the story campaign, the multiplayer, or both of them? Well, I think it is likely a little bit of both, but it would make sense if 343 focuses a lot on the multiplayer.
It could be similar to what Treyarch did with Black Ops Cold War, letting Raven Software focus on the singleplayer story. At the same time, it handled the multiplayer and Zombies sides. From what we know about Halo Infinite, it seems that there are a lot of development troubles right now.
This seems to be, but it isn’t confirmed that much of the trouble is related to outsourcing. Of course, the campaign wasn’t too well-received by the community when it was revealed. These two problems could be directly related to one another and a main reason behind the delay.
But this might not include the multiplayer side in its issues (however, it could simultaneously), so there is a chance that the multiplayer portion is more ready than the campaign right now. I wouldn’t be surprised, given that the multiplayer’s scope is very different from the campaign.
Sure, there will likely be massive maps and potentially a battle royale mode that will be huge. Still, the general scope of the locations and the multiplayer modes will likely be something that could be more ready than the open-world campaign that is potentially totally different than what the Halo series has done before now.
If the multiplayer is more ready, it makes sense to have that come out first and allow for some next-gen action.
343 Industries and the Xbox Series X/S Needs a Win Right Now
Let’s be real: 343 Industries, Microsoft, and the Xbox Series X/S need a win right now. Without a doubt, Halo Infinite is the most important game to these three at this time. It was a very tragic move when it was delayed past the launch of the new consoles.
The setup for a potential repeat, if not succession, to what Combat Evolved did for the original Xbox was possible, but it was a huge missed opportunity overall. However, I don’t mean that the game should have been rushed or released too early, but it just sucks that it ended up that way.
Because of that, though, everyone needs the win of having a part of Halo Infinite release sooner rather than later. If I’m right and the multiplayer is better off than the campaign right now, then releasing it first could be the huge win for the developer that it needs.
Unfortunately, we have to wait for Halo Infinite but release a ready version of multiplayer for everyone would make that wait for the continuation of Master Chief’s story much easier in the meantime. It would be a huge win for the Xbox side.
And that is necessary in a year in which it looks like Sony will once again dominate with the PlayStation brand and its lineup of exclusives. There are games like Ratchet & Clank, Horizon Forbidden West, and possibly even God of War Ragnarok and Final Fantasy XVI, plus other smaller exclusives along the way.
Some Xbox exclusives are coming this year, and notable ones like, hopefully, Hellblade 2 and STALKER 2, but Halo Infinite is much more important to the overall future of Xbox than those. Even just the multiplayer part releasing would be an excellent move.
A Beta Is Possibly Not Happening Anymore
The final reason I think that the multiplayer part should come first and, more importantly, soon is that a public beta is possibly not happening anymore. As you may already know, a beta of sorts was previously revealed for the multiplayer segment but then supposedly canceled.
We don’t know if the beta is ever actually coming or not, but the possibility isn’t too high, especially with these delays. But this isn’t necessarily bad as a beta could take away valuable time that needs to be spent honing the gameplay, performance and getting rid of game-breaking bugs.
Hosting a beta would then take away some developers to focus on making the beta build, potentially updating it, and then possibly fixing the beta to make sure it works well while players are using it. And that is before researching the results of the playtest and figuring out what to do from there.
The community’s beta results would be extremely helpful for the game as it could be used to single out major issues that might not have been discovered otherwise, but it does take away from the main development.
However, if there is no beta anymore, that frees up more time and effort to be spent on the game. One way to address the multiplayer’s concerns is to release the multiplayer first for free for everyone in an early access format instead of having an open beta.
Make it clear that it is not in a finished state yet, but it is available for everyone to play and keep their progress throughout the early access period. It would allow players to access the game and still provide feedback regarding changes that need to be made.
It would be a win-win for everyone and more than make up for the lack of a beta. Of course, the multiplayer might be doing much better than we realize, which wouldn’t even be necessary. Regardless, I think that the multiplayer should come first in one form or another, and earlier than late 2021, if possible, as I get the feeling, it is more ready than the potentially troubled main campaign.