Microsoft has been almost completely silent about what kind of game Halo Infinite will be, but some job listings at developer 343 Industries have shed some light about what fans can expect.
A job ad for an Online Experience Design Director reveals, unsurprisingly, that Halo Infinite is being designed with longevity in mind. The successful candidate will oversee a number of games-as-a-service elements. According to the job post, this includes player progression inside and outside of the game, “social and engagement features that encourage players to return again and again with their friends,” and of course, microtransactions.
It is not one bit surprising that Halo Infinite will use a games-as-a-service model, as this is becoming an increasingly popular and prevalent business model across the entire industry. It would be more surprising if Halo Infinite didn’t have microtransactions. Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Halo 5: Guardians still receive semi-regular updates and playlist changes years after release, so 343 is already doing a lot in the games-as-a-service space.
As for the implementation of microtransactions, this is expected as well. Microtransactions in Halo 5 proved to be lucrative, so it’s no surprise that 343 is bringing them back in Halo Infinite.
A successful candidate for the Online Experience Design Director job will “design and deliver a AAA social experience that fosters community,” while also delivering a “AAA player investment experience” that encourages players to “express their passion” for Halo through things like microtransactions. (“Express their passion” sounds a lot like cosmetic items like skins and gear, but this isn’t confirmed). The successful applicant will also “design and deliver a AAA progression and engagement experience that ties into game features.”
The person who gets the job should also have a “comprehensive understanding” of the psychology of gamer behaviour specifically in the area of what keeps them coming back. The job ad also describes Halo Infinite as being a “live service” game.
The Online Experience Design Director job ad was posted just days after Halo Infinite was announced at E3, and the position remains open now months later. Halo Infinite is expected to have both a campaign and a multiplayer element. A rumour suggests that the campaign will launch in late 2019, with the multiplayer portion coming in 2020.
Another open job at at 343 Industries reveals that the PC edition of Halo Infinite will feature anti-cheat measures, which is good news. 343 is looking for a Senior Software Development Engineer to work on “PC client anti-cheat and security features for Halo Infinite.”
The successful candidate will work on a team that devises anti-cheat plans on PC for Halo Infinite, including examining anti-cheat software from third-party companies. The employee will also work with Halo Infinite’s networking teams on “end-to-end anti-cheat and security plans
The ubiquity of cheating and other nefarious behaviour on PC is one of the reasons why people choose console over PC, so it’s good to see 343 taking anti-cheat seriously. It remains to be seen if 343 uses a proprietary or third-party anti-cheating system, or some hybrid, but this job ad makes it clear that anti-cheat measures are important to 343.
Halo Infinite was revealed at the start of Microsoft’s E3 2018 briefing in June. The announcement trailer was impressive, but we later discovered that the video was a trailer for the game’s new engine, Slipspace, and not the game itself. Microsoft has yet to release any footage of the game itself.
Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg has said that Halo Infinite is a bigger, bolder, and more ambitious. Halo game, and that’s exciting to think about. The game also promises to return to Halo’s “core roots,” and Master Chief’s helmet shown at the end of the reveal trailer was meant to be evocative of the classic vibe.
No release date has been set for Halo Infinite, but it sounds like it won’t launch anytime soon. The game has a new art style and goes in “new and unexpected directions,” while 343 has also teased that you’ll get to play early in beta tests. For lots more, check out GameSpot’s breakdown of everything you need know about Halo Infinite.
When it is finally released, Halo Infinite will be free for Xbox Game Pass subscribers. While you might have to wait a while to play Halo Infinite, a TV show based on the franchise is coming to Showtime from Steven Spielberg and the director of Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
In other Halo news, Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto recently talked about how Halo is in a tough place right now trying to appease longtime fans while also adding features to attract new players.