Halo Infinite, the latest title in the blockbuster franchise could be set to adopt a ‘game as a service’ model if a recent Fortune Brainstorm Design Conference is to be believed.
Speaking at Fortune’s Brainstorm Design Conference in Singapore, Kiki Wolfkill, head of transmedia at 343 Industries, Wolfkill spoke about designing a game from a perspective of longevity, keeping a title relevant for years to come, and not just release to release.
“What it means to design for an audience now and what it means to design for an audience 10 years from now is really about having a set of rules that people can engage with and buy into for years to come,” Wolfkill said.
The gaming sphere has changed a lot since Halo: Combat Evolved first burst onto the scene in 2001. Today, more and more games develop over their lifetime, which used to come in the form of DLC content, and now comes in the form of the ‘game as a service’ business models that have polarised the community. Title’s like Fortnite have dominated the scene with this business model, while others have ultimately flopped.
“We have to be able to change content quickly,” Wolfkill said. “We can’t afford to wait three years every time we drop a new product and have it be a black box because the games kids are playing are changing every week.” The truth is that the gaming scene is driven by the concept of ‘the next big thing.’ The challenge companies like 343 are facing with titles like Halo Infinite, is how to ensure that their titles maintain a player base and generate revenue as that trending title changes hands week by week.
If Wolfkill’s statements are being read correctly, it seems that 343 could very well be looking at a making Halo Infinite follow the game as a service model, a move that is sure to polarise members of the community, but could well be the spark the franchise needs to get back to glory.
343 Industries has recently been putting together a team of Professional players to develop the multiplayer for Halo Infinite, a move that could well create the best Halo multiplayer experience in years. If the title launches with a solid multiplayer and a clear roadmap that gets regularly updated as to what fans can expect, be it new maps or events and missions, there is no reason that the model cannot breathe a spark into the title that keeps people coming back for more.
Microsoft has a good track record with this sort of regular content and communication with the players with the Forza Horizon series, especially the latest release, Forza Horizon 4. We’ve seen regularly updated titles like Fortnite completely dominate and with the announcement of Apex Legends following a similar model and beating out Fortnite it Twitch views, it’s certainly clear to see why the developer would want to follow such a model.
Honestly, if 343 Industries put everything behind the title, and continue support for their HCS Grassroots programe, there is no reason why such a model for Halo Infinite wouldn’t do the title wonders, especially if it lead to a flourishing competitive scene with regular map pool updates that keeps the game fresh and interesting to players and viewers alike.
In closing, Wolfkill also brought up the extended universe of Halo outside of the games, which has been widely accepted by fans in the form of books and shorts, and it seems that more content in this realm is on the radar for 343.
“Halo is a universe,” Wolfkill said. “There are all sorts of experiences and stories that we tell around the game based on the idea of how to engage audiences differently, how to let people come into the world in a different way [through] a medium they’re most comfortable with.”
What do you think? Would releasing Halo Infinite with a game as a service model be a good thing for the title? Or would it bury the game under the influx of free-to-play titles that have captivated the market? Let us know in the comments below!