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Live Service Model Dying


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Intelligence Officer

Intelligence Officer


By Derk 


That is the URL for a video done by Yahtzee Croshaw a game reviewer for The Escapist best known for his Zero Punctuation reviews. In this video he perfectly explains and repeats the many things I have said throughout the years about how live service is not a sustainable format for gaming. This continual drive and desire for infinite money and infinite growth which is unobtainable and unrealistic. It is not a model that is considerate to the general or casual consumer of games, but instead it intends to prey upon the whales and those with a small amount of disposable income to hand over far too much money for a infinitely available digital good which is non-transferable and non-refundable. It requires you to spend time with one game and one game only and this is not how most consumers wish to spend their time.

This is not a system that works with Halo and the format in which it was intended. It’s a format that most companies force a product to fit into instead of it fitting properly/easily into the product. This is exactly what we see with Halo infinite. The game was shipped out early in a broken state missing most legacy content you would expect from a Halo game. It has been filled with tons of bugs yet the only thing that has been virtually bug free has been the store. The items in the shops have not been properly priced since the beginning, even after attempts were made to lower the price. Player customization and expression is being held by the balls with a greedy iron fist that just keeps twisting in hopes that you’ll give it money to make them let go just a little.

This is not what Halo is supposed to be and should never be again. The core gameplay of Halo infinite is some of the best that has ever existed when things are working properly. I wish you nothing but good luck in the future 343 industries, I truly do because unless you fix this mess or have a massive turnaround with your next title and don’t make these massive mistakes again, I highly doubt that you will be able to make more. Halo as a series should never die and it should never be put out to pasture, but continuing to try to use it as a money farm will only result in its death.

I don't think the decision was made lightly and in previous management correcting MCC’s launch the game unintendedly became a live service. Because everything needs to be sustainable for MCC they relied on the game being bought again on PC and the releases to continue to come to a broader audience. The strategy that 343 Industries leadership had for the game is still alive today but as a consumer its very hard to see what marks was hit and what is left to speculation on wether it was worth it or not. 

I'm someone who honestly prefers it all be open sourced, Microsoft Game Studios is holding Halo and chiefly MCC back from being the awesome modding jungle it could be and follow a different approach to the entire monetization of the game. But about Halo Infinite where it was truly announced to be a live service game - the leadership has changed and mission stays the same, to those gridlocked subscribing to the idea that the store is prioritized you are completely wrong. From Season 1 onward the store itself has had bugs, the teams communicated other bugs as priority and the entire matrix for this can be understood if we take the time to communicate with Halo Support and specifically its head of support Susan Bunch. Microtransactions are here to stay, it generates revenue but the value of the game is determined by its players. If no one were to play the game they would inevitably lower the prices even more, its less about any system or format fitting in with Halo (I thought the REQ Pack system was horrible, yet it fit in so well many ask for that back) no digital item can really be quantified outside of the work it took to create it. 

We lost the luxury of saying what Halo should be or shouldn't because as a fanbase we disagree to agree on many things. This was something Bonnie Ross mentioned and the community team too, if you even catch Unyshek streaming on Twitch you can ask him directly to the most sound answer you will ever get from someone representing 343 Industries. While in some sense I am pessimistic about changes in this space for other games I selfishly want this game to last longer than its projected, we should want the change now and rally behind a platform like this to voice our opinon constructively and cordially. Building a platform that can amass the same audience and guide to single causes can really change things with Microsoft and we've seen this time and time again. 



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