UPDATE: The official Halo Twitter account has now confirmed that Halo Infinite’s multiplayer will be free-to-play. The tweet reads as follows:
“Halo is for everyone. We can confirm #HaloInfinite multiplayer will be free-to-play and will support 120FPS on Xbox Series X. More details will be shared later!”
A retail listing has revealed that Halo Infinite may have free-to-play online, leading to speculation about how Microsoft will handle online services in 2021.
The news comes via Smyths Toys, and their listing for the Xbox Series X. While no longer listed, the webpage reportedly (via Video Games Chronicle and Dual Shockers) listed Halo Infinite, along with its features. An alleged screencap shows the heading listing the game offering 120 fps and free-to-play multiplayer. For those relying on machine translation, the text reads as follows.
“The legendary Halo series returns with the most expansive Master Chief campaign yet and groundbreaking free-to-play multiplayer experience. Enjoy up to 120 FPS and greatly reduced load times creating seamless gameplay with Xbox Series X.”
The current console generation (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One) had begun charging for online services, usually coupled with other perks such as free games. Whether this free multiplayer will be exclusive to Xbox Series X, or available as a stand-alone free-to-play game, remain to be seen.
Thanks to other news, this has also caused speculation that the Xbox Series X will not have charged online. Microsoft stopped selling 12-month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions on July 16th.
A Microsoft spokesperson told Inverse “At this time Xbox has decided to remove the 12 month Xbox Live Gold SKU from the Microsoft online Store. Customers can still sign up for a 1 month or 3 month Xbox Live Gold subscription online through the Microsoft Store.”
Some have speculated Microsoft have begun to phase out their paid Xbox Live service- meaning we could be seeing Xbox Series X, or even the Xbox One, with no online fees by July 2021.
We will keep you informed as we learn more.
You can find the full rundown (via the official website) below.
The Master Chief returns in Halo Infinite
The Master Chief returns in Halo Infinite – the next chapter of the legendary franchise beginning holiday 2020! Developed by 343 Industries for the entire Xbox family of devices, including Project Scarlett and Windows PCs, Halo Infinite continues the Halo 5: Guardians storyline and takes the franchise in ambitious and unexpected directions, powered by the all-new Slipspace Engine.
Halo Infinite launches Holiday 2020 on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.
Image: Halo Infinite official website