Halo 5: Guardians for the Xbox One is breaking from the traditional paid DLC map pack releases that became a standard for console games. While it is being supported by micro-transactions, it is a refreshing change for a series that constantly sees its player base fractured between those that have and have not purchased map packs. Developer 343 Industries Design Director Kevin Franklin explains the reasons behind the change and his hope that it becomes the industry norm.
Franklin spoke with GameSpot about what 343 Industries learned from last December’s Halo 5 multiplayer beta test, the new WarZone Req system, and not repeating the issues with the Master Chief Collection. He was also asked the reasoning behind the move to free DLC and if it will become the norm.
“I certainly hope it becomes the norm!” Franklin exclaimed.
“There’s two reasons we’re doing this. One, we decided from the get-go that we wanted to make a very big investment in our players. We didn’t just want to release a game and hope it worked. We wanted to say okay, this is an investment in our players,” he continued.
“So we’re revealing two completely different multiplayer experiences. We’re going at it big, we’re giving them dedicated servers, so it really felt natural, when it came to the DLC question, to put all of our players in one place.”
He went on to use Halo 4 as an example that had six different player buckets between those that had just the base game, the season pass, and each of the four individual DLC releases. This fractured player base contributed to the dwindling number people that played multiplayer post-release, though it was far from the only reason. It also forced 343 Industries to rethink the approach for Halo 5.
“We just couldn’t solve that in game design,” Franklin explained. “The solution was to put everyone in the same playlist. The benefit of this is it’s going to give us better match-making, because there’s less buckets people have to filter through, everybody has access to the same content, it’s going to give us a lot more focus on when we want to start adding things. So that was the biggest deal for us when we were making that decision.”
The micro-transaction system that will support Halo 5 allows players to purchase Req Packs using in-game currency called Req Points (RP) earned from completing multiplayer matches or purchased with real-world money. A separate GameSpot report revealed the following prices for the Bronze, Silver, and Gold packs.
Bronze packs will only be offered for sale using in-game currency and will cost 1,250 RP. Silver Packs will cost 5,000 RP or $2 each. Meanwhile, Gold Packs 10,000 RP and will cost $3 each. The amount of cards you receive and the chance of obtaining better cards increases with the higher the pack purchased.
Bronze REQ Packs bought in Halo 5 will include Common, single-use REQs with the chance to unlock a new permanent REQ that you haven’t already unlocked, as was previously covered in the Inquisitr. Silver REQ Pack will come with Uncommon-to-Rare REQs with two permanent REQ unlocks, if they are not already owned. Finally, Gold REQ Packs will have a large number of REQs ranging from Uncommon to Legendary with two permanent REQ unlocks guaranteed.
Developer 343 Industries revealed that all players will receive 7,500 RP to start when the fire up Halo 5 for the first time. WarZone matches are expected to produce around 2,000 RP per match. Their goal is to give players enough REQ Points to purchase a pack every other game played.
It’s an interesting turn of events from the land of consoles where paid DLC packs became the norm with the launch of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It is one that is being seen more frequently too. Even Destiny is introducing cosmetic micro-transactions into the game via a patch this week reportedly to allow for free DLC in the place of paid DLC.
What do you think of the free Halo 5 DLC being supported by REQ Packs? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images via Halo Waypoint]