343 Industries has not earned a lot of goodwill from fans as of late. Although Halo Infinite earned a fairly positive reception at launch, that initial honeymoon phase ended quickly, as players grew annoyed over the game’s lackluster multiplayer offerings and sparse updates. Recent PR blunders, such as a recent cosmetic made to celebrate Juneteenth that used an offensive name, did not help matters. Now, it looks like 343 has committed itself to harming its reputation even further, as a recent community update revealed that the developer has considered implementing microtransactions into Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
Although the community update mostly covers current and future additions to Halo Infinite and Halo: The Master Chief Collection, the microtransaction news easily overshadows them. These microtransactions, if implemented, would come in the form of purchasable Spartan Points, previously known as Season Points.
The update tries to justify this potential inclusion by noting that The Master Chief Collection currently has more than 1,000 customization items for players can unlock. Even though 343 remains happy with the current unlock system, which sees players earning Spartan Points through challenges and level-ups, the studio noted that some players may not want to go through the grind required to obtain every item. Purchasable Spartan Points would allow players to cut down on the grind. 343 reassured fans that this would function purely as “an additive feature.”
Ultimately, 343’s explanations and reassurances do little to paint the potential incorporation of microtransactions into Halo: The Master Chief Collection as anything other than a cynical attempt to squeeze more cash out of players. 343 could have easily tweaked the unlock system in some way, or at the very least, provided players with alternate methods for unlocking difficult-to-obtain items. But instead, it opted to irritate fans even more than it already has. Here’s hoping the studio reconsiders this idea.