In contrast to recent news, it appears that players won’t be able to spend their hard earned money on loot boxes in the newest iteration of the Halo franchise. This comes via an exchange on twitter:
A Youtuber wrote that they were disappointed to find out that Halo Infinite would contain micro-transactions, however, studio head Chris Lee jumped in to announce some potentially good news. Lee stated that while they are working through final plans, Halo Infinite will not allow real-money loot boxes.
While this is definitely good news, it doesn’t completely close the door on micro-transactions as a whole. 343 and Microsoft could implement a marketplace of some sort, where the player picks out the items they want and pays for them directly. While most people would prefer to not spend additional money on a full price AAA game, at least in this scenario players get to choose what they pay for in place of a randomized system that could take a far larger sum of money to acquire the items a player wants. The statement from Lee also leaves the door open for loot boxes paid for or acquired by in game currency, which in turn could be purchased in exchange for real world money.
What direction Microsoft and 343 takes remains to be seen, as not much is known about Halo Infinite aside from that it is in fact a sequel to Halo 5. Considering the current climate of the gaming industry, it would be fairly tone deaf for the people behind Halo to put these potential loop holes into the game. Rather than a consumer first approach to game making, it would come off as simply a PR stunt meant to garner good will before the rug is ripped out beneath fans. Still fans need to be patient in this regard as Microsoft has taken great strides to show they are working toward a consumer minded future, cross play with Nintendo for example, rather than one dictated strictly be the bottom line.