Halo Infinite appears primed to get its big debut at E3 2019, but it may be a very different kind of game. Comments from Kiki Wolfkill, the head of Halo trans-media at 343, has added more reason to believe that the studio is imagining this as an ongoing game or live service.
“We have to be able to change content quickly,” Wolfkill said at Fortune’s Brainstorm Design conference. “We can’t afford to wait three years every time we drop a new product and have it be a black box because the games kids are playing are changing every week.”
The reference to a three-year development cycle as outdated, paired with the title of Halo Infinite itself, would seem to suggest that Microsoft and 343 are planning this entry as an ongoing game of some sort. That would also make sense alongside her reference of games that kids are playing currently. It sounds like a reference to games like Fortnite, which issues regular challenge updates and new equipment between its large seasonal updates.
Wolfkill also referenced “having a set of rules that people can engage with and buy into for years to come.”
As the head of of trans-media, Wolfkill’s focus is how to tell different kinds of Halo stories across a variety of media. That means she may not be directly involved in game development, but she probably is planning other media and storytelling that takes advantage of the story established in Halo Infinite. That could mean we see stories regularly updating in the game and continuing through other media, or criss-crossing through both.
The studio recently had to respond to concerns about microtransactions, following a job posting. It has also specified that it will not have paid loot boxes.
This news comes as Halo head of franchise development Frank O’Connor has recently confirmed that Halo Infinite will hit PC and Xbox One, rather than wait for the next generation of consoles. And given the popularity of battle royale, we’ve seen a good deal of speculation about Halo adopting the play format–though 343 is staying mum on the subject.