While many might think that the Halo franchise has started to decline since Halo 3’s life cycle came to a close, the folks at 343 industries are still dedicated to making a solid experience for Halo fans. In a move that’s surprising considering the malicious DLC sales that so often plague the genre, Halo 5 players will be receiving all 15 of the post-launch multiplayer maps for no cost. This comes from an interview that Gameinformer had with Josh Holmes, the head of 343.
“When you have paid map packs and content, you divide the player base into two groups: the haves and the have-nots,” Holmes pointed out. “The people that have the map pack can play together but the people who don’t cannot. That to us is a real problem. So we’re delivering all the maps to all players free so everybody will be able to play together. That, we feel, is really important to having a great multiplayer ecosystem.”
Strong communities have always been a vital part of any game, especially something like Halo, that’s had an incredible amount of community-driven longevity in the past. In this effort to make sure the Halo community doesn’t split, 343 does something that ought to put them in the good graces of many gamers, whether they be Halo fans or not. Halo is an illustrious franchise that’s always had the utmost care for its fanbase, but even so, paid map packs have always been a staple of its multiplayer community. I can’t count how many times that I’ve been unable to play with my friends in a Halo game just because we had conflicting map packs, and as Holmes says, it creates a massive divide in the community.
Now, just because Halo is going to have its map packs be released for free doesn’t mean that all DLC is going to be free. The addition of some other single-player content is entirely likely, but honestly, as long as it doesn’t conflict with Halo’s online community, I don’t think anybody will mind. As a franchise that’s always thrived in its online play, it’s in 343’s best interest to keep Halo’s online accessible to all.