Something like this catching on is only going to be good for customers, so I hope this happens, too.
One of the best things about Halo 5: Guardians is the unique approach to DLC that it will adopt, where all maps will be made available as free DLC for the first year after the game’s release. It is something similar to what Sony and Guerrilla Games did with Killzone: Shadow Fall, or Nintendo with Splatoon, and it ensures that there won’t be much community fragmentation. But as popular as Killzone and Splatoon are, nothing is bigger than Halo when it comes to shooters- which is why 343 Industries hopes that this model of distributing additional maps for free can become a standard for the genre following Halo 5’s release.
“I certainly hope it becomes the norm!” 343 said to Gamespot in an interview. “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. 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. With Halo 4, you could have the season pass, DLC 1, DLC 2, DLC 3, and all of a sudden you have six different buckets and players have to make decisions about whether they play new content or with their friends. We just couldn’t solve that in game design. 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.”
This will only be a good thing, all said and done- the kind of post launch support for shooters that should be free to keep the community constantly engaged. With more and more games, and especially Halo, now adopting this technique, I hope 343 is right, and it does become the norm.
Halo 5: Guardians launches exclusively on Xbox One later this month.