343 Industries has unveiled a significant shift in its approach to delivering new content for Halo Infinite, with the upcoming January 30 update ushering in a departure from the traditional seasonal model in favor of a more dynamic structure called "Operations." While assurances have been given that a plethora of new content is on the horizon for 2024, the manner in which this content is delivered is set to undergo a transformative change as developers reimagine battle passes and updates.
During the hour-long presentation, community director Brian “ske7ch” Jarrard detailed the features of the impending update. While the 2024 roadmap for Halo Infinite rules out any expansion for the game's campaign, online players can anticipate a host of exciting additions, including a new map, cross-core customization for helmets, an array of Covenant-inspired items for Forge mode, and a fresh Spartan IV armor core. Notably, all of these additions will be offered completely free of charge, marking a departure from the initially planned Season 6 as 343 restructures the game's battle pass system.
Over two years after its initial release, 343 is doing away with the divisive paid battle pass system for Halo Infinite. Instead of adhering to the anticipated "Season 6," the new content slated for January will be released under the banner of Content Update 29, abbreviated as "CU29." This marks the inception of a series of smaller updates that will supplant the conventional seasons, each featuring 20 tiers of unlockable content – provided for free, deviating from the previous 100-tier paid battle pass structure.
These newly introduced "Operations" represent an evolution of the periodic events featured in earlier seasons of Halo Infinite. Each Operation is designed to span 4-6 weeks, allowing players ample time to unlock the 20 tiers of new armor, emblems, and coatings. While the shift to time-limited passes may raise concerns among some players, especially those who praised the permanence of Infinite's battle passes, 343 has introduced an option for players to pay around 500 credits ($5.00) to permanently unlock these Operations, providing flexibility in completing the new content at their own pace.
The move away from traditional seasons has stirred concerns among critics, who fear that 343 might scale back its support for Halo Infinite. However, this shakeup in the game's formula could prove to be a positive change. Addressing past criticisms of early seasons lacking content, the new format promises a consistent flow of small updates, ensuring that the game remains fresh and engaging. Following Season 5's introduction of Firefight and the community's remarkable creations in Forge, including entire campaign missions from past games, Halo Infinite appears to be in its most comprehensive state yet. The success of this new formula remains to be seen, as players eagerly anticipate the launch of Halo Infinite’s first Operation, "Spirit of Fire," on January 30.