Halo 5 Has Amassed Over $1.5 Million in Microtransactions

Microtransactions were originally implemented on mobile games which adopted the free-to-play business model. This gave developers the freedom to create a large user-base among casual players and attempt to monetize their creation through optional micropayments. As we all know, this can be a very flawed concept and involve an absurd amount of grinding to experience the game without paying any money. Unfortunately, microtransactions have become an integral component of modern gaming and even included in full priced releases. This is really shocking because microtransctions were designed for a free entry point and not an additional source of revenue for $60 titles. One pertinent example is Halo 5 which allowed players to purchase weapons and items for the Warzone multiplayer mode.

In theory, you can acquire credits through gameplay and there’s no obligation to pay real money. However, it is fairly insulting considering one of the packs has an eye-watering price of $100. These payments go towards funding Halo eSports events which might encourage users to adopt a more forgiving attitude towards these microtransactions. According to Microsoft, the Halo World Championship prize pool has increased to a whopping $2.5 million:

“Since we first announced a starting prize pool of $1 million at gamescom 2015, the winnings for the Halo World Championship has grown immensely due to community crowd-funding via the Halo 5: Guardians REQ System. The final prize pool is now locked and players will compete to win their slice of $2.5 million at the Halo World Championship. And if being the best Halo team in the world wasn’t enough of an incentive, this might be: the first place team will take home a total of $1 million – the biggest individual prize pool in console esports history.”

This means the game has made at least $1.5 million through REQ pack sales. It’s quite shocking to see players spend so much money on multiplayer packs, and emphasizes how rapidly the industry is progressing into competitive play. I do worry though because it’s alienating single player gamers, and the constant onslaught of microtransaction is making consumers very wary of game publishers in the long-term.

Podracing Mod for Halo 5 Isn’t Perfect but a Lot of Fun

Star Wars is an awesome book and movie series and one of the things that a lot of people would love to experience from the series besides the light sabers are the pod racers. I’m also sure that most agree that it was also one of the best things in Phantom Menace. Up until now there hasn’t been much in that direction for us gamers, sure there was the Podracing game for N64, but that’s about it. Luckily there are a lot of games that feature a great modding ability and where fans can are able to create their own pod racing games.

Modder CaptainDireWolf must be one of the people besides me that love the idea of pod racing and thanks to Halo 5’s Forge Map tools he created an almost working mod. While the mod is buggy and doesn’t fully work as a racing game, it’s still a great idea, fun to watch, and the video below is at least worth to watch.

The designer created a playable, yet limited, pod racing multiplayer mode that reminds us a lot of the Star Wars Episode 1: Podracer game for the N64. You’re able to use multiple pod racers in this mod called Boonta Eve, but you can’t really win the game. You can kill your enemies or you can just enjoy the fun of the race. One of the problems arises when you die, you can’t respawn with a racer again. All in all, it’s very simple, but that’s due to the limitations of Halo 5 more than anything else.

While this isn’t the ideal mod nor the best platform to make it on, I hope that it will inspire someone else to create a proper pod racing mod in another game, a game that is more suited for a racing mod like this. I would surely like a fun and fastpaced pod racing game for PC and I’m sure that I’m not the only one.

Halo 5 Has Amassed Over $1 Million in Microtransactions

Halo 5: Guardians received a fairly mixed response from fans due to the short campaign and disappointing story. The developer, 343 Industries focused on the multiplayer aspect and provided a large amount of chaotic modes to encourage competitive play. As a predominately single player gamer, this doesn’t interest me, but it looks like the multiplayer component is already a financial success. According to a recent post on the Halo Waypoint website, at least $1 million has been spent by Halo 5’s player base:

Throughout the game, you can purchase Req packs with real money which provides you with certain items. The pricing ranges from $2 all the way up to $25. Please note, these can be unlocked through traditional gameplay, so it’s not as egregious as many microtransactions. Nevertheless, I dislike the notion of these small payments in a full priced title. Interestingly, for every Req pack purchased, a portion of the money goes to fund eSport Halo tournaments. This is where the $2 million figure comes from.

However, Microsoft is yet to disclosure the exact percentage taken from these microtransactions to pay for competitive events. It’s pretty staggering that at least $1 million was spent by players between December and March. While many of us detest the idea of microtransactions, it seems they are a successful venture in Halo 5, and continue to be purchased on a regular basis.

Halo 5 Has Already Made $500,000 in Micro-Transactions

Microtransactions have slowly become a common occurrence in full-price releases and no longer exclusive to free-to-play mobile games. This is a depressing notion and it seems like publishers are desperate to eke out every last penny from the consumer even if it causes negative publicity. Despite the public outrage, it seems many users are purchasing micro-transactions in large numbers. Unbelievably, Halo 5 has already grossed $500,000 in micro-transactions alone. This happened in a one week period and makes for fairly shocking reading.

Clearly, publishers continue to implement micro-transactions because they are financially successful. In Halo 5’s case, you can spend real money to acquire REQ packs for various multiplayer modes. The pricing ranges between $2-$25 although they can be unlocked through normal gameplay. On another note, a proportion of micro-transactions helps to fund the Halo World Championship prize pool. This might explain why the sales of Halo’s micro-transactions are so high. However, it’s important to remember only a small amount is put towards the prize fund.

It’s almost become acceptable for micro-transactions to be in full price games providing they are optional or cosmetic. Personally, I just find it quite distasteful and usually wait for a price drop if they are incorporated on a mass scale.

Have you ever purchased a micro-transaction?

Halo 5 Performance Analysed in Digital Foundry Video

Halo 5 has finally been released after 3 years of development and received overwhelmingly positive critical acclaim. From a technical standpoint, the game’s performance is fascinating given the lack of horsepower in the Xbox One. 343 Industries prioritized 60 frames-per-second and employed a number of tweaks to keep the experience fluid. For example, dynamic resolution scaling alters the rendering resolution in real-time to maintain 60 frames-per-second. When the action is more intense, the resolution is reduced to stop the frame-rate from suddenly dropping. This is an intriguing solution and appears to work quite nicely.

DigitalFoundry investigated Halo 5’s performance and graphical concessions to reach 60 frames-per-second. Sadly, the game suffers from awful texture pop-in which can become rather jarring. Additionally, the shadows, ground textures, poor AA and limited LOD makes the game look quite dated. Clearly, 343 was incredibly limited in the hardware available and had to make huge compromises to keep 60 frames-per-second. This is a real shame as a PC version could properly show the assets off in huge detail and large resolutions. Although, Microsoft doesn’t seem to have any interest in this for the time being.

343 have done a splendid job to attain 60 frames-per-second but it’s pretty shocking to see a major game of this caliber released with very sub-par graphics. Nevertheless, Microsoft has to accept the hardware limitations and realize how poorly the Xbox One was originally launched.

Halo 5 is Not Coming to PC According to Aaron Greenberg

Yesterday, Halo series director Frank O’Connor announced, “There is plenty of chance that Halo 5 could appear on the PC,” which came as a surprising revelation. However, this has now been categorically denied by Aaron Greenberg, the head of Xbox marketing who said:

The conflicting message between 343 and the Xbox division is quite puzzling and demonstrates a lack of communication. On another note, I cannot understand Microsoft’s stubbornness towards PC gaming. Not so long ago, Phil Spencer proclaimed “it’s time for us to talk about gaming on Windows” and promised Microsoft would take PC gaming more seriously. Over the years, Microsoft has made a number of pledges and always failed to produce the goods.

Granted, there are a few titles working their way to PC including Gears of War Remastered, Fable Legends and Halo Wars 2. However, for all their posturing, Microsoft doesn’t seem interested in porting leading Xbox exclusives like Forza and Halo. Honestly, I don’t understand Microsoft’s logic and feel they are making a monumental mistake. Some might argue exclusives are required to entice customers to purchase an Xbox One.

On the other hand, I’m not entirely convinced the PC gaming audience is competing with the Xbox One. Console players prefer the plug-and-play experience and can be overwhelmed by the huge amount of PC components. As a result, Microsoft is intentionally restricting their sales, and consumer base. This is complete madness and their unwillingness to support PC gaming has helped make Valve the successful company it is today.

Halo 5 “Could Appear on The PC” says Frank O’Connor

The Halo franchise is Microsoft’s key system seller for the Xbox brand and continues to please a large following. While the original game and its sequel eventually came to PC, there was a great deal of controversy regarding its Windows Vista exclusivity. Since then, the Halo series has remained deeply routed in the console market, and Microsoft hasn’t shown any interest in porting their back catalogue. However, with Microsoft’s more unified approach of late, Windows 10 PC games are becoming a distinct possibility. In a talk with GamesRadar on Twitch, Halo series director Frank O’Connor hinted at the plausibility of a PC version and said:

“There is plenty of chance that Halo 5 could appear on the PC,”

“Nothing to announce at this point but it’s absolutely within the bounds of reason.”

“We developed the game on an Intel platform. It wouldn’t be the hardest thing in the world to move it to PC and take advantage of PC stuff. But nothing to announce today on this chat.”

Up to this point, Microsoft has only really ported free-to-play games although the Gears of War remaster is an exciting prospect. It looks like Microsoft wants to launch their console exclusives on the Windows 10 store and offer cross-platform play. Only time will tell if they actually manage this and I would love to play the likes of Halo, Forza and Crackdown on PC. From a business standpoint, Microsoft is finalizing realizing that PC sales don’t impact on the Xbox’s system sales, which are already quite mediocre. Then again, Microsoft has promised a lot in the past and never delivered.

Halo 5 Guardians Disk Requirements Revealed

Halo 5 Guardians recently passed gold certification ahead of the October 27th release date. However, it seems some copies have already leaked prior to the official launch date, which could result in spoilers being splattered all over social media and various forums. Additionally, a picture has emerged from NeoGAF showing the final retail copy which features a Teen rating. Without knowing for sure, it looks like the picture has been taken from a retailer’s warehouse given the large cardboard box. However, this is still pure speculation.

Whatever the case, we now know that the game will require up to 60GB of storage to install. This is an absolute huge amount of data given the Xbox One’s default 500GB configuration. Although it’s not a surprising revelation considering the file sizes of other exclusive titles. I am surprised to see that Halo 5’s install is almost larger than the Master Chief Collection’s 65GB figure. Clearly, the key terminology is “up to” but it’s looking like a very large install size. Please remember that Xbox One games have a mandatory install which can take a while to complete. Obviously, Microsoft needs to make a 1TB model the new standard and start to the phase out the 500GB version.

Are you looking forward to Halo 5?

Thank you NeoGAF for providing us with this information.

343 Already Working on Halo 6 And Knows “What’s Going to Happen 10 Years From Now”

343 Studios has established itself as an integral component of Halo’s success in recent years and no longer intimidated by Bungie and the franchise’s roots. To mark Halo 5’s pending release, 343 Studios decided to talk about the future in an upcoming Golden Joysticks special and divulged information about a “fictional foundation” for the next 20 years. The franchise developer director Frank O’ Connor explained:

“We do kind of know what’s going to happen in the next game pretty well at this point,”  

“We’re doing serious real planning and even some writing on the next game already, and that’s a luxury – we’ve never been in that position before. So we both know at a very high level what’s going to happen in, say, ten years from now. But at that very granular level knowing what’s going to happen in the next game and that’s just been a great feeling for me”. 

343’s head Bonnie Ross also added:

“You can look at the ending of Halo 4 – and where Master Chief is, and obviously we had to know where we were going to take Halo 5 and Halo 6 with that. You have an epic sci-fi universe and we have multiple ways that we can go with this story, but all the pieces are laying there. The canvas is there for us to paint”. 

The developer is highly ambitious and sees a very bright future ahead for the Halo series. It’s not uncommon for the next game to be worked on before the latest addition has been released. It’s interesting to see the company plan decades ahead and not I’m entirely convinced people will be enthralled by a game with so many sequels. Hopefully, the series continues to be a success but I highly doubt Halo will be the big seller it is now in 20 years time.

Which is your favourite Halo game?

Thank you Gamesradar for providing us with this information. 

New Mission Impossible Film Includes Triple-Screen Halo 5 on Xbox One

Tom Cruise has reprised the role of Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. The adrenaline-fueled action-thriller contains a scene showing Halo 5 in action displayed on a triple-screen setup. In the movie, Simon Pegg who plays Benji Dunn, is pictured with an Xbox One controller and the camera briefly pans to Halo 5’s cover art.

The Xbox One is only capable of driving a single screen as there is only one primary display output. As a result, this gaffe is just another example of movies integrating video games in a rather embarrassing fashion. Hopefully, moviegoers will be aware of the Xbox One’s limitations and don’t expect to run any game on a multi-monitor configuration.

While it doesn’t ruin the film’s appeal, it seems a rather silly mistake. In all seriousness, I highly doubt the average movie-buff will be using anything more than a single 1920×1080 or 4k Television. Multi-monitor setups are prevalent on PC but still a niche outlet. On consoles, it’s practically non-existent.

Microsoft’s unified strategy could indicate AAA titles such as Halo 5 will end up on PC. If this eventually happens, it will be the only way to play Halo 5 on a triple-monitor solution.

Are you a fan of the Halo series, if so, which game is your favourite?

Thank you Tweaktown for providing us with this information.

Halo 5 May Remove Split Screen and LAN Play

Halo 5 developers, 343 Industries, is making waves with some dramatic changes to the way the Microsoft title will be played. Local co-op campaign had previously been officially removed earlier this month, with co-op campaign games requiring Xbox Live Gold to hook players together. Now 343 appears to have confirmed that local multiplayer will also be missing from the title as well, and there are some indications that local LAN play will also be removed as well.

A Halo fan took to Twitter with a screen cap for the Xbox One Halo 5 pre-order page showing a single player limit on one Xbox One, asking if it meant split screening has been removed. 343 head Josh Holmes responded with a vague statement, saying that “All MP modes use full screen on dedicated servers, incl Coop Campaign, Arena and Warzone.” 

This can be taken to mean that all multiplayer modes use full screen when connecting with dedicated servers. It can also be phrased to mean exactly what it says, that all multiplayer modes will use full screen and dedicated servers. The first interpretation is nothing new but the second one is more troubling. While similar FPS games have lost co-op campaign in the past, local multiplayer is a mainstay of many games, allowing a few friends to come together to and challenge each other.

All previous Xbox Halo titles featured local multiplayer as well as local LAN play and losing both will be a shame. Loss of local LAN may become a huge problem for large parties and tournaments in particular. Microsoft has been pushing users to adopt a more online environment but removing well-used features that previous titles had is not the way to go about this.

Halo 5: Guardians Will Come with Some Special Goodies

Halo fans are already looking forward to Halo 5: Guardians announcement at the Electronic Entertainment Expo where 343 Industries will most likely hype things up before the title gets released, but more juicy details about what fans should expect from it comes even before the event.

Up until now, a lot of details were focusing mostly on the title’s single-player feature. But I know you guys are equally interested in what Halo 5 has to offer in terms of multiplayer too. Well, here it is.

The title will come with more than 20 maps at launch, which is a great number compared to other multiplayer first person shooters. However, the developer is going to throw in another 15 maps as free downloadable content by July 2016.

Also, your friends will be able to pitch in and help you through the campaign in co-op mode even if they don’t have Xbox Live Gold membership subscriptions. This is really great news since most multiplayer titles for Microsoft’s Xbox console requires the latter subscription to play multiplayer games.

Unfortunately, if you want to play the standard versus mode, you will still require the Gold subscription. Even so, when looking at other big-name companies’ marketing strategies, I think 343 Industries still make a better deal. So are you ready for the big reveal next week at E3?

Thank you TechSpot for providing us with this information

Teaser Website “Hunt the Truth” for Halo 5 Is Now Live

343 Industries is said to have been teasing something which relates to Halo 5: Guardians in a trailer which told fans to “HUNTtheTRUTH”. It seems that the trailer was pointing to a fan page which recently went online.

The website (found here) looks like a big teaser campaign for fans to tune in to its weekly episodic audio clips by Benjamin Giraud, a journalist at New Mombasa who covered Master Chief’s arrival when the Covenant attacked.

It is said that a new episode will be released on the above mentioned website each week, having Giraud talking about different aspects of the Chief’s personality. What is currently know is that Agent Locke will be a playable character and that Cortana will have a comeback in the upcoming title. More information is bound to be released in the following weeks.

Thank you Gamingbolt for providing us with this information

This Is What Halo 9 Will Look Like, Probably

The Halo 5: Guardians beta has been enjoyed by many people on the Xbox One, but as Microsoft gets closer to the release of the game, pre-order bonuses and more are being detailed. One thing we’re seeing, is the poster above, which does look pretty darn nice, if I must say so myself while I flick the cape on my #pcmasterrace costume.

Microsoft has now released a bunch of massive screenshots of Halo 5: Guardians, teased at 2560×1440, a resolution I’m sure even the next Xbox won’t be capable of at more than 30FPS. DualSHOCKERS reports that this is how “Halo 5: Remastered could look on Xbox Two” but I think it would be more like, this is Halo 8 on the Xbox Three or Xbox Four, judging from the 720p mess we have at the moment. No better than where the Xbox was 5-6 years ago.

We’ve got a bunch of screenshots for you to check out, all of which are below.

Source: DualSHOCKERS.

The Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta Starts Today On Xbox One

Microsoft has announced that it has launched the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta today, which was meant to launch a few days ago. Thanks to it launching late, the company will now let it run through to January 18, 2015.

The company has teased some of the bonus goods that come with the pre-order of any of the Halo 5 editions starting today, with the $60 standard version including an exclusive poster. The $100 version of Halo 5 arrives as a Limited Edition, including the poster and “exclusive items” in a steel book case as well as some bonus digital content for the game.

Source: Joystiq.

Halo 5 Coming to PC Seems Very Possible

Halo 5 is currently running a limited Beta on Xbox One and from what little I’ve had chance to play, it’s shaping up to be a great competitive shooter, but one thing caught my attention and it looks like I’m not the only one. Above we have a screenshot courtesy of DSOGaming from the game that shows some interesting information, “may be available later on other platforms”.

It’s no secret that Microsoft is pushing hard to make Windows a gaming platform again with Windows 10. The new DirectX 12 API is just around the corner, set to launch with the new OS and it’ll even make its way to Windows 8. The new Xbox Live dashboard app is in the latest Windows 10 preview and it wouldn’t be the first time Microsoft pushed Halo onto a new OS, just look at Windows Vista and Halo 2.

This is of course a rumour or at least a rumour based on real world information that may or may not be correct. PC gaming is booming and Microsoft are currently way behind the pack. So long as they don’t give us another GFWL fiasco, I’m happy.


Breaking News: Halo 5: Guardians Coming In 2015

There are a lot of rumors floating around about the next title in the Halo series, with everything currently pointing to Halo 2: Anniversary Edition for the Xbox One later this year, but what about the main series? Microsoft has just named Halo 5: Guardians, and it’ll be heading to the Xbox One in autumn/fall 2015, so still a while off yet.

The new game will land alongside the new television series, and 343 Industries general manager Bonnie Ross has described the new game as “a massive and exciting project” that “takes full advantage of the Xbox One’s hardware and ecosystem to create worlds and experiences worthy of next-gen”. We should hope so too, given the legacy of the Halo series and Xbox consoles, they need to make this a real console seller, or they may as well pack up their compters and quit the industry.

The sequel was teased last year at E3 with a very vague trailer, no name for the game or anything, but with the next E3 just around the corner, it’s about time someone said something about the new game.

Ross added that with “the scope, features and scale we’ve been dreaming of for more than a decade”, when talking about the game running at 60 frames per second and on dedicated servers. The TV series that launches alongside the new game will be produced in collaboration with the legendary Steven Spielberg and no doubt represents a massive cash investment from both 343i and Microsoft.

“Halo 5: Guardians is a bigger effort than Halo 4. That applies to the content and scope of the game, as well as the technology in what’s now a brand new and more powerful engine,” said Ross. “It’s a game that will hopefully demonstrate the talent, learnings and abilities of the 343 Industries team. A game that will incorporate the things we learned from Halo 4 about technology, aesthetics, performance and scale – and perhaps more importantly, understanding and embracing a community of gamers who love what lies at the heart of this game, and the limitless potential of the Halo universe.” he added.

Ross teased that there will be even more information about the Halo sequel at this years E3 next month and with such a long wait until the new game is released, it leaves a perfect release window for the rumoured Halo 2 re-release which is expected to launch in November to cater to the Christmas rush, something that has been long awaited after the success of Halo CE: Anniversary.

Now all we have to do is sit and wait for E3, and perhaps it will be the season when the new consoles finally start getting their killer apps, not just generalised multi-format releases and sub-par launch titles.

Thank you CVG for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of CVG.

Bad News For Halo Fans, Halo 5 Rumored To Be Postponed Until November 2015

Some bad news is going to hit Halo fans this year, especially those who ordered the Xbox One to be able to play the latest Halo 5 title. According to a reputable poster on the NeoGaf forum, Microsoft isn’t preparing to release a true sequel in the Halo franchise until November of 2015.

Microsoft is said to bring some Halo goodies in the meantime though. There reportedly should be plenty of other Halo goodies to hold fans over until then. Within the span of a year, the source claims we will see five Halo games: Halo 2 Anniversary Edition for Xbox One on November 11, 2014, Halo 3 port for Xbox One, Halo 4 port for Xbox One and the aforementioned Halo 5.

Halo 2 Anniversary Edition is also said to ship with 1080p support and beta access to Halo 5. 60FPS support, however, is listed as “iffy” at this stage, however. It’ll arrive in two different versions: a “Collector’s Edition” and a “War Collection.” Some more rumors also include two live action video series during the same time span.

The thread also includes several other non-Halo tidbits. In no particular order, the poster claims Forza Horizon, Quantum Break and Sunset Overdrive will ship later this year, Fable Legends will arrive next summer and Crackdown 3 will arrive sometime in 2016.

The whole is said to be in addition to rumors of a white Xbox One and a cheaper Xbox One minus the Blu-ray drive that was reported yesterday. Though, the rumors should be taken with a grain of salt for the moment.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Tech Spot

Next Halo Game Now Officially Called Halo 5

Microsoft had a real tough time when they revealed the Xbox One, yet for all its original issues the console does seem to be shaping up rather nicely, consumers seem to be flocking in the hundreds of thousands for pre-orders and while people may still have their doubts about Microsoft, this is already one of the most successful console launches in gaming history (so far).

Yet when I saw the Microsoft briefing, there was one thing and one thing only that I wanted to see, Halo 5. Today we see that Microsoft have pulled the E3 video which simply said “Halo” and added a new title sequence that reads “Halo 5”, making this the first time 343i and Microsoft have mentioned the game and its title, as the series is known for its spin-off games such as Reach and ODST this now confirms where their next game fits into the series.

Of course there is no release date yet, but the name being outed is just in time for the Halo Global Championship, a good time for the reveal and we expect Microsoft to begin teasing more of the game very shortly. Keep in mind that both Reach and Halo 4 were played extensively in MLG and other tournaments before they made it to retail and we could see something similar later this year.

Thank you Stickskills for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Stickskills.