Community Director at 343 Industries Brian Jarrard has posted a statement on Reddit concerning the playlist and toxicity issues in Halo Infinite. Jarrard admitted that many of the concerns within the community were valid, but called upon players to exercise judgement and restraint in their complaints to the company.
“I understand and generally agree with the frustrations most are expressing even if I don't agree with the attacks and ways in which some choose to express those feelings,” Jarrard said. “It's my job to come in here, listen, franky take it on the chin, and despite personally being very put off by the way in which many are expressing themselves, still ensure that we are advocating for players internally. We do that regardless of it being positive or negative and always will.”
Jarrard asked players to "please take a breath" and "understand there are human beings behind this who put years of their lives into just trying to make the best experiences they can.”
Halo Infinite has been facing a crisis within the community. Players have been taking issue with the multiplayer in general and the progression system in particular. The developer has acknowledged these issues and has already started working on improvements to the game. This however has not prevented the ongoing debate within the community from deteriorating to the point that moderators have been forced to put the relevant subreddit on lockdown.
“This has absolutely gone on long enough and spiraled out of control," a moderator said. "The amount of toxicity on the sub from both sides has made it impossible for people to have civil discussions which is what the mod team strives for regardless of opinion. Some users on the sub have even been responsible for doxxing and death threats. We're temporarily putting the sub on lockdown so people can hopefully settle down a bit and we can hit the reset button before launch. At the end of the day, this is a video game and this level of vitriol is unwarranted. Take the weekend off, we're reopening on Monday."
Jarrard was apologetic about the lacking playlists, the “not ideal” challenge system, and the free-to-play monetization plan. When it comes to the playlists, he noted that “we're still having discussions around feasibility.” He admitted that it “needs a lot of work,” but described the challenge system as “something the team is acutely aware of and prioritizing.” As for the free-to-play monetization plan, Jarrard said that “battlepass and premium customization is the model for this game today. Is there room to continue assessing the overall economy and value for players? Absolutely and that's also an area the team is constantly monitoring and learning.”
“It's just not quite as trivial as 'pushing a button.' And at the scale and complexity of this game, any and every change could have monumental impact in a negative way without extensive testing. Triaging these feedback issues and finding 'what can we do now' is what the team is already doing and will continue doing. Everything has to be tested. Everything has downstream dependencies and knock-on effects.”
The response by the community to this statement has been mixed. While some have been satisfied, others have remained hostile. There were quite a few questions about whether or not the multiplayer was even ready for launch.
Jarrard said that “we're going to do what we can as soon as we can. If things today do not meet your expectations, then I'm sorry you've been disappointed. I'm confident this game will continue to get better and better and all of these issues are fixable.” He noted however that “we're four days from a global launch with holidays right after.” Players will in other words need to be patient.
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