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Sharing a thought with 343i

OP eLantern

With Halo 5 becoming temporarily Free-to-Play for Xbox Live Gold members it inspired a thought I'd love to share, but first allow me to start with a couple questions. Could a specific section or sections of Halo 5 become Free-to-Play while locking out the other sections so that only a full game purchaser would have access to those? If so, why not allow specific sections of Halo 5 to become Free-to-Play for Xbox Live Gold members year round such as Forge and perhaps the Warzone environment?

I ask this because I believe there's an excellent opportunity within Halo 5 for you guys to achieve some benefits for the player base as well as for your revenue. This thought is that you should allow the Warzone environment and Forge to become Free-to-Play year round. In other words, lock the Customs mode, the Custom Browser, the Theater mode, Campaign, and both Arena modes (Ranked + Social) so that players require a full game purchase or the Xbox Game Pass (subscription) to have access.

This should help improve the player base population for the Warzone environment while also allowing more people to experiment with the creative force of Halo's Forge (more on that in a bit). Since the Warzone environment is the primary grounds where the REQ system has its influence I imagine that you'd simply be increasing your odds for micro-transactions to occur which feeds into your revenue stream and bolsters the support of not just this title, but the whole franchise too. Not to mention, as newer players are able to gain more experience with the game through the free Warzone environment they become more comfortable with the game's mechanics and are also more likely to develop friends playing it which can lead to a greater desire for full access to the title in order to play Arena matchmaking, customs, or perhaps the campaign. If they become motivated to purchase the full title you're now looking at additional revenue and a population increase to those other environments too.

While I'm not a huge fan of micro-transactions I am quite appreciative of how Halo's Warzone environment curbs the advantage given to those who pay cash to reduce their need to grind. I am very pleased with the fact that DLC map content was made available free of charge because of the REQ system's inclusion which means that the player base isn't fractured between those who paid to have access to certain maps and those who didn't. Also, I'm glad to know that a part of the revenue likely goes toward on-going support for this title as well as other (future or past - like MCC) titles; plus, to back the growth of the eSports scene. I do wish though that players had a little more control over purchasing specific items instead of relying nearly 100% on an RNG system. Perhaps in the future you could consider adding a means to use REQ Points (RP) to directly purchase specific REQ items even if they come at an inflated cost in comparison to the value of exchanging RP for a REQ pack (see THIS post for an example). If people want to pay cash to buy REQ packs only to then turn around and sell the items within at a fraction of their purchased cost in order to build up enough RP to purchase a particular item they want I'm thankful for their financial support to the Halo franchise.

Lastly, since you already offer Halo 5's Forge for free to users on the PC I think offering it up for free over the console makes sense too. Allow new potential players to experiment with the creative force of Halo's Forge and if they make something that they're truly excited about and want to try out in customs then that's just additional motivation for them to purchase the full title. Even if they don't purchase the full title you're still putting a tool (Forge) into the hands of more players who are then capable of creating more content for your wonderful game and its player base who purchased the full title which as I see is still a win-win scenario.
I like your idea. I don’t know how many copies of Halo 5 are selling anymore but I would guess that the profits of the micro transactions of new players if it’s free would make up for the loss. Plus a higher player count would fix many issues in matchmaking and give everyone a better experience.