News

Familiar Facts

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Over the past few weeks we've shared some very important Halo Infinite news, kicked off our Halo 3: ODST flight on PC and Xbox, released lots of fun Halo gear, and so much more. Without further ado, let's jump right in to the latest Community Update!

HALO INFINITE

Since our last Community Update, which had a pretty in-depth Halo Infinite Q&A section, we've made two pretty massive announcements, squashed some rumors, and released more songs from the Halo Infinite soundtrack. We'll touch on those and share a little more news in the section below.

2021

Diving right into the thick of it, I did want to address the most important announcement we've made recently. As a team, we've made the difficult decision to shift Halo Infinite's release to 2021. To read our full statement about this change in timing, you can do so here on Waypoint or on Twitter below.

Free To Play

Another big announcement we made, which is actually a huge win for all Halo fans, is that Halo Infinite's multiplayer will indeed be free-to-play (Xbox Live Gold will still be required on console but not on PC). To say that again, yes, multiplayer will be free-to-play in Halo Infinite! Now, Halo truly is for everyone.

Soundtrack

After debuting our campaign demo, we wanted to introduce each of the three composers working on Halo Infinite's soundtrack, and did so by sharing one song per blog so that everyone had a chance to have a listen. We've heard overwhelming praise for the composers and their approach to crafting a score that feels like Halo.

In case you missed it, here's a list that you may want to keep handy!

Trusted Sources

Over the past two weeks we've seen the internet fabricate numerous stories and fake "leaks" that have made people, including me, scratch their heads. From rumors of dropping support for the Xbox One to releasing the game in 2022, there seem to be new headlines popping up every day. As we get closer to sharing more and more news, please only trust statements that are made by official Halo channels, members of our studio leadership, or members of the Community Team.

Helping HANDS

As the team focuses on hitting our new launch window for the game, two Halo veterans have offered their helping hands. Pierre Hintze, the Head of our Publishing Team (MCC), will be joining the Halo Infinite team as a project lead for our Free-To-Play experience. He and his team have demonstrated an amazing ability to deliver new content, an excellent flighting program, and substantive updates across MCC over the past year. We look forward to having his expertise directly on the Halo Infinite team as we look to deliver a quality Free-To-Play multiplayer experience for everyone.

And last, but certainly not least, we’re excited to announce that our old friend Joseph Staten will be returning home to Halo for a bit. After helping launch Tell Me Why this week, he'll be coming on board as project lead for campaign as we push towards our 2021 release. The team has been working hard realizing our vision for campaign and we’re happy to have Joseph’s help to get it to the finish line.

For those of you who don’t know Joseph Staten, he wore many hats while working at Bungie for all of their Halo titles and even Destiny before joining the Xbox Games Studios family in 2014. If you enjoy Halo’s storylines, characters, and overall universe, he’s definitely one of the key people you have to thank. As product lead on Halo Infinite, however, Joseph will be focused on supporting the campaign team’s existing, talented, creative leaders and ensuring they have everything they need to create an awesome Halo game. His return to the franchise excites me and we’re all looking forward to having him on board!

HALO: THE MASTER CHIEF COLLECTION

HALO 3: ODST Flighting

For the past week, Halo Insiders have been going hands-on with Halo 3: ODST in our latest flight. We've been gathering tons of feedback both on ODST and Halo 3's improved shot registration, and have extended the flight through this weekend until Monday, August 31, to make sure we can get even more. Since more invitations just went out yesterday, be sure to sign in here on Waypoint to see if you got in!

To learn more about Halo 3: ODST's upcoming launch with the rest of Season 3's new content check out the July Development Update, and stay tuned here on Waypoint for Postum's August MCC Development Update for even more detail!

Build YOUR HALO INSIDER PROFILE

After Halo 3: ODST releases, we'll be setting our sights on flighting Halo 4 on PC. If you want a chance to be invited and participate in that flight, be sure to register and update your Halo Insider profile. By following the steps outlined below, you'll increase your chances of being selected for future PC flights. As always, registering never guarantees you access to flights, but I promise it will only help!

  • Register on aka.ms/HaloInsider
  • Verify the email address you've provided for communication
  • Opt-in to receive communications from us
  • Opt-in to PC flights
  • Link your Steam account
  • Upload/update your DxDiag

PLAYLIST UPDATES

Last week we saw the return of a classic action-packed mode with Rocket Race, but now it's time to party. Fiesta will be taking over the featured category this week, so be sure to put on your lucky pair of Mjolnir boots or else you may end up rolling double Halo 2 Pistols. To check out our playlist updates as they happen, keep an eye on the MCC Playlist Update thread here on Waypoint!

HALO ESPORTS

MCC PRO SERIES

After an incredible few months of Halo 2: Anniversary, the MCC Pro Series has arrived at Halo 3! The format for the MCC Pro Series allows teams to jump in at anytime to play against the best. Since we took a little hiatus, here's a recap of how the format works in case you forgot!

  • Open tournaments and Pro tournaments will alternate every Saturday
  • The Top 8 teams from each Open will then face-off against the Top 8 teams from the previous Pro tournament in a 16-team Pro tournament the following weekend.

This means that the Top 8 teams from last weekend will be playing the Top 8 teams from our last H2A Pro tournament. We're looking forward to seeing how everyone holds up as we make the switch to Halo 3.

TOURNAMENT DATES

  • August 22 (Open) – Congratulations to All Natural for winning last weekend's Open!
  • August 29 (Pro)
  • September 5 (Open)
  • September 12 (Pro)

To register for the next Open on September 5, just assemble your team and head on over to aka.ms/PSRegistration. And, just like our Halo 2: Anniversary Pro tournament shows, we'll be broadcasting all the Halo 3 Pro tournaments live on twitch.tv/Halo starting at 2pm PT!

HCS GRASSROOTS

SWAT NATION

The crew over at SWAT Nation is hosting two tournaments in September and registration is completely free for both of them!

On September 5, they're spinning up a fairly unique 3v3 Throwdown tournament featuring only the Halo 5 Magnum. You can find out more about this event and register online before next Thursday, September 3, on swatnation.net!

Two weeks later, on September 19, their Challenger Series returns with the "Headshot Harvest." Since this is a 2v2 SWAT tournament, you and your duo will want to check out their event page and register before September 17 to compete!

As always, the SWAT Nation team will be broadcasting both of these tactical tournaments live on twitch.tv/SWATNationLive!

#EUNYTED

Before we wrap up the HCS Grassroots section, I did want to give a shoutout to my awesome teammates in GTHalo's HCS Grassroots Cup. It was a hard-fought competition with some of the best and brightest in the Halo community, but Batchford, EuropaHalo, Reclaimer, and I found our groove and took home the title. Thanks for the W lads!

Community Competitions

In addition to our wonderful HCS Grassroots competitions, we've also seen a few other tournaments sprout up from some of our friends. Let's take a look at what they're up to!

G FUEL

The G FUEL Energy Games is a four week Halo 3 series that has three open tournaments and ends with an invite-only event featuring the top placing teams. If you're interested in playing, you can find out more and register on their Discord server and smash.gg. If you're interested in watching, be sure to tune in each Tuesday at 5pm PT on twitch.tv/GFuelEnergy.

Esports Arena

Rounding out our section dedicated to Halo competitions is the team at Esports Arena, who is hosting weekly Halo 5 tournaments every Sunday. You can see their full event calendar to register and catch their tournament broadcasts live each Sunday at 2pm PT on twitch.tv/EsportsArena!

HALO 5: GUARDIANS

September is nearly here and with it will come another Arena Season and a few changes to our playlist offerings.

As we mentioned earlier this year, we had plans to consolidate some of our Warzone Firefight playlists but these changes were quickly put on hold due to working from home in the current pandemic. However, since we've been adjusting to pushing buttons from home, we believe we're able to make these changes happen without needing to be in the studio. Here's a quick recap of the changes we'll be making to the Warzone Firefight playlists:

  • Combine Heroic WZFF & Legendary WZFF into one Warzone Firefight playlist. This single playlist will use Heroic WZFF's difficulty but will continue paying out Legendary WZFF's higher XP Rewards.
  • Mythic Warzone Firefight, with its naturally higher payouts, will now be permanent.

 As for the rest of Halo 5, here's what you can expect to find during the month of September!

UPCOMING CALENDAR

AUGUST

  • August 27: Castle Wars rotates in for H2 BR Slayer
  • August 27: Warzone Turbo goes live for the weekend

September

  • September 3: Fall 2020 Arena Season begins
  • September 3: Triple Team rotates in for Castle Wars
  • September 3: Warzone Firefight Consolidation
  • September 10: Core Play rotates in for Triple Team
  • September 10: Warzone Assault goes live for the weekend
  • September 17: Forerunner Slayer rotates in for Core Play
  • September 24: H3 Classic Throwback rotates in for Forerunner Slayer
  • September 24: Warzone Turbo goes live for the weekend

Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2 entered Season 15 two weeks ago and received a balance update to address common points of community feedback. From Vultures to Voridus, we've made a strong effort to balance the meta to be more fair across all types of playstyles. If you're interested in reading up on all the details, visit the Halo Wars 2 section of our Waypoint forums or head directly to aka.ms/HW2Season15!

HALO GEAR

In addition to all the Halo merch on gear.xbox.com/Halo, (which has recently been restocked) we've also partnered up with our friends at MetaThreads to create a Halo mask that will help the Masks for Docs Foundation. Through their ongoing #GamersMask4Masks campaign, every one mask purchased with donate two masks to medical facilities in need. Secure your mask and support healthcare workers today at aka.ms/HaloMask!

Halo Infinite PINS

Our latest additions to the Halo Gear collection are two beautiful, high-quality pins. One is Master Chief's helmet, which you can see here, and the other is the Xbox Sphere pin that's based off of Master Chief's armor. You can snag them for yourself by hitting the links below!

  • Community Spotlight: The latest and greatest #HaloSpotlight from snickerdoodle featured incredible artwork, smooth saxophones, tons of tattoos, and so much more. To see how creative the Halo community really is, be sure to give it a look. Trust me, you're gonna love what you see!
  • Stand Up To Cancer: The legendary Steve Downes lent the voice of Master Chief to the Stand Up To Cancer team and called upon gamers to take on a challenge that breaks the rules of their favorite game in the "Game On" challenge. To learn more about the event and how to support the cause, head to su2c.org.uk/game-on today!

ART

I promised in the last Community Update that we'd have more high quality ODST art to share, and I'm happy to say our archives came through in the clutch yet again. Today's piece is going to be a clean version of Halo 3: ODST's cover art featuring the Rookie. It's an iconic shot and it's perfectly timed as we continue to gear up for Halo 3: ODST to launch on PC (with Firefight!) once we've been able to analyze the data from the ongoing flight. Until that time comes though, this art is just going to have to hold you over.

To save this art for yourself, you can click on the links (or the art itself) below!

Thanks for joining us for another Community Update!

Until next time,

- UNY

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