It has been a whirlwind couple weeks with the highlight easily being our recent Technical Preview. This was the first time you all got to throwdown against some Bots and go hands-on with part of Halo Infinite's sandbox which was a big milestone and source of excitement for us. But that's not the only news coming out of the studio: Pub team is still chugging away at MCC, we've got a schedule for Halo 5, and more. Let's jump right in!
HALO: THE MASTER CHIEF COLLECTION
There is still plenty of work being done in the world of Halo: The Master Chief Collection like the patch from earlier this month. What's in said patch? The long and short of it is that it includes fixes for issues around matchmaking in low population regions as well as the addition of the "Report Player" button found on the Player Details page. This was a long requested community ask and makes it so that players can report bad actors directly via in-game methods in lieu of utilizing the Halo Support site. To view the full details of the latest update, you can find the patch notes on the Halo Support site.
While we are still on the topic of MCC, Season 7 continues to roll on and the team has been focusing on development for Season 8! As a part of the process, public flighting looms closer and more details will be en route so keep an eye trained on MCC’s Friday Development & Flighting Updates. (PS – If you aren't registered for Halo Insider yet, and you want to participate in future flights, register today!) Also, scuttlebutt has it that this week’s update will focus on a new feature to adjust how weapon offsets work so be sure to stop by the forums tomorrow.
In a previous Update, we shared that a larger blog is in the works around MCC. An outline has been started and in the coming months we will be putting the proverbial pen to paper working to craft a robust breakdown of where MCC is and what work is still ongoing in a comprehensive 'State of the Game' update. Keep your peepers peeled because you won't want to miss the amount of juicy details that are en route.
Lastly, the team hasn't forgotten about mod tools for all the titles in MCC. With Season 7, mod tools for Halo: Combat Evolved were released and are available over on Steam for anyone to download and use (that's right – you don't even need to own MCC, let alone own it on Steam, to use them!). One thing that the team is really on the lookout for is tool feedback so if you have some, you can pop over to the Steam forums and let us know your thoughts! We are regularly sifting through to your responses in order to prioritize and plan updates for the future of these toolsets.
Did you know there's a lot that goes into putting together esports stuff? I knew but didn't quite get just how much so catching up on Tashi's blogs about Designing the Halo Esports Ecosystem has been kind of eye opening. They've covered a lot of ground from all-up goals, to sponsors, teams, and more. Last month, they took a closer look at the future of Halo esports and what platforms and inputs players can use to compete and more. If you're interested in esports and want to read up on it, you can grab your own digital copy now. PS – "crossplay" makes an appearance in there which should be good news for players on console and PC alike!
Following the recent Tech Preview, the HCS squad put together an awesome little montage of fun community clips. There's a whole range in here from highlights to some fails but one thing's for sure – it's all in good fun. If you missed it, you can watch it now! Excuse me while I enjoy it again because this never gets old.
PS – I'm hearing rumblings of a new Twitch Rivals event in the works that has invitees brushing up on those BXR and BXB skills. Keep keep an eye on @HCS or @TwitchRivals for more information, including when/where to catch the action. If you'll excuse me, I have an errand to run at the Sanctuary.
HALO 5: GUARDIANS
Halo Infinite might be on the horizon but in the meantime, you can assault some bases, destroy some enemy cores, get ready for some Mythic gameplay, and keep earning XP towards that SR152 and the super clean Watchdog Coating. My personal favorite is coming up soon so you might catch me roaming around in-game too. 👀
- August 12: Triple Team rotates in for Castle Wars
- August 12: Warzone Assault goes live for the weekend
- August 19: Core Play rotates in for Triple Team
- August 26: Covenant Slayer rotates in for Core Play
- August 26: Warzone Turbo goes live for the weekend
- September 2: Fall 2021 Arena Season begins
- September 2: Ranked Mythic Arena rotates in for Ranked Snipers for the month
- September 2: Rock 'n' Rail rotates in for Covenant Slayer
- September 9: Roaming King rotates in for Rock 'n' Rail
- September 16: ODST Slayer rotates in for Roaming King
- September 16: Warzone Assault goes live for the weekend
- September 23: Grifball rotates in for Roaming King
- September 30: Community Slayer rotates in for Grifball
- September 30: Warzone Turbo goes live for the weekend
If you haven't stopped by the @HaloGear shop lately, you're missing out. I personally really dig the look of the latest merch and I may or may not have snagged a bunch of it when I saw it. Fall is on the way (don't ask me how, I don't make the rules) which usually means back to school which means... You got it! Back to school sales are here! The Xbox Gear Shop isn't one to be left out and they are running their very own Back to School Sale with up to 40% off select gear now through Tuesday, September 7. Basically what I'm saying is now's a great chance to get deals on some Halo Gear including apparel and blankets (one of those sherpas might be jumping in my cart).
- Community Spotlight: Flying high off the back of an exciting technical preview, I collected a cornucopia of community content and celebrated this major Halo moment with a slate of incredible community clips.
- Waze: In a rush to save the galaxy but worried that you’re going to get caught in traffic? Waze has you covered! Thanks to a brand-new partnership between Waze and Halo, you can enjoy turn-by-turn directions, step-by-step guidance in your upcoming travels by from the Master Chief or Escharum on your next drive. For more info, check out the full post over on Xbox Wire.
- Free Guy: There’s a lot of Halo love in 20th Century Studios’ upcoming movie. If you keep your eyes peeled, you’re sure to catch a glimpse of some familiar all-terrain vehicles and tanks from the Halo universe! But that’s not all. There’s a surprise cameo from the Mantis in the newest official poster, and if you’re an NPC looking for some assistance like Chips Dubbo, Bryan Breynolds (the number one Xbox NPC Injury Attorney in the world) has some news for you. For even more Halo easter-eggs, check out his totally real LinkedIn profile too.
- Hoonigan ‘Hog: Did you see the Halo Infinite warthog debut at the Free Guy premiere? Hoonigan Industries, the leading lifestyle motorsport brand, worked closely with Halo and 343 Industries to make this beauty. Standing tall on 43-inch tires and custom 20-inch wheels, the Warthog is fully functional and off-road tested featuring a 1000+ horsepower, twin turbo small block Ford V8, the same engine that powers Ken Block’s Ford Mustang Hoonicorn V2. Stay tuned for more Halo Infinite Hoonigan ‘Hog content coming over the next few months.
- Halo Infinite Doughnut: Celebrate 20 years of Halo in a sweet way, thanks to Xbox Mexico and Krispy Kreme: With a Halo Infinite Doughnut! Yes, that is a chocolate Master Chief face. This one is only available in Mexico through September 30th, but we’re very excited for our fans over there and we love to celebrate the great partnerships coming out of other regions. And a bonus? Rumor has it that it’s actually delicious and looks as good in-person as it does online. (Send us pictures!)
- Pringles: Speaking of partnerships in other countries, our friends at Pringles are back with more (I guess it's true – once you pop, you can't stop!), this time for our friends in Brazil! There are four unique cans available across four different flavors so you gotta grab 'em all to complete the collection!
- Halo Xbox 360 Service Sunsetting: We’re more than halfway through the year which means we're inching closer to our legacy Halo 360 services being sunset in December. Game owners will be able to play these titles indefinitely, but there may be some impacts of this change. Be sure to check out the blog for all the details.
- July Employee Spotlight: We sat down with Lead Multiplayer Designer, Andrew Witts, to discuss how Halo Infinite honors Halo’s history, the value of team shenanigans, and his love for the Halo community.
- August Employee Spotlight: Leonard Holman, Senior Software Engineer, shares the challenges and perks of crafting code for Halo Infinite and illuminates how the creative aspects of engineering color his hobbies and home life.
- Canon Fodder 117: Master Class: The most famous number in the Halo universe finally has a blog to match, and while it does indeed take a moment to reflect on Master Chief’s legacy, the future is looking just as bright with the announce (and cover art!) of the upcoming Halo Encyclopedia.
That "on the horizon" is quickly approaching and is looming large on our radars. Surprising no one, the recent Tech Preview was thus far the highlight of the year for all things related to Halo Infinite. After reviewing some of the data from the weekend, I have concluded that you like Halo a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I know this is hard to believe so you'll just have to trust me. You have also started creating fierce lines of demarcation over the personal AIs and some wild Grappleshot shenanigans. I cannot wait to see what you do once you get your hands on that Repulsor.
Late last year, we committed to pulling back the curtain on our game's development process a bit and thus far we have put together seven installments spanning a variety of disciplines across the studio. Our latest edition, leading up to the Tech Preview, was very topical as we talked to teams that help make flighting possible and what content you would get your hands on. If you missed it before, you can (and absolutely should!) give it a read: Inside Infinite – July 2021. There's a lot that goes into getting a slice of games ready for flights and I love seeing everything come together.
If you want to pass the time by catching up on past deep dives, I applaud that decision and you can find all of the Halo Infinite related news here.
From July 29-August 2, Halo Insiders were the first outside of the studio to get their hands on some Halo Infinite gameplay and the response from the community did not disappoint. While most of the weekend was focused on Bot slaying, there was a brief, tantalizing, window of some good ol' fashioned 4v4 Team Slayer. From Bot beatdowns to grabbing Grappleshots to Skewer sharpshooting, you all joined us and provided us with invaluable feedback. Thank you!
If you want to see some gameplay on Xbox One and Xbox Series X, you can always re-watch our preview stream.
Otherwise, if you're wanting to re-live the Tech Preview gameplay from fellow fans, don't forget you can check out the latest Community Spotlight which is absolutely chock-full of gameplay clips.
One of the really awesome things Halo 4 brought us was the Foward Unto Dawn live-action web-series. I remember hearing about cool, behind-the-scenes things from my friends who were lucky enough to join 343 on set in Canada and being secretly jealous of them. And now I'm here and I get to see all the cool things like these really awesome art pieces in our index of Cool Things™. The best part is that I get to share them with you so enjoy this Field Depot concept from FUD. You can grab the high res copies here and here or by clicking the images below!
Random fun fact: There's a Grifball court in the opening shot of FUD so the sport of the future is totally canon.
Whew that's a lot. Now for some general housekeeping. Despite our best efforts at letting people know they need to be registered for Halo Insider and have verified accounts to participate in flights and tech previews, some people were still unaware. To that end, here's another reminder to head over and register today. If you've gotten a new PC, you can upload a new DxDiag for us as well as making sure that are you opted in only for the platforms you can/want to participate on. We'd hate to have people miss out on the opportunity due to simple errors so double, triple check if you can!