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Halo 5 dev defends game's microtransactions

Everything available in the game's REQ system is obtainable "whether you spend money or not."

Like many other AAA games today, Halo 5: Guardians will offer optional microtransactions for players looking to speed up their progress. Pricing for these microtransactions in Halo 5 starts at $2 for REQ Packs, and now, developer 343 Industries has spoken out to defend the game's use of such payments.


In an interview with GameSpot, Halo 5 design director Kevin Franklin stressed that everything available in the game's REQ system is obtainable "whether you spend money or not."

"There's no crazy special items that are only going to be reserved for people who spend a lot more money," he added. "Also, you get a lot of rewards whether you're playing Arena or Warzone, so you're always going to have a ton of stuff that you'll be able to use. The biggest thing for us the moment we started even talking about this system was that the game has to be balanced. At the end of the day, it's a multiplayer game. It's not a spend-more-to-win game. We wanted to make sure that if you spend a whole ton of money, and you thought you could get five Scorpions just because you spent more money, it's not going to work. You're still going to have to earn the right to call these Scorpions into the battlefield."

Previously, 343 said it expects players will earn around 2,000 RP for every Warzone match played. Bronze REQ Packs sell for 1,250 RP; Silver for 5,000 RP; and Gold for 10,000 RP. If you do indeed earn 2000 RP every match, it won't be long until you can buy more REQ Packs with in-game currency. In addition, everyone gets 7,500 RP to start when they buy Halo 5.

Franklin went on to say that Halo 5 has been purposefully designed to feel balanced and fair.

"We have a midsession progression loop, which any MOBA player will be familiar with," he explained. "You have to level your character up in-game, every game, by killing enemies, going after A.I., and contributing to your team. Then you'll unlock the ability to use these cards. So if you have 10 Scorpions, you can't just call in 10 Scorpions. You actually have an energy system, and that levelling system that will gate you and keep the end-game balanced. And that was really huge -- we're multiplayer designers, we can't just make a really unbalanced game. It just wouldn't feel Halo."

343 won't be the sole beneficiary of Halo 5 microtransaction revenue, as a portion of the proceeds will go to the Halo World Championship competitive gaming series.

In other recent news about microtransactions in AAA games, Destiny will soon let you pay for emotes, while Assassin's Creed Syndicate will also include optional micropayments. In addition, Rise of the Tomb Raider will let you spend real-world money for virtual items, just as its predecessor did in 2013.

Be sure to read GameSpot's full interview with Franklin for even more, including insight about Halo 5's free DLC plan, its esports ambitions, attracting new players, and more.

Halo 5 launches on October 27 exclusively for Xbox One. Copies of the game have leaked early.