343 has gone into detail on Halo Infinite's seasons, insisting they should be manageable from a player perspective.
In a post on Halo Waypoint, live team design director Ryan Paradis and lead progression designer Christopher Blohm discussed 343's seasons and battle pass philosophy.
Infinite's seasons will each last three months, which, according to Paradis, "gives players a good amount of time to experience and explore the seasonal content, without it getting tiresome and without constantly pulling the rug from under players."
"We want to ensure that there's always a fresh and fun reason to be playing Halo Infinite, but that the things they know and love will be around for more than a heartbeat."
Echoing this, Blohm added: "We want players to have cool content, activities, events, and rewards over the course of the season, but we do not want to demand that players play a ton of hours every week of the season to complete everything. We want players having fun in Halo, not grind it like it's a job."
As someone all in on Call of Duty's seasonal grind, I'm delighted to hear of this approach from 343. I have limited gaming time, and I struggle to complete each Call of Duty battle pass before it ends and the next one begins. That feels bad because it means I miss out on cosmetic items placed later in the battle pass. I know I can pay for tier skips, but that feels wrong when I've already paid for the battle pass.
Infinite's battle passes are permanent. This means the season one battle pass will be around forever, so you can always go back, select it as your active battle pass and continue to earn progress within it.
So, if you take a season off, or you just didn't have time to play, you can always go back and buy any prior battle pass. Infinite's battle passes always include various free rewards in addition to the premium track, 343 stressed.
"First and foremost, we're working hard to ensure that the battle pass isn't a 'grind' for players," Paradis said. "We want it to be a supplemental reward stream for the time you were already putting into the game. I for one can't stand it when I'm playing a game JUST to complete the battle pass - it feels like a chore to me.
"We looked at other titles, where you buy something that provides time-limited access to the pass, and now you feel obligated to play... That's not fun, and it's not player-first. If you put the trust in us, and purchase something from us, it's yours. No strings attached."
I hope other games with seasons are inspired by Halo Infinite's battle pass system. As 343 says, it's player friendly and avoids the dreaded FOMO (fear of missing out), which drives so many video game purchases these days.
343 said Halo Infinite season one is called Heroes of Reach. "Reach has a rich history; it's a key location for Spartans of old and a focal point for a new generation of Spartans preparing to wrestle with the perils and mysteries of a galaxy that has fundamentally changed after the events of Halo 5," Joseph Staten, head of creative for Halo Infinite, explained of the name.
Halo Infinite comes out in time for Christmas on Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, and PC.