[Tinfoil Theory] The EXTREMELY predatory systems are in place to pave the way for less-but-still predatory systems

I think 343 purposefully made the customization and monetization so restrictive, so hostile to users and cost so much so that they can eventually get us to accept a worse version of the systems that have been in place for 14+ years.

TL;DR: 343 purposefully went for an extremely predatory business model to make us accept more easily they’re original plan: monetizing colors, armor pieces, bundles and everything else that has always been included in the game. They will make changes that favor the community slightly, but will be a downgrade from every customization feature we were used to from past entries in the series.

Infinite’s business model

“They think me mad - Starbuck does; but I’m demoniac, I am madness maddened!”

We know we’re never getting back in-game unlocks, for achievements and campaign progress. That just doesn’t make any money, so there’s no incentive for 343 to implement those. You could argue that giving the player an enjoyable and rewarding experience is incentive, from a game development standpoint, but unfortunately, in these modern times, money is where it’s at. If it doesn’t make money - more specifically, ALL of the money - there’s no point in doing it. What’s the best way to make money?

Freemium games. Big whale hunting has been determined to be a lot more profitable than simply selling a game for 60-80$. See other companies like Zynga (which churns out ‘free’ games and makes bank) or even Bethesda who moved from the complete console games to Horse Armor DLC and mobile Freemium games. League of legends is free, but generates just under 2$ Billion USD every year (can’t link URL as source in these forums, article from Reuteurs). For comparison, Halo 3 total grosses totaled over 600$ Million by 2010 (Bloomberg Businessweek). That’s chump change. 343 isn’t going for the millions, they’re going for the billions. Which makes sense, financially, but only at the expense of the company’s reputation. Unfortunately, reputation is not a currency, so it’s now irrelevant.


''20$ for white on one armor? What a scam! 20$ for white on all armors? What a bargain!

I think 343 will keep the color schemes, especially color schemes related to pro teams and thematics, because that would sell more units than color palettes. They will most likely unlock the color schemes and allow them to be used on different armors, but if you accept that, you’ve already been played. Originally, colors have always been free, but that’s a mistake they won’t repeat ever again. Why would the colors be free when they could charge for them instead?

And having fixed patterns is a genius idea. We’ve already seen outrageous examples in-game where there is a gray with blue lights, and a gray with white lights. It’s at most 20 different pixels per skin, but the genius part is that they can charge for both. Some people will prefer one over the other. If you’re debating which one you prefer, you’ve already lost: they’re in your head and you’re that much closer to get out mom’s-- err, I mean your credit card.

Paid armor in free events

The katana looks sick! Ah, it’s in the paid section of the ‘Katana Event’… Well, it is a free game, so I guess I can get this one piece for money. I’m sure I won’t get tired of having it equipped, and there’s no way 343 will ever come up with a model that’s even cooler!

Again, genius strategy. Put a free armor in the free event, that way you’re not lying: users get FREE stuff! But the money move is putting the better armor as part of the paid limited time event. If a free user gets to the last level of the battle pass/event, the low 10$ price tag will be there, taunting them. 10$ will seem like a bargain for everything you will unlock! That is, if the user doesn’t remember that this was all free in the MCC and Halo Reach.

I don’t believe this will change, too much, but they will most likely add more FREE armors, and more PAID armors to each event, making the paid value seem more reasonable a purchase.

Paid boosts

“Argh, I’m just missing a few levels for the last unlock of the season, after that it’s gone for good! I can put money on and buy a couple of boosts after all, it’s a free game!”

The paid boosts have such a low individual cost! It would seem This is what is called the ‘crack dealer approach’, where you have a low priced item lying around that doesn’t seem like much, but when you realize the quantity you need to buy, it adds up really quick.

Pokemon GO did the same thing with their premium tokens: they have the mega bundle, which is 100$ USD but gives you the best value for you money (in terms of token quantity), and they have the smallest bundle, which is just but a few tokens, which are better priced than any of the token bundles in between. Kids say ‘Oh, it’s just 2$ for 100 tokens, that’s nothing!’ They do however end up buying obscene amounts of 2$ bundles, because the ‘crack dealer approach’ gets you hooked, and gives you the illusion of a low price.

I do think they will offer, in addition to the Credit bundles they already have, multiple versions of battle pass boosts that will give you better value for levels, the more you pay.

I’ve been very cynical on these forums, but this is something I 100% believe will happen. I might not get all the details right, but the core concept will happen, mark my words.

Witness me!


Yeah I think you’re right.
Create the problem, sell the solution, and people will thank you for it.


343 knew everyone would hate this system, this is very true. They can pretend otherwise, but there is so much market research and years of game design out there, that there is no way they wouldn’t have known better.


Well, this is moot because the BPs don’t expire, so I would re-word it to something like: “This grind has been pretty mind-numbing, what’s skipping a few levels for a few bucks, then it’s finished?”

Totally agree with the rest, though!

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One thing is certain, 343i knew PERFECTLY that this progression and unlock system is a wreck that absolutely no one was going to like. The same things that we users have been able to see in less than a week, I am 100% sure that they had already seen it for years.

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It’s only predatory if you allow yourself to be prey. I for one am grateful to not have to spent $60 on a game and let spoiled lil rich kids burden my cost for me. I mean what are we crying about here. I cant even see my armor. Just my right forearm and my gun. Yall are really really really upset over such a superficial aspect of game. So what you cant afford to be Emile this time for like the 3rd or 4th time around. The game is still fun.

The old “foot in the door” technique. It’s seemed like a clear application of this to me as well.

That’s… not how the predatory concept works? This is the most interesting response so far.


When they announced the MP was gonna be free to play I think we all knew we weren’t gonna be thrilled with whatever monetization system they came up with. I think how they handled seasons in MCC probably gave us some hope it wouldn’t be too awful, but this is quite radically different from that. As someone who hasn’t really played other F2P games I don’t have the experience to say if this is better, worse, or similar to how others do their battlepass systems, but I can say I’m not much impressed with it. All I can say is just don’t reward them with buying every single season or item that comes along in the store.

I don’t think it’s as Tinfoil as you might think. It seems bang on.

The whole challenge system needs to be axed, it’s not rewarding and it doesn’t incentives healthy gameplay.

Moreover, 343i needs to come out and clearly say what their plans are in no uncertain terms.

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I honestly think you’re on to something.

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They seem to do that a lot, might be coming straight from Xbox/Microsoft, remember the time they tried to raise the price of Xbox live not long ago. As if they couldn’t have foreseen the negative reactions to this they acted surprised and said something like “we always think player first” or something like that. It’s a win win situation, you either get people to pay more for the same as before, or you get good guy points for basically doing nothing.

Even if this is your point of you, why are you so upset that other people would like to be Emile or anything else. If it’s the same to you why do you come here saying this is fine, 20 bucks for an armor and a color is fine.

Even Bethesda doesn’t do this level of monetization in their core games. They got a lot of backlash for horse armor. They got a lot of backlash for paid mods. Their main games they’re currently selling as full products with expansions. Yeah, they have other ventures where they monetize things a ton. Fallout F you First comes to mind, but the main Elder Scrolls and Fallout games aren’t doing this.

Get sick of seen the same post 100 times a day by 100 different authors. I wish the mods would just make a master post of for these things and take the rest down so the more interesting threads dont get buried before they get started in all this toxicity

343 asked for feedback didn’t they, don’t blame those authors for something that is not their fault. If 343 addressed these issues instead of staying silent maybe it wouldn’t be the same.


Exactly. 343 even specifically asked for feedback on monetization and progression. It might be annoying to some people, but as it stands right now it’s one of the major issues with the game, and being free to play isn’t an excuse for player-unfriendly practices.


Unhappy gamers who’s budgets priced them out of armor is not something they are gonna listen too. There is a really good post written by a Mobil phone free to play game designer who breaks down the logic going on here. Its tiled we all suffer. You should read it if you can find it buried under all this redundancy

Oh, of course. They’ll let up on the pressure slightly and outlets will claim it’s fixed and we’ll never see a resolution. It happens over and over in this industry.

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