Update, 5:02 pm ET: Since our story was live this morning, Microsoft has confirmed the leak below as true. Halo is endless will actually include the first ‘free-to-play multiplayer content in the series when it launches later this year. Microsoft has provided a link to its announcement in response to our inquiries. The company has not yet clarified whether the associated rumors about the Xbox Live Gold service have been affected.
Halo is endless may offer free access to its multiplayer modes, if some now deleted text from a list of online stores outside the UK is to be believed.
The pre-order page for the X Series pre-order pre-order British smyths Toys includes a section on Halo is endless which, as earlier this morning, mentioned the game will include “a groundbreaking free-to-play multiplayer experience,” as well as “up to 120 fps” frame rates. That part has been removed from the current version of the page in the past but can still be found in the latest Google Cache (and snapshot of this Internet Archive).
A free-to-play multiplayer mode is a big departure for Hello games (and for all Xbox titles), which requires a paid Xbox Live subscription for online gaming since the days of the original Xbox. Words may also suggest that the Multiplayer component could be a completely separate free-to-play app similar to the recent Activision Call of Duty: Warzone.
While a single, short retail list is far from confirmation (and Microsoft has not yet responded to our request for comment), the list will come weeks after Windows Central suggests a similar free-to-play possibility play for multiplayer game modes, based on “unconfirmed rumors announced by sources close to Windows Central. Developer also described 343 The industries Halo is endless as “starting our platform for the future” rather than a continuation of the “title counts and having all the segments we had before,” perhaps suggests a willingness to shake the status quo for multiplayer mode ‘ series.
Besides Hello, Microsoft recently removed a one-year Xbox Live subscription option from its online store, leaving a three-month subscription as the maximum purchase period (though a one-year subscription card is still available also from other retailers). Microsoft has also pushed Xbox Live Gold subscribers to convert their outstanding subscriptions into a Game Pass Ultimate subscription with cheap offers in recent months.
Some observers think these moves suggest Microsoft will soon get rid of Xbox Live Gold to focus on Game Pass (and its library of hundreds of downloadable and easily-streamable games) as the main subscription gaming service. If that happens, online multiplayer could be a free option for Xbox gamers, just as it was for PC gamers.
While Microsoft recently showed eight minutes of Halo is endless single-player gameplay, developer 343 Industries says a lot of information about Multiplayer modes coming later in the year. If the online game modes are really going to be free-to-play, we will probably get official confirmation. Meanwhile, though, 343 denied that the delay in pre-release footage means multiplayer modes will be delayed with the launch of Xbox Series X next year.