In the dev's most recent developer stream on Mixer, 343 industries' Jeff Easterling promptly crushed any hope of Halo Infinite getting any sort of battle royale, saying that the only kind of BR they're interested in are battle rifles.
To be fair, at a glance the news sounds refreshing, especially since the world plus dog seem to be jumping on the battle royale bandwagon these days. I can see how people get tired of it.
Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is getting its own battle royale version called Blackout and DICEA are doing the same with Battlefield V's Royale. Moreover, just about every developer interview has to include the question of will their game have a battle royale mode.
One could say Halo gets to keep what makes it unique but at what cost? While we appreciate 343 Industries' artistic integrity, financial repercussions for not offering the most popular multiplayer form at the moment may be severe.
Namely, SuperData's latest report has shows that battle royale games are not only interesting to play, they're a blast to watch too. The genre has racked up incredible 700 million hours of watch time in May 2018 across all platforms.
To be fair, Fortnite has made up 83 per cent of this but it is widely expected those viewers will convert to esports watchers, a cake everyone will have a piece of. It turns out that popularity of battle royale results in bringing in new viewers, rather than stealing them from other games.
The same firm predicts that games with a battle royale mode will be earning 12 per cent of all digital games revenue in 2018, which puts a completely different spin on things. In fact, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Battlefield V are freely mentioned in the report as one of main drivers of this traffic.
Ultimately, it may be wise for 343 and Microsoft to not pass up the opportunity to inject some fresh air into Halo franchise, even if they're blamed for following fads. After all, this is not the fad you want to ignore.