Why Halo Wars 2, just why?
Xbox today released on YouTube a video to announce a date for the anticipated all-new Blitz mode beta testing for Halo Wars 2. Describing it as “where tactical combat meets card-based strategy”. Players can trial the RTS card-based mode in a free Beta from January 20th-30th.
Blitz is a new mode that gives a twist on the previous Halo Wars. You build a deck made up of both Halo vehicles and troops, battle against enemies and win the game by controlling capture points. It looks like an interesting way to combine a card battle system with RTS combat.
Microtransactions are here for a long time
Card-based games ties with microtransactions. Also with most games now there are in-game purchases like DLC. Big video game companies have made the decision that MTs are here to stay. In an interview conducted by Kotaku in 2013 with head of Xbox Phil Spencer, he said “”So let’s make sure we are crafting the game and the analytics so we can see what the consumers — the gamers — like and don’t — if you assume buying habits are a reflection of what people like. So that we can craft the experience better for the gamer.”
Judging from this interview, Xbox must still think based on previous data MTs are still within buying capacity for gamers. Also, they believe gamers are happy to go to some extent to make in-game purchases to increase their playing capacity and enjoyment. However, I don’t believe you can simply assume “buying habits are a reflection of what people like”. Like Mat says in the Gameology People spend money, but it doesn’t mean they enjoy it. Particularly when players invest a lot of money and cards become redundant when new cards are released. Blizzard do this in Hearthstone, forcing players to spend more.
Fellow A9K writer Mat, this week posted the Gameology video on MTs. It’s a great discussion on the topic from the perspective of a writer/gamer and also guest Attila Branyiczky from BluishGreen Productions, who’s a game developer.
The Halo series is a huge success for Microsoft, influencing what Xbox is today. Halo Wars became the best selling RTS console game of the 360/PS3/Wii era. After the announcement of Scalebound being cancelled, Xbox will now be relying even more heavily on the success of Halo Wars 2. They’ll be betting that Blitz will be a large drawcard for players.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.