In fact, one of the first major Halo Infinite updates don’t nerf some of the game’s most powerful weapons or improve the matchmaking system; it fixes the Battle Pass. There’s an extent to which any game with a Battle Pass (or similar prominent microtransaction features) exists to serve the Battle Pass and needs to be updated, and enabled, with the Battle Pass’s needs in mind.
Which brings us to the other problem with many modern Battle Passes. There are gamers who say they don’t care about Battles Passes, and I know they’re being honest because I’m one of them. Cosmetics are nice, and I’ll definitely use them when they get there, but it’s not something I generally go out of my way for.
The fact is, though, there are quite a few gamers who care deeply about unlocking cosmetics (and interacting with the Battle Passes they’re often associated with). Battle Passes allocate a time and money amount to these items, making them valuable almost automatically, even if you don’t personally care much for them. By the way, look how fast people responded to endless‘s Battle Pass issues compared to how they’ve covered pretty much every other aspect of the game thus far.
The idea that Battle Passes allow you to unlock items through the natural progression of the game is negated by the fact that Battle Passes don’t support “natural play” with those who really care. When people start measuring the value of a Halo match by the XP it rewards them with rather than the experience of the match itself, meaning they will value and analyze pretty much every other aspect of the game differently. When that analysis comes from people who have proven to be more open to a game’s microtransactions and unlockables, it just makes sense that developers and publishers would take their feedback to heart and start making adjustments and decisions with that feedback in mind.
The sad truth is that I don’t know what the best alternative to Battle Passes is, other than completely eliminating such microtransactions (which just isn’t going to happen, as much as we want it to). I suspect the second best alternative is to disconnect Battle Passes from “the grind” as much as possible and give players more ways to get the items they really want, but that’s certainly not a perfect solution.
What I do know is that Battle Passes are starting to get so big over modern games that even those who really don’t care are affected by their impact on game design and how we play games.