343 Industries plans to avoid splitting up Halo 5: Guardians's multiplayer player base by giving away more than a dozen DLC maps for free. Additionally, you won't need to pay for Xbox Live Gold in order to play the campaign cooperatively online.
These details come courtesy of Game Informer's new cover story on Halo 5, which is due out on October 27. The game will reportedly include more than 20 multiplayer maps right out of the gate, with more than 15 maps being released as DLC by June 2016. Microsoft will give each of these away for free to avoid dividing players into groups of those who do and do not own them--something that has increasingly become a problem for shooters over the years.
"When you have paid map packs and content, you divide the player base into two groups: the haves and have-nots," studio head Josh Holmes explained. "The people that have the map pack can play together but the people who don't cannot. That to us is a real problem. So we're delivering all the maps to all players free so everybody will be able to play together. That, we feel, is really important to having a great multiplayer ecosystem."
While that's certainly encouraging news, players who enjoy playing Halo cooperatively on one system are in for a disappointment, as Guardians drops support for split-screen co-op. On the bright side, you'll be able to join up with other players online for campaign co-op without the need for an Xbox Live Gold subscription, which is ordinarily required for any online multiplayer on Xbox One. If playing online isn't an option, you'll still have AI-controlled companions throughout the campaign.
Design director Kevin Franklin also teased that E3 will bring with it news about a "new epic multiplayer experience" that 343 is excited about. "I can't say too much about it, but I can tell you it does incorporate all aspects of the Halo sandbox for the very first time ever," he said. "This was always a dream of ours and all of our fans to build something like this. It's been three years of long development and an incredible amount of play testing. We can't wait to show it off."
Fortunately, we don't have long to wait to find out more about the game and this mysterious new game mode, as Microsoft's E3 press conference is just days away. It's scheduled to take place at 9:30 AM PT on Monday, June 15. Stay tuned to GameSpot for all the latest out of the conference and the rest of E3.