So it turns out that there’s even more good news for the upcoming PC release, and new Reach content patch, for Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The game will have free access to mutliplayer functionality on PC, in contrast to the paid cost on console versions.
This isn’t something we would have expected Microsoft to screw up though, as paying for multiplayer access is something fairly unique to consoles, due to the ability of many developers to partner with third-party server providers on PC. There have been plenty of deals between game publishers and third-party hosting providers to allow games to use their servers in agreement for some promotion in-game. Another way PC gaming has avoided this problem is the reliance on peer-to-peer networking, although in recent years consoles have begun taking more advantage of this tech too.
Console gaming almost always relies on the existing server infrastructure of the likes of Sony and Microsoft, and that access comes at both a monetary cost and a sacrifice of control. Because if Microsoft or Sony want to change something on Xbox Live or Playstation Network, developers and players alike are at their mercy.
Players will still need a basic free Xbox Live account to link their Microsoft account to their PC profile, which is understandable. There’s probably a few technical reasons for this, but one is likely that the company wants to be on the lookout for cheaters. It’s possible that cheating in the PC release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection will land you a full Xbox ban as well, and vice-versa.
Xbox Live Gold is Microsoft’s premium subscription for its Xbox Live service on Xbox consoles. This service offers online multiplayer and community functionality, as well as access to free games and other digital services as an incentive.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection is coming to PC, and the existing version is being updated with a reworked version of Halo Reach for modern consoles. And of course, Reach will also come to PC, marking the first time in years a Halo title has dropped for the platform.