In case you're not up to date, there's a lot of back-and-forth over the contents and quality of the Halo Infinite (opens in new tab) multiplayer beta. Indeed, the free-to-play beta has sparked such controversy that the moderators of the Halo subreddit have closed the entire forum for the weekend because people just cannot behave themselves.
"Some users on the sub have even been responsible for doxxing and death threats," said the moderators in a statement made last night. (opens in new tab) "We're temporarily putting the sub on lockdown so people can hopefully settle down a bit and we can hit the reset button before launch. At the end of the day this is a video game and this level of vitriol is unwarranted."
The moderators of the Halo subreddit say they'll reopen the forum on Monday. They're very clear that they don't want to silence criticism or support of Halo Infinite, only that the tone of discussion had gotten too hostile: "If you see people breaking our rules, don't make things worse by breaking the rules yourself."
It's a spiral I've seen before in communities, where controversial topics turn moderation into an untenable thing for volunteer-driven communities.
The subreddit has been incredibly toxic this week, especially in the wake of a reveal that there are hidden game modes when players go offline. (opens in new tab) Insults were flying pretty freely, and every second or third post was about one of a handful of specific gripes.
It's the culmination of weeks of community turmoil around design decisions and implementation in Halo Infinite.
First was the Battle Pass, which appears quite small and took too long to complete. (Our Nat Clayton: Sorry, Halo Infinite, but your battle pass sucks. (opens in new tab)) That got some designer attention (opens in new tab), though. Since then it's been all about unlockables, microtransactions, and game modes, (opens in new tab) focusing on players' inability to pick any mode they like rather than be forced into what the developers have made available that week.
Halo Infinite's single player component will release on December 8th.