Once again, the angry gamers are angry and yelling and being just the worst. This time it’s happening over on Reddit. Specifically, the main Halo subreddit, r/Halo, which has been locked until Monday due to how angry and toxic most of the posts and comments have been recently following Halo Infinite’s launch last month.
Halo Infinite’s multiplayer launched on November 15. It was a nice surprise and a lot of people jumped online and began playing and what they found was pretty good. However, if you hopped over to r/Halo over the last week or so it would seem like 343 had released the worst video game ever made that also gave you cancer if you touched it based on how some players were yelling 24/7 about it and every one of its big and small problems and shortcomings.
And as you might expect, with this being the internet, sides began to form, and people who enjoyed the game also began to attack and yell 24/7 in an effort to... well, there isn’t really a point to angry posts on Reddit, but many of the nearly one million Redditors who are part of r/Halo were locked in a worthless war of words, firing insults at each other and the devs behind Infinite. Folks began sending threats, namecalling and attempting to dox folks they disagreed with or disliked. It got so bad that last night, the mods of r/Halo made the decision to lock the entire subreddit down until Monday.
“On all sides this has absolutely gone on long enough and spiraled out of control,” posted r/Halo mod 343-Guilty-Spark last night.
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“The amount of toxicity on the sub from both sides has made it impossible for people to have civil discussions, which is what the mod team strives for regardless of opinion. Some users on the sub have even been responsible for doxxing and death threats. 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.”
Let’s take a second to focus on that last bit. All of this anger, the threats, and silly war of words and doxing is over a free-to-play video game. A pretty fun one too.
Since launch, I’ve put a ton of hours into Infinite’s online modes and I, along with a lot of other players from what I can tell, have been having a great time. Of course, there are issues. The battle pass is crappy, the way you unlock stuff—even after some welcomed tweaks recently—can feel like a grind, and I wish there were a few more playlists featuring sillier modes like infected or Griffball. But there is a difference between disliking something or sharing criticism of it and harassing, attacking, or yelling at anyone and everyone unlucky enough to read your rants or threats.
Before the subreddit was locked down, 343's community director Brian Jarrad posted a lengthy response to all the angry messages, demands, and threats that had been filling r/Halo at the time.
“First, I’m going to stress again that I 100% understand and generally agree with the frustrations most are expressing even if I don’t agree with the attacks and ways in which some choose to express those feelings,” explained Jarrad.
“Call me a shill, a liar, corp speak, etc. as you want, but I’ve never lied to this community and never will. And I’m not saying myself are 343 are a ‘victim’ in any way - that’s yet another narrative some folks here have chosen to apply. It’s my job to come in here, listen, frankly take it on the chin, and despite personally being very put off by the way in which many are expressing themselves, still ensure that we are advocating for players internally. We do that regardless of it being positive or negative and always will.”
According to Jarrad, there are more changes coming to progression, to the playlists, to the battlepass and more. He also acknowledged that some big and highly requested changes and features may take longer than some will like, but he asked for patience as the team at 343 continues to work hard. He also reminded folks that Halo Infinite will be around for a long time and the studio will spend the next months and years updating, tweaking, and improving the game.
“Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. It’s your prerogative to play or not play. I’d rather have people who are so passionate they’re yelling at us than nobody caring at all,” said Jarrad. “But I just ask that people please take a breath here, understand there are human beings behind this who put years of their lives into just trying to make the best experiences they can, and do not rush to judge or assume you’ve got it all figured out.”
Shortly after that message, the subreddit was locked down by mods. Kotaku has reached out to the mods behind r/Halo about the lockdown, if it might last longer than just the weekend and what will happen when (eventually) the subreddit is reopened.
As for angry Halo players upset over Halo Infinite’s various legitimate shortcomings and issues, I’d recommend maybe stepping away, playing a game you like, and realizing that none of this is healthy or productive. Remember, you don’t have to play the game you hate. I promise.