Halo 5 Guardians microtransactions made more money in 6 months than any previous Halo DLC, according to Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Patcher.
When Halo 5 released in October 2015, 343 Industries chose to offer all players of the game free DLC rather than paid DLC packs. Instead, it introduced microtransactions rather than profit from monthly DLC content. According to Patcher, Microsoft informed the analyst that Halo 5 had made more money through microtransactions in 6 months than it had with any of Halo‘s previously released DLC.
“What Microsoft did with Halo 5 is free DLC and 343i issued free DLC every month,” explains Patcher.
“So the game came out in October and I’m not sure when the first DLC came out maybe December, but it was like December, January, February, March, April, May; six months of free DLC and what they told me at Microsoft and 343i was that the cumulative spending on microtransactions on Halo 5 for that six months was greater than all DLC sales for any Halo game ever, not cumulative for all the games, but each game”
Microsoft Studios and 343i confirmed to Patcher that the reason it had opted to remove paid DLC for Halo 5 was that every time it released a paid DLC pack for Halo there was a drop in player numbers, this trend continued with each pack released.
When the studio decided to forgo paid DLC content with Halo 5 and add microtransactions instead, the decline in players stopped and reversed which makes sense because the developer or publisher is more likely to keep the player engaged by releasing free content such as new map packs as seen with Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall 2.
Regarding the heavily criticised Season Pass, Patcher believes the release of free content has worked well for Titanfall 2, which only sold 8 million post-launch, however, the analyst doesn’t believe Activision will adopt a similar approach with Call of Duty, which makes millions from it’s DLC packs.