Halo is finally going free for PC gamers this spring -- in Russia. Halo Online is set to be released sometime in the spring in Russia and is targeted towards PC gamers who may not have played Halo yet. 343 Industries made the announcement today on Halo Waypoint, indicating that Halo Online will be available in a "closed, invite-only beta and run exclusively on the PC." PC gamers that are invited to join will be able to access Halo Online for free.
Halo Online is a unique title within the Halo franchise; it's being offered for free and it is only available in Russia. Halo Online also lacks a campaign mode, instead offering only multiplayer where gamers face-off in a map dubbed "Anvil."
According to 343, Halo Online was created in partnership with Saber Interactive and Innova Systems. Halo Online is also built using the game engine that powered Halo 3. By doing this, Halo Online will be able to run on lower-end PCs which dominate the Russian market.
Although Halo Online is free to play, Halo Online does feature an in-game marketplace where virtual goods and upgrades may be purchased, allowing developers to generate income. 343 Industries stated that there are no plans to release it outside of Russia and there are no plans to release it to the Xbox One. No word yet on what Windows operating system Halo Online will require to play.
Here is the Halo Online Announce Trailer in Russian.