A new item bundle in Halo Infinite‘s shop has fans questioning Microsoft and 343 Industries’ item pricing structure. The Mister Chief item set turns a classic Halo meme into an A.I., weapon charm, and set of sprays — but it’ll cost players $18.
The cosmetic set is a bit of an inside joke for Halo fans. It’s based on a cartoon drawn by former Halo Community Manager Frank O’Connor in 2004. The crude drawing of Master Chief, dubbed Mister Chief, become a beloved gag for fans and popped up in several update posts about the series in the 2000s.
The Mister Chief item pack immortalizes that meme in Halo Infinite. Players who purchase the pack in the game’s shop will get the cartoon as an A.I. The set comes with a weapon charm featuring his face and sprays that can be used on armor, guns, and vehicles.
The catch is its somewhat eye-popping price tag. The set costs 2,000 credits, which translates to around $18. That makes it one of Halo Infinite‘s most expensive item packs yet. To put it into perspective, the items almost cost as much as Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which is currently on sale for $20 in Steam’s winter sale, and it’s one-third of Halo Infinite‘s full retail price — all for a few cosmetics.
This costs as much as MCC right now on Steam.
— Hey You Mewtwo (@PlatinumMewtwo) December 28, 2021
Halo Infinite‘s cosmetic pricing has been a sore spot for fans since the game launched. To get an item like the game’s popular Spartan cat ears, players needed to plop down $9. Fans took to social media to voice their displeasure with the game’s current pricing model.
“Pay $20 for an unfunny Halo ‘meme’ OR pay $20 for 6 Halo games in their entirety,” reads one reply to the Halo Twitter account’s tweet about the item set. “The price gouging is insane and they will never change it.”
The recently released Halo Infinite finds itself in a complicated position. Its multiplayer is completely free, which usually justifies higher cosmetic prices. On the other hand, Microsoft is still selling the campaign as a full-retail $60 game. It’s a bit like Microsoft has found a way to have its cake and eat it too. Ultimately, players will have to vote with their wallets on this one if they want to see item pricing come down anytime soon.