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343 dips its toes into F2P with Russian beta of Halo Online

The folks at 343 Industries are testing the waters of free-to-play Halo by beta-testing a multiplayer-only PC version of the game this spring -- in Russia.

The folks at 343 Industries are testing the waters of free-to-play Halo by beta-testing a multiplayer-only PC version of the game this spring -- in Russia.

It's called Halo Onlineand it was evidently developed on the Halo 3 engine in conjunction with Russian publisher Innova Systems and Saber Interactive, which maintains development offices in St. Petersburg.

The whole endeavor is much akin to Activision's partnership with Chinese company Tencent to release Call of Duty Online, a F2P China-only mash-up of various Call of Duty titles that's currently operating in closed beta.

It's yet unclear how 343 intends to monetize Halo Online; the company intends to launch the game in closed beta later this year on Innova's 4game platform and adjust its design and economy in response to player feedback. 

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