To say Halo Infinite has had a troubled history is the world's biggest understatement. The shooter from 343 faced delay after delay and eventually released in an unfinished state without key modes like campaign and Forge. The latter only recently came out in fact, but there seems to be a limit on the creativity 343 want you to put into your creations after they banned one player's map after he spent 30 hours making it.
In a recent video, YouTube user 'the scorpion' explains how he spent 30 hours creating a forge map, only to be banned and have the map deleted after playing it in a custom game with a friend.
The map depicts dead UNSC marines, some with body parts dismembered, lying in pools of blood. While this might sound graphic, the reality is that the YouTuber used Forge's custom terrain and coloured it red to simulate blood.
On Twitter, 'Forge Lord' AKA 343 lead designer Michael Schorr responded to questions about why the user was banned and the map deleted. "I'm not on the safety team," he says, but I'd wager that the MANY scenes of violence are not adhering to the ESRB's definition of Teen rated content. As always, the author can appeal the ban."
In a reply, another Twitter user points out that online interactions aren't actually rated by the ESRB and that their definition is therefore irrelevant.
"You are correct," says Schorr in response. "The ESRB doesn't rate [user-generated content]. I believe the safety team is using the ESRB Teen definitions and the Xbox Code of Conduct as guidelines for our own UGC moderation."
Of course, 343 reserve the right to delete and moderate any content they deem as inappropriate or offensive. But, the fact that they would censor a user's creation because they think it's too graphic when it was all created using the tools they provided brings up one question - what is the point of Forge mode if not to be creative?
Add to this the fact that you can't play any of Halo Infinite's modes offline, and that means you can't create your Forge maps offline and are thus always at 343's mercy.
Stealth Optional thinks that the map in question can hardly be considered offensive. Mature? Sure, but then isn't Forge for expressing yourself and creating new and interesting maps?