Last week Microsoft surprised many fans when they announced they were delaying Halo Infinite to 2021. Granted, the response to Halo Infinite’s big gameplay reveal was lukewarm, but the title’s been in development for around five years! Surely 343 Industries should have been able to get something ready for the launch of the Xbox Series X?
Well, a new report from reliable Microsoft insider Brad Sams may shine a light on where Halo Infinite went wrong. According to Sams, Halo Infinite was always meant to be a showcase for Microsoft’s successor to the Xbox One, but the game began development in 2015, long before the Xbox Series X hardware was finalized, causing plenty of uncertainty. Ultimately though, it doesn’t seem like hardware was the main source of the game’s development woes.
Word is, a large portion of Halo Infinite’s development has been outsourced, even more than with most AAA games, and not all the studios working on the game have been on the same page. For instance, Halo Infinite’s fairly impressive 2019 “Discover Hope” trailer was likely outsourced, as the actual game didn’t look anywhere near that good at the time. The collaborative nature of Halo Infinite’s development has led to a lot of friction and discord, which may have contributed to the game losing two creative directors (Tim Longo and Mary Olsen) in a single year.
So, why hasn’t anybody at 343 Industries taken the reins and steered Halo Infinite back on track? Well, apparently 343 management has been preoccupied with the upcoming Showtime Halo TV series. There’s also said to be a disconnect between the Halo marketing and creative teams, with the former trying to keep the hype train rolling even as development threatened to derail. Of course, this is all rumor for now, but Sams paints a pretty consistent and believable picture of 343 Industries as a studio beset with a chronic lack of focus. Here’s hoping they can rally and deliver the kind of Halo experience fans expect.
Halo Infinite will arrive on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X sometime in 2021. What do you think? Is there hope for Master Chief’s latest?