343 Industries has delayed Halo Infinite to 2021. Before you ask, no, it’s not because of the flak the gameplay demo took over its graphics. At least, probably not completely for that reason. The developer points to “multiple factors” that have hampered development, including issues surrounding COVID-19, which affected many in the industry.
The message by studio head Chris Lee doesn’t mention a new release date. Prior to the delay, Halo Infinite was scheduled to launch alongside the Xbox Series X this November (as confirmed today). This delay will undoubtedly be a massive blow for Microsoft, which was likely betting on the popular Halo brand to help bouy interest for its upcoming new console. The message posted to Xbox Wire certainly feels like damage control.
“The decision to shift our release is the result of multiple factors that have contributed to development challenges, including the ongoing COVID-related impacts affecting us all this year,” Lee writes. “I want to acknowledge the hard work from our team at 343 Industries, who have remained committed to making a great game and finding solutions to development challenges. However, it is not sustainable for the well-being of our team or the overall success of the game to ship it this holiday.”
Let me tell you about my friend, Craig
Halo Infinite gameplay was displayed for the first time during the Xbox Game Showcase this past July. While it clearly showed off a directional shift for the series, with its open-world structure and grappling hook, viewers were quick to criticize the Infinite‘s graphics. As a game meant to fully use the power of the next Xbox, Halo Infinite fell short for fans. 343 was quick to respond, calling them “legacy aesthetics.” However, that didn’t slow the flood of criticism and memes about a particular brute the internet named Craig.
Regardless, the news should still come as a surprise for those awaiting the game this year. Considering the issues at hand, however, it’s probably for the best that 343 give Halo Infinite more time in the oven.
“We know this will be disappointing to many of you and we all share in that sentiment,” Lee continues. “The passion and support the community has shown over the years has been incredible and inspiring. We wanted nothing more than to play our game with the community this holiday. The extra time will let us finish the critical work necessary to deliver the most ambitious Halo game ever at the quality we know our fans expect.”