Though it would be easy to assume Halo Infinite was likely delayed due to the negative fan reaction to the game’s still somewhat recent gameplay trailer, it appears that there’s far more going on behind the scenes.
A new report from Thurrott suggests Halo Infinite‘s development has been “turbulent” and that the upcoming Halo TV show has been a “significant distraction” for 343 Industries.
Further, the report details how outsourcing has hindered the game’s development. While common in the gaming industry, especially in the context of big-budget game development, the report indicates that outsourcing has been unusually frequent with Halo Infinite. This has reportedly resulted in “coordination between the many different companies contributing to Infinite” being “rough, at best,” according to Thurott.
Even the game’s 2019 trailer was reportedly outsourced because the game was still not in a playable state. The report also suggests the game’s marketing and engineering teams “have been on two different planets,” which has resulted in issues related to the game’s messaging.
Finally, Thurrott says the departure of key leadership at 343 Industries, including Tim Longo, Infinite’s creative director, and Mary Olsen, the game’s lead producer, has caused issues with its development. The report also corroborates a recent rumour indicating that the initial plan was to release Halo Infinite’s campaign and multiplayer individually in order to meet the game’s November 2020 deadline.
Unlike a lot of people, I was impressed with Halo Infinite‘s recent gameplay trailer and disappointed by the delay, but if there’s more going on behind the scenes regarding the title’s troubled development, pushing back its release seems to be the right call.
Though Halo 5 was generally well-received when it was released back in 2015, the game is ultimately viewed as one of the worst entries in the long-running series. While there’s always a lot riding on a new Halo title, given it’s the Xbox brand’s most recognizable franchise, the fact that Halo 5 was a disappointment means that at least in some sense, the franchise’s future depends on Infinite satisfying both fans and critics.