For the long term health of Halo, however, they decided against it.
Halo Infinite’s development cycle is longer than one for any game in the series before, but there was discussion at Microsoft and developers 343 Industries about putting out a smaller scale game in the series between it and 2015’s Halo 5: Guardians to fill up the gap in some way or the other.
Speaking on the latest episode of IGN Unfiltered, 343 Industries’ Bonnie Ross noted that Xbox head Phil Spencer and she had a discussion about where they wanted Halo to go, before deciding that a longer gap for putting out a full-fledged game would be better for the overall health of the franchise than putting out something half-hearted in the interim.
“When we [put out] Halo 5, there were talks about, could we get another Halo out in two years? So, we did look at, I’d call it a Halo 5.5, or a Halo 5 ODST type of thing. A smaller game,” she said. “We just investigated. Phil [Spencer] and I had a really good discussion on, ‘Where do we want Halo to go?’ If we really want Halo to be something for the next 10, 20 years, we have to do the work. If you want another game, we can do that, but […] my concern was, if you did something like that, I don’t think Halo would do well after that. You can’t put out a half-baked game.”
Halo Infinite looks great from what little we’ve heard of it, and it seems like the time and dedicated resources are helping it. 343 Industries would surely not have been able to devote their time to the development of a new engine and a rumored reinvention had they also had to put out another game in the interim, after all.