Halo Infinite’s multiplayer has been out for over a week and is clearly thriving, while its single player campaign is launching soon as well. At launch, however, the game is going to be missing campaign co-op and Forge mode, both of which have become crucial pillars of the Halo experience over the years. With campaign co-op not arriving until at least May 2022 and Forge until at least three months after that, series fans have expressed their disappointment over the delays, especially where the former is concerned.
Speaking to IGN (via GameSpot), 343 Industries’ head of creative Joseph Staten recently talked about the same, explaining why the delay for campaign co-op in particular was deemed necessary. Staten explained that while that decision was “very, very hard” to make, it shows that 343 Industries is committed to “only ship experiences when they are ready.”
“I work on Halo but I’m still a Halo fan,” Staten sad. ” And campaign co-op is essential to the experience. Playing Halo with your friends is playing Halo, whether it’s multiplayer or campaign. So of all the decisions that we made that were the most difficult, delaying co-op was very, very hard. But it shows the commitment of the studio–even when it’s challenging, even when it hurts–to only ship experiences when they are ready. To only ship quality experiences. And that’s so important for any franchise, but certainly a franchise like Halo that’s been around for 20 years.”
“If we don’t maintain that high bar, if we don’t commit ourselves to excellence, and commit ourselves to every time we launch something to delighting our customers, living up to our expectations, ideally exceeding our expectations, I don’t think we’re doing this job right,” he added. “And the simple truth was co-op just wasn’t ready. And we decided to prioritize our efforts in other areas.”
One of the things that 343 Industries chose to prioritize over shipping campaign co-op at launch was ensuring that the game ran well on every platform it was shipping on. “That was a more important goal than shipping co-op,” Staten explained. “That’s tough. But I think if you look at those two choices and you put yourself in a customer-first mindset, it’s clear which one you should choose, even though it hurts.”
The lack of both campaign co-op and Forge at launch is, of course, disappointing, but recent examples like Cyberpunk 2077 have shown how bad things can get when a developer doesn’t ensure that a game is running well on all the platforms it is releasing for. 343 Industries’ decision to prioritize that may not have been a popular one, but it’s inarguable that something like that is obviously much more crucial to the experience for the player base at large.
Halo Infinite’s single player campaign will launch for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC on December 8.