The recent delay of 343 Industries’ Halo Infinite came as a surprise to pretty much everyone, especially considering it’s the launch title for Xbox Series X. The developer stated that various challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, had influenced the decision. On Gary Whitta’s recent episode of Animal Talking, which has since been removed from Twitch, Xbox boss Phil Spencer further discussed the delay.
“Let me start just by recognizing the fans and the fact that is is a bummer. It is disappointing to people, it’s disappointing to us. We were looking forward to the alignment of Halo Infinite and the Xbox Series X. In the end, I have to make the right decision. The strength of the Halo franchise — the health and ability of the team…are things tracking toward the quality of where you want the game?”
Interestingly, Spencer said there were talks with Bonnie Ross of 343 Industries and Xbox Game Studios’ Matt Booty on releasing the game in separate parts across different dates. However, Spencer said, “It just didn’t feel, to all of us, like the Halo release that we would want.” After discussion among the leadership, with the final process taking some 24 hours to hash out, the delay was finally announced.
Spencer apologized to fans, stating that, “I never like to set up expectations and then not hit them but I also believe we’re making the right decision, in the long run, for both Xbox and Halo and our customers.” He didn’t comment on whether the demo from the Xbox Games Showcase, which garnered mixed reactions, played any part in the delay.
The Xbox Series X is still slated to release this November. In the meantime, Halo Infinite is currently planned to release in 2021 for Xbox Series X, PC and Xbox One. Its multiplayer, recently confirmed to be free to play and running at 120 frames per second, will receive more details in the coming months so stay tuned.