Microsoft’s Xbox Series X/S is finally out but the next-gen launch is somewhat sobering without Halo Infinite. 343 Industries’ shooter was delayed to 2021 following a middling gameplay showcase. However, the project has been garnering concern due to the turnover of key developers like studio head Chris Lee (who still remains a Microsoft employee).
Xbox boss Phil Spencer isn’t concerned though and says that such turnover is a “healthy thing.” Speaking to GameSpot, he also noted that, “Sometimes what hits the press, or when certain things get announced internally, have actually happened months before. It’s not always accurate when these things line up – we did take the feedback coming out of the July showcase event seriously, both on the date and what people were expecting from the game.”
Spencer does state that there were several mistakes made with the timing of the reveal. “It was a miss on our part, on my part, to open our July showcase with Halo Infinite and then a couple of weeks later have to move the date. I don’t take the sentiment and the emotion of our fans and our customers lightly. We set an expectation that here, this is something you’re going to have at launch and then we have to change that expectation not too much after our showing – that’s a mistake.”
Despite Lee not being on the project any more, Spencer said he has “a lot of faith in Bonnie [Ross] and the team there having Joe [Staten] and Pierre [Hintze] join, which they did late in the summer – I feel good about where we are on that team. I don’t have any specific concern about 343. I actually think in the long run, turnover is a healthy thing because we want people who are really motivated by the things that they’re working on.”
Along with 343 Industries, Skybox Labs and Sperasoft, Certain Affinity was confirmed to have partnered for development. The studio is famous for developing DLC maps for past games and working on multiplayer for Halo 2: Anniversary. Halo Infinite’s multiplayer will be going free to play so the additional support seems a given, though there are concerns regarding prices for the new coatings.
Halo Infinite is currently in development for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC. Reports state that it’s almost content complete and will more or less release in 2021. Stay tuned for more updates in the meantime.