Microsoft is putting Halo: Infinite back into the oven. The publisher announced today that it is pushing the next Halo game into 2021 so that developer 343 Industries can have more time to refine the final product.
This is a major blow to the Xbox Series X, which is launching in November according to Microsoft. Halo: Infinite was supposed to act as that platform’s biggest release at launch. Now, anyone picking up Series X this holiday is going to have to wait.
In its messaging, Microsoft clarified it isn’t changing its next-gen hardware plans.
Chris Lee, 343 studio head, posted the following message to social media:
Today I want to share an important Halo Infinite development update with the community. We have made the difficult decision to shift our release to 2021 to ensure the team has adequate time to deliver a Halo game experience that meets our vision.
The decision to shift our release is the result of multiple factors that have contributed to development challenges, including the ongoing COVID-related impacts affecting us all this year. I want to acknowledge the hard work from our team at 343 Industries, who have remained committed to making a great game and finding solutions to development challenges. However, it is not sustainable for the well-being of our team or the overall success of the game to ship it this holiday.
We know this will be disappointing to many of you and we all share in that sentiment. The passion and support the community has shown over the years has been incredible and inspiring. We wanted nothing more than to play our game with the community this holiday. The extra time will let us finish the critical work necessary to deliver the most ambitious Halo game ever at the quality we know our fans expect.
Thank you for your support and understanding.
This move is likely for the best. Halo: Infinite looked entertaining in its gameplay reveal last month, but many fans criticized the visual style. Additionally, rumors claim that development of the campaign was coming in hot and likely would have issues at launch. A delay could avoid a catastrophic first impression for a game that Microsoft wants to last for years.
Updated at 12:38 p.m. with the Xbox Series X launching in November.