Microsoft and 343 Industries have announced that Halo Infinite has been delayed to 2021.
In a blog post shared on the official Halo website, 343 Industries provided an update on the game’s development and revealed that both they and Microsoft made the unanimous decision to delay Halo Infinite indefinitely to 2021.
Halo Infinite Studio Head Chris Lee explained that the reason the game has been delayed is due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has forced the studio to work from home.
He said: “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.”
Addressing that many fans will be upset over the news, Lee continued: “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 incredibly and inspiring. We wanted to 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.”
Did Halo Infinite Backlash Contribute To The Delay?
Neither Microsoft nor 343 Industries revealed when the game will release in 2021. It’s believed that one of the contributing factors in the decision to delay the game, alongside the COVID-19 pandemic, is the backlash over the game’s supposed “outdated” graphics following the gameplay debut last month.
Days after first unveiling gameplay for the title, both Microsoft and 343 Industries issued responses to the backlash, stating that the game was not being held back for being released on the current-gen Xbox One consoles.
The development studio issued a second statement noting that the team still had lots of work to do on the game including “graphical elements and game systems” which the team said were “still being finished and polished”.
Address the backlash, 343 Industries Community Manager John Junyszek said the studio is “working as quickly as possible on plans to address some of the feedback around detail, clarity, and overall fidelity.”
He added: “The team is committed and focused on making sure we have a beautiful world for players to explore when we launch.”
Halo Infinite was set to serve as a launch title for the upcoming Xbox Series X console when it releases later this year and, although the game has been delayed to next year, the console is still set to release this November.
Image Credit: Screenshot – Halo Trailer, YouTube