The causes behind Halo Infinite‘s delay and its loss as an Xbox Series X launch title was apparently in part of splitting the project up to third-party developers and its free multiplayer component, according to a new report which was corroborated by sources “familiar” with 343’s plans.
According to Windows technology site Thurrott, the sixth major installment to the series was on its way for a November release with the Series X until coordination was marred by creative director Tim Longo, who abruptly left 343 Industries on August 2019. This allegedly caused some miscommunication and misdirection across Halo Infinite‘s multiple departments, including its campaign which was handled by 343 and other mechanics given remotely to other developers before the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the game’s marketing was also reportedly held back from Halo‘s own TV show, which was picked up for production by ShowTime last year. This stretched the department thinner while taking a priority away from Infinite‘s deadlines. Marketing was also growing more distant from the engineering team, which author Brad Sams described as both having “been on two different planets.”
He cited 343 announcing the free multiplayer release for Halo Infinite at launch, with the studio knowing it would be delayed to 2021. For marketing, it allegedly was adding pressure for engineers who continued to work on the game. Multiple sources told Sams Longo’s departure from 343 raised more questions on the direction for Infinite, with one of the biggest decisions dividing the team further to work on a standalone multiplayer component. Sources also claimed engineering was requesting for some details to be held back, while marketing continued generating hype by publicizing new game details regularly.
Ultimately, 343’s multi-million dollar plan to release Halo Infinite as a launch title (a first for the series since Halo Combat Evolved released with the original Xbox) wasn’t realized from the delay. As of now, the game sees a new release window for the beginning of 2021 after players have gotten their hands on the Series X. The game will also be releasing on PC with crossplay for campaign and multiplayer.