Halo Infinite will be pushing back its launch to sometime in 2021

    
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Halo Infinite will be pushing back its launch to sometime in 2021

If you were among those eager for the rumored free-to-play multiplayer or just the open world single-player of Halo Infinite, then 343 Industries studio head Chris Lee has some bad news for you: The upcoming shooter will be delaying its launch to some point in 2021.

“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,” reads the announcement post/image. “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.”

While Lee appreciates that the delay is a disappointment, considering the game was likely going to be a big-ticket part of the Xbox Series X console’s launch lineup, he also promises that the extra time will be devoted to “deliver the most ambitious Halo game ever at the quality we know our fans expect.”

source: Twitter via Kotaku

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Jack Pipsam

Halo: MCC was broken at launch and took like year to fix, following that Halo 5 was a low point for the franchise.

MCC is now great and Infinite promised to be a new leaf for Halo under 343i, the last thing they can have happen is to release it and it not be stellar.
It was always going to be a impossible act to follow on from Bungie’s masterpieces of gaming history and to my heart perfection with the original Halo trilogy, but their handing and general direction has been on the whole, rather strange.

This can’t just be because of the dull lighting we saw in the demo, there’s got to be other issues deep for them to delay Halo from the console launch, it was too important for them not to have had found something which necessitated this.

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angrakhan

Can someone educate me on the “train wreck” of the gameplay trailer? The one I saw had Chief zipping around with a grappling hook and killing bad guys. It seemed to have an open world map more like Ghost Recon Breakpoint than the classic on rails experience literally every other Halo game has.

Was this the same trailer or something else because I thought it looked pretty good but needed some visual tweaking. I’m not a big fan of trying to make it look like Halo 2 but in a modern engine. It looks like it’s trying to look bad which is weird to me.

So other than art style and texture quality I was interested.

So what is the big crapstorm because I’m not seeing it?

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Greaterdivinity

Same trailer. The gameplay wasn’t the focal point of the criticism, which most folks seem to be excited about. It was primarily that much of the gameplay looked decided current/last generation in its visual presentation and folks were expecting a MUCH better looking game to be running on next-gen hardware.

Digital Foundry did a good analysis of it, and many do indeed look pretty bad. But they explain exactly why, and how it’s absolutely fixable (especially with ray tracing on Series X eventually). It’s definitely not and intentional look they’re going for, but the consequence of the lighting and how textures/materials are rendered and the fact that they picked a heavily shadowed area to show off that really highlighted the flaws.

A big part, I think, was player expectations. Infinite has been in development for a while now, and after some less than exciting Microsoft events folks were ready to be absolutely blown away by Infinite. And while it was good on the gameplay, the visual flaws took a lot of wind out of the sails.

Though big props to 343 for fully embracing the Craig memes ?: P

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angrakhan

Ok, thanks for the info. I agree the visuals seem underwhelming. I’m still excited for the game, though.

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Ironwu

If you actually watched the live presentation, it was a disaster. The graphics were dull and muddy. The game hitched, lagged, and had other performance issues. It simply just did not present as a modern 2020 shooter.

The stuff they showed was pieced together from several play sections, so you actually never got to see an extended piece of game play; pretty bad if that set of poor presentations was the best they could cobble together.

Fans and apologists are going to try and whitewash over all this, but the real telling thing is that shortly after showing this and getting feedback, the release was pulled. This was supposed to be the ‘Killer App’ for the new ‘Box.

Pulling it from the launch was the right thing to do. But it had nothing to do with WFH and everything to do with the poor quality.

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angrakhan

Yeah I agree it wasn’t work from home. I build software for a living. Business software not games, but when they sent us all home we actually started setting velocity records for our sprints. We’re actually significantly more productive at home than in the office. None of the managers are even mentioning going back into the office. I think they may have figured it’s not broke so don’t fix it.

Anyway any time I hear a game studio say that work from home is causing delays I get real dubious. Just use MS Teams or something similar and you can have just as much face to face collaboration as in person as you do remote. I don’t buy the line about WFH anymore than you do.

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Greaterdivinity

Man, I don’t envy 343/Microsoft at all because there’s no good decision here. This definitely is the “least bad” option they have, especially in response to the public reaction to the gameplay reveal.

But damn if this isn’t gonna be a big gut-punch to launch sales for the console. Microsoft already has an uphill battle after getting run over this generation, and launching without their biggest IP and without any other major first party titles is gonna put them at a big disadvantage compared to the PS5, which is already seeing much more buzz.

I feel bad for Microsoft honestly, it seems like they really tried to get off to a better start this year but they kept missing the mark. They tried improving, and they did, but it still didn’t hit the level that Sony’s been hitting with much of their PS5 marketing. And now this…on the bright side at least it will likely launch with ray tracing on Series X.

I genuinely hope that Microsoft has some tricks up their sleeve or pulls some rabbits out of some hats for the launch.

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Ironwu

Heh. Couldn’t have anything to do with the absolute train wreck of a game play demo that they showed?

Nah. It’s C-19. Must be. Right?

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Greaterdivinity

It wasn’t THAT bad outside of the lighting causing some really bad visual issues (Digital Foundry video on it is really good, if you haven’t watched).

But I imagine C19 had a part to play in the quality of what was shown, and that talks about a potential delay were very much on the table even before the showcase. The showcase was probably used, in part, to gauge reaction to work on the game at that stage and the largely negative response pushed them more firmly into the “We need to spend more time on this” camp.

Transitioning to WFH has had a huge number of effects on game development, specifically in terms of delays, so another game getting delayed due to it isn’t surprising. And given the importance of the Halo IP to Microsoft/Xbox, this isn’t a brand they can afford to fuck around with.