It looks like Xbox Series X is going to be launching without its biggest franchise in tow. Today, Microsoft and 343 Industries announced that Halo Infinite has been delayed. Originally slated to be a launch title for the Xbox Series X (and release on the Xbox One simultaneously, for that matter), Halo Infinite now won’t be launching until sometime in 2021.
Halo Infinite studio head Chris Lee shared news of the delay on Twitter today. “Today I want to share an important Halo Infinite development update with the community,” Lee’s statement reads. “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.”
Lee says that the decision is down to “multiple factors that have contributed to development challenges,” and of course, that means the COVID-19 pandemic has something to do with it. “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,” Lee continued. “However, it is not sustainable for the well-being of our team or the overall success of the game to ship it this holiday.”
Halo Infinite was given a 8 minute long gameplay demo during an Xbox Series X presentation last month, and after that reveal, a fair number of fans expressed disappointment over the look of the game. 343 responded to that criticism by saying that while Halo Infinite uses a cleaner art style more reminiscent of the early Halo games, the company did agree that it needed to “raise the level of fidelity and overall presentation of the final game.”
If those graphics concerns played a part in 343 and Microsoft’s decision to delay Halo Infinite, Lee didn’t mention it in his statement. In any case, all we know is that Halo Infinite has been pushed back – when it will launch is up in the air, but we’ll let you know when Microsoft and 343 share more.