Halo Infinite has been delayed from a holiday launch to sometime in 2021, the development team announced Tuesday.
“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,” developer 343 said in a blog post. “We know this will be disappointing to many of you and we all share in that sentiment. … 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.”
It’s an unexpected move, seeing as Microsoft has been pushing Halo Infinite hard as the primary reason to purchase the upcoming Xbox Series X console. The move means Microsoft is delaying its biggest launch title.
The delay is due, in part, to the situation created by COVID-19, making Halo Infinite the most prominent game delay of the pandemic. And it raises questions about the status of others.
It also leaves Microsoft in a precarious position. Beyond Halo, the day one launch lineup for Series X has been rather anemic so far. That could put the system at a severe competitive disadvantage in relation to the PlayStation 5 when both consoles launch this holiday season.
Chris Lee, studio head for the game, said it was “not sustainable for the well-being of our team or the overall success of the game” to ship it this holiday, indicating 343 has opted against a heavy crunch schedule. He was not certain that even having the team work longer hours would have resulted in an optimal result.
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