The next chapter in the Halo franchise won't be coming out this year. In point of fact, Halo Infinite is being pushed all the way back to next fall.
A blog post on 343 Industries' site, written partially by creative director Joseph Statten, puts that particular news more or less front and center. "I’ve spent the last four months immersing myself back into the Halo universe, and it’s my honor as creative director to help our team ship Halo Infinite in Fall 2021," Statten wrote. "Yep, that’s when the game is coming out. And from now until then, every one of us at 343i and our great partner teams will be building, testing, and polishing an experience we hope all of you love."
Statten went on to discuss the process of trying to recover from the disastrous presentation of Halo Infinite earlier in the year. "I joined 343i right as the team was wrestling with feedback from the July campaign demo. This discussion boiled down to one fundamental truth: we needed more time to do things right. That included pushing hard in the Fall, giving the team time to recharge over the Holidays, and then coming back in January to finish the game at a healthy pace. Because Halo Infinite in the Fall of 2021… is just the beginning of the adventure."
Food For Thought
Statten is no stranger to the franchise, having worked on every Halo game from the first one all the way through Halo: Reach. The big question on gamers' minds at this particular moment is whether the team can recover from the self-inflicted damage of the July demo presentation. While other contributors to the blog post are quick to agree with the fact that the demo's visual quality wasn't up to snuff, and there's plenty of work left to do, there's very little talk about why the decision was made to go forward knowing that things were subpar on the graphics front. Whether it was an understandable desire to synergize with the release of the Xbox Series X/S or somebody higher up saying, "Show it off now!" despite the potential PR risks is a question which we'd like to get a good answer for.