Halo Infinite was set to release alongside the Xbox Series X. That was revealed back at E3 2019 when Halo Infinite was officially revealed after the teaser at E3 2018. Recently, we got the first look at the game during the Xbox Games Showcase last month showing off its new setting, features, and mechanics. 343 Industries also recently announced that the multiplayer will be free-to-play. Today, 343 Industries shared a development update for the game announcing that Halo Infinite has been delayed to 2021.
Halo Infinite Development Update pic.twitter.com/TFZvXhRN9f
— Halo (@Halo) August 11, 2020
Chris Lee, Studio Head said in the update that “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. 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.”
Even though there was a lot of hype and excitement surrounding the gameplay reveal of Halo Infinite, there was some backlash regarding the graphics. After the Showcase, Community Manager John Junyszek addressed the criticisms and offered an explanation regarding the overall art style and visual fidelity as these were the two main things that were being debated in the community.
“Based on our learnings from Halo 4, Halo 5, and Halo Wars 2 – along with strong community feedback – we decided to shift back towards the legacy aesthetics that defined the original trilogy,” said Junyszek talking about the overall art style. “With Halo Infinite, we’re returning to a more ‘classic’ art style which was a key message going back to the very first reveal that garnered enthusiastic and positive responses. This translates to a more vibrant palette, “cleaner” models and objects with less “noise”, though it doesn’t mean less detail. While we appreciate this may not be everyone’s personal preference, we stand by this decision and are happy to see it resonating with so many fans around the world.
Talking about visual fidelity, Junyszek said “Negative feedback in this area includes comments around characters and objects appearing flat, simplistic and plastic-like, lighting feeling dull and flat, and object pop-in. We’ve read your comments, we’ve seen the homemade examples of retouched content, and yes we’ve heard the Digital Foundry assessments. In many ways we are in agreement here – we do have work to do to address some of these areas and raise the level of fidelity and overall presentation for the final game. The build used to run the campaign demo was work-in-progress from several weeks ago with a variety of graphical elements and game systems still being finished and polished. While some of the feedback was expected and speaks to areas already in progress, other aspects of the feedback have brought new opportunities and considerations to light that the team is taking very seriously and working to assess.”
Xbox has also addressed the news of Halo Infinite‘s delay and revealed that Xbox Series X will be launching in November. “We have plenty to keep you busy until Chief arrives: There will be thousands of games to play, spanning four generations, when Xbox Series X launches globally this November and over 100 optimized for Xbox Series X titles, built to take full advantage of our most powerful console, are planned for this year.”