How troubled is halo infinite’s development?

Halo Infinite was recently delayed, with rumors of development troubles, but some of the rumors have either been debunked or are likely fake. So here I’m going to analyze what we know and the rumors to assess what state the game development is actually in. Keep in mind, I’m not an expert, so if I miss anything, you guys know more, or if you disagree, please discuss below.

What we know:

  1. Until a few weeks ago, it was planned for a 2020 release.
  • This means it must be far enough along that they thought it was going to be ready until recently.
  1. It is in a playable state as seen in the demo.
  • The biggest part of development is getting the game playable.
  1. Textures, and lighting are still unfinished.
  • This is a very short part of game development.
  1. There seem to be a few bugs with grass and clouds ghosting.
  • Probably a fairly easy fix, but it is a little worrying that it is seen in the demo as it is supposed to be the most polished part of the game.
  1. Before delaying it, 343 considered releasing the multiplayer this fall, and the campaign at a later date.
  • This means the main issues are likely with the campaign.
  1. There are currently no plans to delay it further or drop the Xbox one version.
  • To be expected as it was just delayed to 2021, and it has been developed for Xbox one and series x for years.
  1. Joseph Staten is now the campaign project lead.
  • Could mean there is more development than previously thought, but he could just be in charge or putting the last pieces together, or possibly for future add ons. This is the most worrying news concerning development.

Rumors:

  1. Delayed to 2022 with Xbox one version dropped.
  • Debunked
  1. Various rumors about the game in development hell, bad working conditions, etc…
  • There is probably some truth about them, but likely exaggerated. Almost every upcoming game has had similar rumors, so it is likely a trend from fake insiders who do not actually have any recent info.

Analysis: The game has most likely had some development troubles over the past 5 years, possibly being in development hell at some point. The delay is disappointing, but the game could use the polish, and the game likely still has bugs and is probably more or less unfinished at its current state. But we know it is playable, and we have seen it, so it can’t be that far off now. My guess is the game will release Q2 2021, and at that point, will be one of the top games for a while.

I could be wrong but wasn’t the rumor about them releasing multiplayer separately shot down by 343 as untrue?

People keep forgetting about Pierre Hintze, the new multiplayer lead for Hi. That’s huge as well and really concerning so close to release! At least Staten and Hintze are two veterans, two of the main people that were the backbones of the most successful Halo games ever. Such a late trainer exchange in an already long season is never a good sign though.

> 2533274843930111;2:
> I could be wrong but wasn’t the rumor about them releasing multiplayer separately shot down by 343 as untrue?

Yep, twice in fact. First time was over a year ago when 343i claimed that there are no plans of separating SP and MP in two different release windows, and that’s still true:

Both modes are planed to be released together at the same time, only difference is that the MP now is free to play. Which - based on the MT system - could be the best or the worst news so far. If I have to get a conclusion based on GoW5 though… It ain’t a good sign, let’s just go that far for now.

> 2533274843930111;2:
> I could be wrong but wasn’t the rumor about them releasing multiplayer separately shot down by 343 as untrue?

It was, weeks ago.

Its 2020, people like to make mountains out of mole hills. Speculation starts on a forum, some youtuber/reporter desperate for clicks does an opinion piece on it, and suddenly rumors star becoming ‘facts’, ‘expectations’ and ‘promises’.

That said, just because it wasn’t delayed earlier doesn’t mean the devs thought it was going to be ready, but rather, those who have actual control of the deadline thought a 2020 release would be fine.

Here’s where im at with this:

They are trying to build Halo Infinite to be optimized for each console. Each console has very different hardware. In order to make these elements work (i am no game dev) im assuming you either have to build from the lowest console and add on from there (which i truly hope is not the case) or build off of your newest platform and scale it back from there to optimize for the older consoles (would be best for the new console and best for Halo). So there are questions to be asked there.

Staten joining the campaign this late in the game means they are behind there projected launch date. More than likely the campaign has been completed (or close to it) and needs final tuning/sculpting.

I ask that you just consider this: COVID IS a direct factor in this. The budget from what i read was quite large for this project. Its been confirmed multiple times that there was A LOT of outsourcing for the game. Now with more hands in the the game you’ll inevitably have delays without the pandemic (IE: communication issues, one company doesn’t deliver on a specific target date and pushes back other aspects that are related but must wait on said project to finish before they can complete). Factor in COVID where depending on where the outsourcing is across country/world, would factor in what a company could ACTUALLY accomplish. Not every company (i would assume is a safe guess) was sorted out to work remotely.

Lets go crazy and dive a little deeper. Lets say that the company does in fact have the infrastructure/resources to do work remotely. Well there had to have been time while the company was figuring out under what parameters/how they could continue operations. Just with these few points ALONE; they can cause massive delays. Consider the gameplay shown a month or so ago. How many months into the pandemic was that? Im assuming E3 or whatever are always under crunch times/duress without having the adversity which COVID creates.

I’m not sure they would continue with the release of 2xp, skins, snap offers, “The Art of Halo Infinite”, etc. if they knowingly weren’t going to make the cut prior to the pandemic. I think like most companies, they pushed as hard as they could for as long as they could before the realization set in that this November 2020 just wasnt going to happen. Not with delivering a completed vision for what they wanted.

This Halo Franchise is Microsoft’s flagship game. With the new Series X still dropping this holiday, i really doubt they wanted to give up one of their biggest named titles during the battle with PlayStation this Holiday season. Look at the position that has left them in…what do they really have to Market with the new Xbox other than game pass now? Playstation has a large number of exclusives with the new series of the console. I said this to kind of show that even the higher, HIGHER ups were put in a tough position now.

I don’t think that the game is necessarily “in trouble” yet until we have more information. I remain optimistic but the rage is burning from the delay just as much as anyone else. Although I will say that delaying the game was the correct choice however, if they don’t produce a game that is complete or not optimized for the Series X I will be disappointed.

> 2533274843930111;2:
> I could be wrong but wasn’t the rumor about them releasing multiplayer separately shot down by 343 as untrue?

There was a debunked rumor that the campaign would launch first. 343 said they did consider launching the multi-player first, but just decided to delay it completely.

> 2533274809988140;6:
> Here’s where im at with this:
>
> They are trying to build Halo Infinite to be optimized for each console. Each console has very different hardware. In order to make these elements work (i am no game dev) im assuming you either have to build from the lowest console and add on from there (which i truly hope is not the case) or build off of your newest platform and scale it back from there to optimize for the older consoles (would be best for the new console and best for Halo). So there are questions to be asked there.
>
> Staten joining the campaign this late in the game means they are behind there projected launch date. More than likely the campaign has been completed (or close to it) and needs final tuning/sculpting.
>
> I ask that you just consider this: COVID IS a direct factor in this. The budget from what i read was quite large for this project. Its been confirmed multiple times that there was A LOT of outsourcing for the game. Now with more hands in the the game you’ll inevitably have delays without the pandemic (IE: communication issues, one company doesn’t deliver on a specific target date and pushes back other aspects that are related but must wait on said project to finish before they can complete). Factor in COVID where depending on where the outsourcing is across country/world, would factor in what a company could ACTUALLY accomplish. Not every company (i would assume is a safe guess) was sorted out to work remotely.
>
> Lets go crazy and dive a little deeper. Lets say that the company does in fact have the infrastructure/resources to do work remotely. Well there had to have been time while the company was figuring out under what parameters/how they could continue operations. Just with these few points ALONE; they can cause massive delays. Consider the gameplay shown a month or so ago. How many months into the pandemic was that? Im assuming E3 or whatever are always under crunch times/duress without having the adversity which COVID creates.
>
> I’m not sure they would continue with the release of 2xp, skins, snap offers, “The Art of Halo Infinite”, etc. if they knowingly weren’t going to make the cut prior to the pandemic. I think like most companies, they pushed as hard as they could for as long as they could before the realization set in that this November 2020 just wasnt going to happen. Not with delivering a completed vision for what they wanted.
>
> This Halo Franchise is Microsoft’s flagship game. With the new Series X still dropping this holiday, i really doubt they wanted to give up one of their biggest named titles during the battle with PlayStation this Holiday season. Look at the position that has left them in…what do they really have to Market with the new Xbox other than game pass now? Playstation has a large number of exclusives with the new series of the console. I said this to kind of show that even the higher, HIGHER ups were put in a tough position now.
>
> I don’t think that the game is necessarily “in trouble” yet until we have more information. I remain optimistic but the rage is burning from the delay just as much as anyone else. Although I will say that delaying the game was the correct choice however, if they don’t produce a game that is complete or not optimized for the Series X I will be disappointed.

This all makes sense. I agree with most of that, but I do think they were at least somewhat prepared for working from home. I do think covid was a factor in the delay, but I don’t think it’s the reason the game was delayed, nor even really a major factor.

> 2533274964189700;5:
> Its 2020, people like to make mountains out of mole hills. Speculation starts on a forum, some youtuber/reporter desperate for clicks does an opinion piece on it, and suddenly rumors star becoming ‘facts’, ‘expectations’ and ‘promises’.
>
> That said, just because it wasn’t delayed earlier doesn’t mean the devs thought it was going to be ready, but rather, those who have actual control of the deadline thought a 2020 release would be fine.

Thats true, but they are still closely connected to the device, maybe the devs realized it a week or so before.

> 2535447175857524;9:
> > 2533274964189700;5:
> > Its 2020, people like to make mountains out of mole hills. Speculation starts on a forum, some youtuber/reporter desperate for clicks does an opinion piece on it, and suddenly rumors star becoming ‘facts’, ‘expectations’ and ‘promises’.
> >
> > That said, just because it wasn’t delayed earlier doesn’t mean the devs thought it was going to be ready, but rather, those who have actual control of the deadline thought a 2020 release would be fine.
>
> Thats true, but they are still closely connected to the device, maybe the devs realized it a week or so before.

No way. I’m more likely to give credit to the rumor of upper mgmt being distracted then that the team didn’t realize they were a launch connected title.

> 2598282106454479;10:
> > 2535447175857524;9:
> > > 2533274964189700;5:
> > > Its 2020, people like to make mountains out of mole hills. Speculation starts on a forum, some youtuber/reporter desperate for clicks does an opinion piece on it, and suddenly rumors star becoming ‘facts’, ‘expectations’ and ‘promises’.
> > >
> > > That said, just because it wasn’t delayed earlier doesn’t mean the devs thought it was going to be ready, but rather, those who have actual control of the deadline thought a 2020 release would be fine.
> >
> > Thats true, but they are still closely connected to the device, maybe the devs realized it a week or so before.
>
> No way. I’m more likely to give credit to the rumor of upper mgmt being distracted then that the team didn’t realize they were a launch connected title.

Yeah, just saying, I don’t think it took them that long to communicate that the game should be delayed

This is probably the most objective analysis of what we know about H6’s development history. Id still wager they will probably delay to Fall.

> 2535447175857524;11:
> > 2598282106454479;10:
> > > 2535447175857524;9:
> > > > 2533274964189700;5:
> > > > Its 2020, people like to make mountains out of mole hills. Speculation starts on a forum, some youtuber/reporter desperate for clicks does an opinion piece on it, and suddenly rumors star becoming ‘facts’, ‘expectations’ and ‘promises’.
> > > >
> > > > That said, just because it wasn’t delayed earlier doesn’t mean the devs thought it was going to be ready, but rather, those who have actual control of the deadline thought a 2020 release would be fine.
> > >
> > > Thats true, but they are still closely connected to the device, maybe the devs realized it a week or so before.
> >
> > No way. I’m more likely to give credit to the rumor of upper mgmt being distracted then that the team didn’t realize they were a launch connected title.
>
> Yeah, just saying, I don’t think it took them that long to communicate that the game should be delayed

Oh no…Yeah.

I think that this is typical MS thinking Halo fans are gullible and using the franchise to sell a product. Reminds me of the Surface launch and Spartan assault.

What’s best for the franchise: Getting SA to the fans.
What’s best for MS: Tricking gullible Halo fans to buy surface and windows phones.

Edit: Or Zune and H3

> 2533274795098161;3:
> People keep forgetting about Pierre Hintze, the new multiplayer lead for Hi. That’s huge as well and really concerning so close to release! At least Staten and Hintze are two veterans, two of the main people that were the backbones of the most successful Halo games ever. Such a late trainer exchange in an already long season is never a good sign though.
>
>
>
>
> > 2533274843930111;2:
> > I could be wrong but wasn’t the rumor about them releasing multiplayer separately shot down by 343 as untrue?
>
> Yep, twice in fact. First time was over a year ago when 343i claimed that there are no plans of separating SP and MP in two different release windows, and that’s still true:
>
> Both modes are planed to be released together at the same time, only difference is that the MP now is free to play. Which - based on the MT system - could be the best or the worst news so far. If I have to get a conclusion based on GoW5 though… It ain’t a good sign, let’s just go that far for now.

Wasn’t Tom French multiplayer lead after Halo 5?

The automatic assumption is that these people were brought in to fix a broken product.

But maybe 343 have been chasing them for a while… and it’s only now they have become available (I read somewhere that Staten in particular had just finished up on a long term project).

Halo Infinite is a 10 year project. They may be bringing in new people with the next phase in mind… and having their skills on board for the run up to release is a bonus.

I think Infinite is doing fine in development despite the delay. I don’t believe any rumors unless 343 says it themselves. The two Halo veterans are there to help finish the game.

Without more information from 343 this is all speculation. The more quiet 343 is the more people are going to speculate , unfortunately. Some people are literally creating rumors out of boredom and attention, and its hard to disproof some of these claims because 343 doesn’t really release any meaningful information (most of the time).

> 2533274988394857;14:
> Wasn’t Tom French multiplayer lead after Halo 5?

He’s Multiplayer Direktor while Hintze is the lead, I guess those are different roles? Not sure, but I really did respect his work on H5’s Forge. Hope he’s still on the team and wasn’t hit too hard by all those events!

> 2535420220564801;17:
> Without more information from 343 this is all speculation. The more quiet 343 is the more people are going to speculate , unfortunately. Some people are literally creating rumors out of boredom and attention, and its hard to disproof some of these claims because 343 doesn’t really release any meaningful information (most of the time).

> 2585548714655118;15:
> The automatic assumption is that these people were brought in to fix a broken product.
>
> But maybe 343 have been chasing them for a while… and it’s only now they have become available (I read somewhere that Staten in particular had just finished up on a long term project).
>
> Halo Infinite is a 10 year project. They may be bringing in new people with the next phase in mind… and having their skills on board for the run up to release is a bonus.

Of course it’s speculation, but in this case things are falling too clearly together. l mean, heads at 343i have fallen and replaced exactly after the most negatively received presentation of Halo’s long history. Can we at least say it’s a really fair assumption that they’re brought in to repair a broken product? Or at the very least that the product is having huge issues? Not to mention Staten was always open to the idea of coming back to Halo, so why just now? It’s not like he wasn’t available or willing to come back after joining MS like you assumed - at least based on what he himself claimed.

Those familiar names are certainly going to calm the waters and they might ensure a more stable management for the future. MS knows that and after butchering the presentation and deeply hurting the XSX release something had to change. If this is going to salvage the game (or the studio itself) in such a late development needs to be seen and I’m hoping for a breathtaking come-back! But after all those insider news broke and what we saw? This management shake up is a far cry of baseless speculations at this point… Let’s keep it real.

> 2533274795098161;18:
> > 2533274988394857;14:
> > Wasn’t Tom French multiplayer lead after Halo 5?
>
> He’s Multiplayer Direktor while Hintze is the lead, I guess those are different roles? Not sure, but I really did respect his work on H5’s Forge. Hope he’s still on the team and wasn’t hit too hard by all those events!
>
>
> > 2535420220564801;17:
> > Without more information from 343 this is all speculation. The more quiet 343 is the more people are going to speculate , unfortunately. Some people are literally creating rumors out of boredom and attention, and its hard to disproof some of these claims because 343 doesn’t really release any meaningful information (most of the time).
>
>
>
> > 2585548714655118;15:
> > The automatic assumption is that these people were brought in to fix a broken product.
> >
> > But maybe 343 have been chasing them for a while… and it’s only now they have become available (I read somewhere that Staten in particular had just finished up on a long term project).
> >
> > Halo Infinite is a 10 year project. They may be bringing in new people with the next phase in mind… and having their skills on board for the run up to release is a bonus.
>
> Of course it’s speculation, but in this case things are falling too clearly together. l mean, heads at 343i have fallen and replaced exactly after the most negatively received presentation of Halo’s long history. Can we at least say it’s a really fair assumption that they’re brought in to repair a broken product? Or at the very least that the product is having huge issues? Not to mention Staten was always open to the idea of coming back to Halo, so why just now? It’s not like he wasn’t available or willing to come back after joining MS like you assumed - at least based on what he himself claimed.
>
> Those familiar names are certainly going to calm the waters and they might ensure a more stable management for the future. MS knows that and after butchering the presentation and deeply hurting the XSX release something had to change. If this is going to salvage the game (or the studio itself) in such a late development needs to be seen and I’m hoping for a breathtaking come-back! But after all those insider news broke and what we saw? This management shake up is a far cry of baseless speculations at this point… Let’s keep it real.

I don’t say things definitively based off hearsay. Sorry that’s just not who I am. I will wait for new information from 343, bored in the meanwhile, rather than speculate to relieve that boredom. I try to ignore gossip and maybe many should too. For now I wait.

> 2533274795098161;18:
> > 2533274988394857;14:
> > Wasn’t Tom French multiplayer lead after Halo 5?
>
> He’s Multiplayer Direktor while Hintze is the lead, I guess those are different roles? Not sure, but I really did respect his work on H5’s Forge. Hope he’s still on the team and wasn’t hit too hard by all those events!
>
>
> > 2535420220564801;17:
> > Without more information from 343 this is all speculation. The more quiet 343 is the more people are going to speculate , unfortunately. Some people are literally creating rumors out of boredom and attention, and its hard to disproof some of these claims because 343 doesn’t really release any meaningful information (most of the time).
>
>
>
> > 2585548714655118;15:
> > The automatic assumption is that these people were brought in to fix a broken product.
> >
> > But maybe 343 have been chasing them for a while… and it’s only now they have become available (I read somewhere that Staten in particular had just finished up on a long term project).
> >
> > Halo Infinite is a 10 year project. They may be bringing in new people with the next phase in mind… and having their skills on board for the run up to release is a bonus.
>
> Of course it’s speculation, but in this case things are falling too clearly together. l mean, heads at 343i have fallen and replaced exactly after the most negatively received presentation of Halo’s long history. Can we at least say it’s a really fair assumption that they’re brought in to repair a broken product? Or at the very least that the product is having huge issues? Not to mention Staten was always open to the idea of coming back to Halo, so why just now? It’s not like he wasn’t available or willing to come back after joining MS like you assumed - at least based on what he himself claimed.
>
> Those familiar names are certainly going to calm the waters and they might ensure a more stable management for the future. MS knows that and after butchering the presentation and deeply hurting the XSX release something had to change. If this is going to salvage the game (or the studio itself) in such a late development needs to be seen and I’m hoping for a breathtaking come-back! But after all those insider news broke and what we saw? This management shake up is a far cry of baseless speculations at this point… Let’s keep it real.

Depends on your mindset I guess.

There is no doubt 343 are having issues. But we don’t know what exactly. And obviously COVID / working from home isn’t helping.

Staten and Hintze sound like they are good gets…

But who knows if they are the salve for a haemorrhaging project… or more the icing on the cake?

They are going to miss their November deadline… OK… but at this point we don’t know if we’re talking late, mid, or even early 2021 as the new release date.

We just don’t know. I agree it’s suspicious… but I’m not sure I’d being going along the lines of “broken product”, “huge issues”, “butchering”… at least not quite yet.