As has been discussed at length, Halo Infinite was set to be the premiere title for the Xbox Series consoles this fall. But after a showing that was met with some criticism, and some internal changes to the development staff, the game was moved out of 2020. Now, in the largest update yet, 343 Industries details the on-going development.
First, the new Director on the Infinite, Joseph Staten, had the following to say in which he also announced the Fall of 2021 launch date:
Hey everyone, I’m Joseph Staten. If you’ve been a longtime part of the Halo community, you may already know me. If you’re new to the community: Hello! It’s great to meet you.
I was part of the Bungie team who made Halo CE, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach. I came up on the design side of these projects, wearing many different hats over the years including writer, cinematic director, creative director—even a voice for the Grunts.
After Reach shipped, I became a Halo fan, cheering-on 343i from the sidelines. But 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.
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.
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 place.
Because Halo Infinite in the Fall of 2021… is just the beginning of the adventure.
There is an extensive update relating to the art style, graphics overhaul, future multiplayer support which we highly suggest reading. You can find the full blog post from 343 here.
Then in closing, the following sentiment is shared:
I’m fortunate to have worked with incredibly talented teams my whole career. The Infinite team is no exception. Folks here don’t just understand Halo, they love the core gameplay and characters and community—everything that makes Halo, Halo—just as much as I do. And, like me, they also feel a deep responsibility to serve.
We aren’t making this game for us. We’re making it for you. Starting with this update, we’re going to be sharing more about what we’re doing and, most importantly, why we’re doing it. So here are a few things I’d like to share:
My first week on the job, I played the entire Infinite campaign. Twice. I was, in a word, stunned—in the best possible way—by what the team had done. Infinite is, by far, the most expansive and vertical Halo world, ever. Why did the team do this? Because they understand that wonder and freedom are key to the Halo experience.
I could feel the classic Halo “30 seconds of fun” beating at the heart of Infinite’s world. But I had never felt more powerful, more mobile, more in command of a rich set of tactical choices. This was the Halo we imagined back in 2000, finally come to life, after 20 years of technical and creative innovation.
Sure, there were bugs in the build and clearly more work to do. But this concept art by Martin Deschambault (one of the many incredible pieces he’s made for the game):
It encapsulates all the excitement and curiosity and joy I felt on my first journey through Zeta Halo, the most mysterious, dangerous, and possibility-rich place in the entire Halo universe. Everywhere I looked, I saw choices:
Do I explore off the golden path? Assault that Banished war base guarding the valley pass? Follow a flight of Forerunner Sentinels into that unexpected cavern? Rescue a squad of marines dug-in and desperate halfway up that mountain? Or do I keep pulling the mainline story thread that feels epic and intimate at the exact same time?
Truly, Halo Infinite is a world in which I love spending time and that I’m thrilled to return to, both as a designer and a player. On behalf of the entire team, thank you for your patience and your passion. We can’t wait for you to join us on the Halo Infinite adventure, first with Insider flighting later next year, and then when we ship in Fall 2021.
In the meantime, I hope all of you have a restful Holiday season. We’ll catch you in the new year!
Halo Infinite MUST be a showcase title for the Xbox Series consoles. Not only is it the premiere IP for Xbox, it has to land on all fronts including story, campaign, and multiplayer. With new hardware and a new engine, this has clearly presented some challenges. All we hope is that with another year of development, the vision can truly come to life.