There have been rumors around for a while that Microsoft and 343 Industries were to release Halo Infinite split in multiple parts – singleplayer campaign and the free-to-play multiplayer offering separately. The report was never confirmed or denied.
Now, Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President at gaming, has revealed it was actually an option when discussing the matter at Gary Whitta’s Animal Talking Twitch show. Anyway, it was abandoned in favor of a big, single triple-A release that felt more in line with what people expect from a Halo launch.
The delay has been discussed at the leadership team – including 343 Industries’ Bonnie Ross and Xbox Game Studios’ Matt Booty – during late last week, and the final decision process took around 24 hours, just before the announcement of the delay was made public.
Spencer acknowledged that the news of the Halo Infinite delay “is a bummer” as “it is disappointing to people, it’s disappointing to us. We were looking forward to the alignment” of the game’s release and Xbox Series X day one.
He pointed out that he had “to make the right decision” when questioning “are things tracking toward the quality of where you want the game?”
While not precisely mentioning the feedback deriving from the Xbox Games Showcase campaign reveal, Spencer said that Infinite “just didn’t feel, to all of us, like the Halo release that we would want.”
The head of Xbox wanted to “apologise to the fans because I never like to set up expectations and then not hit them.” Anyway, he has a firm idea that “we’re making the right decision, in the long run, for both Xbox and Halo and our customers.”
Halo Infinite’s delay has left the game without a clear release date and window, outside of a generic 2021 time frame.
The game is expected to launch on PC and Xbox One as well, but it’s Xbox Series X that is now in a challenging situation as it needed Halo to build up a strong launch lineup when it releases in November.