According to a new report from Microsoft specialists at Thurrott, Halo Infinite’s delay has been decided after years of a troubled production. The report claims (via development sources) that the quality of the title — which has been put into question after its debut in July — has been harmed by the outsourcing practice at multiple external studios that was necessary to complete the job.
“The coordination between the many different companies contributing to Infinite has been rough, at best,” it says. “One person familiar with the company’s plans indicated that they believed the out-sourcing for Infinite was at a ratio higher than a typical studio undertakes during development which has caused significant headaches for cross-development collaboration.”
The E3 2019 demo is also said not to have ever been playable at the level of fidelity showcased on stage for the reveal of the Slipspace engine.
Also, there were “significant disagreements” on higher levels of the project, which led the original creative director Tim Longo to part ways with the studio in the middle of the development. His replacement as creative director, Mary Olsen, left several months later as well.
Finally, another issue 343 Industries had a tough time handling was the Halo TV show production, which is said to have distracted the top management so much that they weren’t looking after progress on the game because they were more interested in that.
“Often times taking their priority instead of focusing on making sure development progress is on the right path to reaching its targeted deadline,” sources add.
343 Industries offered a note to IGN, where it mentions that the TV show and Halo Infinite projects are held by entirely separate teams and leaderships and that they do not impact each other in any way.
“343 Industries has a devoted transmedia team that is working with Showtime on the creation and production of the Halo TV show,” said a spokesperson.
“This group is separate from the Halo Infinite development team. These are two completely independent projects with dedicated teams and leadership that do not impact one another,” the developer added, though it didn’t touch upon the reports of a complicated outsourcing.
According to the original press release, the studio and Xbox delayed the game due to “multiple factors,” with COVID-19 being the major problem the team had to face while working its way through the promised 2020 release window.
In the aftermath of the delay, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer pointed out that Microsoft even considered a staggered release plan for Halo Infinite, but ultimately scrapped it because it didn’t feel up to what people have come to expect from the franchise.
That has partly been supported by the launch of the game’s multiplayer mode as a free-to-play title when it launches at an unannounced date in 2021.