Halo Infinite Launch Pushed To 2021

It seems that it is official, as word comes that 343 Industries has decided to push the release of their Halo Infinite to 2021.  The game, which is the flagship for the Xbox Series X, will not be a title launch when the Series X launches in November.  This announcement will come as a significant disappointment to fans of the highly anticipated shooter game.

The official announcement of the Halo launch being pushed back was made by the studio head, Chris Lee, on the social media site Twitter.  In his tweet, Lee offered an explanation as to the pushing back of the games release date:

“…to ensure the team has adequate time to deliver a Halo game experience that meets our vision.”

Chris Lee

Halo Infinite’s gameplay was no sooner unveiled during a showcase for Xbox games, and a few weeks later, the delay was announced.  The opinions of gamer fans of the franchise appeared to be somewhat divisive, at the very least.  One section of the fandom chose to laud the “back to basics” the newest game decided to approach that in their minds harkens back to the classic Bungie Halo games.

Then there was a separate camp of fans who took issue with the game’s out-of-date look.  They took issue with both the art style and the graphics, which they felt looked out of date and was not near “next-gen enough.”  No matter which side of the fence the fans fall on, the graphics may not be the only blame for the games’ delaying.

Lee did make mention that, as with others in the gaming industry, delays have been caused by the nationwide shutdowns due to COVID-19 pandemic.  He spoke of the decision to push back Halo Infinite’s release, due to the factors caused primarily by the impact related to COVID-19.  He said that the developer did not feel it was in the best interest, or sustainable, for their team or the game’s success to choose to ship it this holiday.

He went on to say that they, the developers, realize that this would cause a significant amount of disappointment amongst the gaming community.  But he also said that the extra time, with the decision made of putting off shipping this holiday season, will allow the creators to finish critical details that will result in the most ambitious Halo game possible, and that our fans have come to expect from them.

It is worth noting that 343 Industries did not offer a time frame when in 2021, the game is suspected to be released.  In an effort to create some damage control, Microsoft offered a list of the other releases that will be available for the Xbox Series X in November.  Those games included in launch day are:

  • A list of more than 50 games are in the works for this coming year and are optimized for Xbox Series X—including Dirt 5, Gears Tactics, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Yakuza: Like A Dragon, and Watch Dogs Legion.
  • New games include–The Medium, Tetris Effect: Connected, and Scorn.
  • Newly Optimized games include–Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, Destiny 2, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and Madden NFL 21.

Even with all these titles taken into consideration, will they prove enough to distract gamers from the one essential fact—Xbox Series X will not release with any new first-party launch titles?