Halo Infinite has been delayed until 2021. Microsoft and 343 Industries have decided to delay the highly anticipated Xbox Series X game until next year citing delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement posted on Tuesday, the studio head for Halo Infinite, Chris Lee, said "multiple factors" contributed to the delay, including "the ongoing COVID-related impacts affecting us all this year."
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"I want to acknowledge the hard work from our team at 343 Industries, who have remained committed to making a great game and finding solutions to development challenges," Lee said. "However, it is not sustainable for the well-being of our team or the overall success of the game to ship it this holiday.”
Halo Infinite Development Update pic.twitter.com/TFZvXhRN9fAugust 11, 2020
The news will come as a shock to gamers considering Microsoft showed an extended gameplay demo of Halo Infinite during its big Xbox Series X games showcase just a few weeks ago. At that time, Halo Infinite was still on schedule to launch with the Xbox Series X, which we now know will go on sale in November.
However, the game received some harsh criticism after the event, especially regarding its visuals. Some felt Halo Infinite looked like it was a last-gen game, not the showpiece for the most powerful next-gen console. The backlash was so widespread that it forced Halo devs to promise graphical improvements in future updates of the game.
343 Industries didn't mention any of the feedback it received after the gameplay trailer in its announcement to the delay the game, although we can't be sure that it wasn't a factor.
While some Xbox fans will be happy with this decision, knowing that the game won't be released until the devs feel it's ready, it does put more pressure on Microsoft and the Xbox Series X. Halo Infinite is one of the Series X's greatest assets in the fight against the PS5. With the game delayed, the Series X now goes into November without one of its most powerful weapons.