In a development update to fans via the franchise’s official Twitter, studio head Chris Lee revealed that there are multiple reasons for the delay and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was one of them.
“We (343 Industries) have made the difficult decision to shift our release to 2021 to ensure the team has adequate time to deliver a Halo game experience that meets our vision,” the developer began in a statement to fans.
“The decision to shift our release is the result of multiple factors that have contributed to development challenges, including the ongoing COVID-related impacts affecting us all year,” the message continued.
Lee finished the statement by declaring that “the extra time will let us finish the critical work necessary to deliver the most ambitious Halo game ever at the quality we know our fans expect.”
Read the company’s full statement on the delay below:
Halo Infinite Development Update pic.twitter.com/TFZvXhRN9f
— Halo (@Halo) August 11, 2020
Halo Infinite’s delay comes after weeks of critical and fan backlash following the game’s initial gameplay reveal at the Xbox Games Showcase. The criticism prompted 343 Industries to respond, stating that “aspects of the feedback have brought new opportunities and considerations to light.”
Despite the delay of Halo Infinite, Microsoft have doubled down that the Xbox Series X will launch this year and have even announced a release window for November.
In a new Xbox blog post, the company has recognised that Halo Infinite won’t be arriving for the system this year, but promised to “have plenty to keep you busy.”
According to the post, there will be “thousands of games to play, spanning four generations, when Xbox Series X launches globally this November and over 100 optimized for Xbox Series X titles.”
The recent Xbox Games Showcase not only revealed the first gameplay demonstration for Halo Infinite, but also a wealth of other first-party titles. Games such as Psychonauts 2 received new footage, and fan-favourite series Fable was announced to be getting a reboot.