Microsoft has announced that Halo Infinite will not be out this year, meaning there’ll be no first party exclusive games ready for the next gen launch.
You read that right, Halo Infinite will miss the launch of the Xbox Series X and will not be out this year.
Developer 343 Industries announced the news in a blog, where they said that it was, ‘to ensure the team has adequate time to deliver a Halo game experience that meets our vision.’
‘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 this year’, wrote studio head Chris Lee.
‘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. However, it is not sustainable for the well-being of our team or the overall success of the game to ship it this holiday.’
The last is a reference to various controversies over developers being forced to take part in the ‘crunch’ to complete games, which often incurs long hours of sometimes unpaid overtime.
Despite 343’s comments it’s impossible not to wonder whether the poor reception to Halo Infinite’s initial gameplay footage had some effect on the decision and whether that may have inspired changes in the game that could not be completed this year.
There is now no release date for Halo Infinite and it means that the Xbox Series X will launch without a single first party game, since titles such as Forza Motorsport and Fable were never scheduled for release this year anyway.
In a separate blog, Xbox insisted that there would be ‘plenty of games’ to play at launch, including indie titles such as The Medium, Scorn, and Tetris Effect: Connected which have been developed specifically with the Xbox Series X in mind.
There will also be various multiformat titles such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Dirt 5, Gears Tactics, Yakuza: Like A Dragon, and Watch Dogs: Legion. Plus newly optimised games including Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, and Ori And The Will Of The Wisps.
Thanks to backwards compatibility there will also be hundreds of older games, but there’s no pretending the launch line-up is anything other than disappointing.
Not that the PlayStation 5’s is much better though, as the only confirmed first party launch titles are spin-off Spider-Man: Morales Miles – which is not a full-length game – and Astro’s Playroom.
Despite the lack of games there’s no hint from either company that they will delay the launch of their consoles, with Microsoft for the first time confirming that the Xbox Series X will be out in November (perhaps 5 November, if the rumours are correct).
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