Halo Infinite Targeting Fall 2021 Release

Following on from last August’s announcement that Microsoft had delayed the release of Halo Infinite — resulting in the Xbox Series X/S having no major, first-party launch titles alongside the new consoles’ release — developer 343 Industries have confirmed that the game is aiming to launch sometime in the Fall of next year. It’s not much, but it’s a more exact window following the previously-vague tag of 2021. On top of this, 343 have put out a fairly extensive update on their official blog, which goes into a bit more detail on what the team have been up to since Infinite’s first gameplay reveal back in July of this year. The same gameplay reveal that was met with an admittedly sizeable tepid response.

“While that aspect generally landed as we wanted,” Nicolas Bouvier, senior Concept Artist and Art Director for Halo Infinite, explains. “Much of the feedback we heard from the community aligned with our own views…the feedback was humbling, and it also pushed us to look at additional opportunities for improvement.” It’s clear that 343 Industries were well-aware of the critique and even the online mockery Infinite received mere moments after its reveal. So much so that members of the development team even talk about the infamous Brute enemy, dubbed “Craig” by online folk, whom quickly grew into an internet meme due to the NPC’s dead-eye, emotionless expression caught amidst a few frames of the livestreamed gameplay.

“Poor old Craig was never intended to be seen in that condition,” Bouvier continues. “It was only later, in the close-up freeze frame of his one bad moment, where it came to light and the legend of Craig was born. There’s been further work done on the material fidelity and more variety added for Brute faces, we’re also working to add some hairdos and beards which was something we hadn’t gotten to in July. So, whilst we have come to love our dear old Craig, he’s certainly undergoing a significant makeover.”

At the very least 343 — and Xbox in general — are attempting to portray themselves as still seeing the funny side of what has become perhaps Halo Infinite’s most infamous, stand-out aspect. Albeit at the expense of everything else Microsoft would’ve perhaps wanted people to talk about. The studio go on to elaborate on how they’re improving the overall fidelity of Infinite as well as touching up on the game’s planned “live service” part — a feature that has been even more vague and lacking in detail than the main campaign itself. 343 describe Infinite as having a “long-term roadmap” with plans for multiple Seasons post-release. More importantly, though touching on the presence of limited-time events, stating that the team “don’t want to turn free time into a chore”. Referring thereafter to Infinite’s refusal to implement lootboxes or similar pay-to-win models, though the discussion on players investing money, does hint towards some form of additional monetization through cosmetics that the game will implement in one form or another. Halo Infinite is planned to release across Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One & PC.