343 Industries has announced that Halo Infinite will launch in 2021, missing its original “holiday 2020" release window.
“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,” studio head Chris Lee explained via Twitter. “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.”
Halo Infinite was previously planned to be the crown jewel in the Xbox Series X launch window. A recent gameplay reveal showed the game to be a return to the series’ roots with an added open-world spin. The graphics, however, were decried as not being up to snuff for a next-gen game, prompting a response from the studio explaining the process of developing Infinite’s visuals and its overall goal for the project’s aesthetics.
“We know this will be disappointing to many of you and we all share in that sentiment,” Lee’s statement continues. “We wanted nothing more than to play our game with the community this holiday. 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.”
Tim Longo, former Halo Infinite creative director, left 343 Industries almost a year ago during what sources described to Kotaku at the time as a shift in leadership. Longo had previously served in the same role on Halo 5: Guardians.