It’s been a very rough and tumble year for video games. And now one more studio is having a bad year. The development hell for Halo Infinite is going to continue, and now the head of the project has the unenviable task of revealing when the game will release. It’s not good news, but it was what pretty much everyone expected.
Even though Bungie alum Joseph Staten came in to head production back in August, it looks like things are still very rough. The game has been stuck in development limbo for some time, and that will continue for most of next year as well. The game may well be very different when we finally see it next year. A new blog post from 343 Industries lays out what’s been going on, and reveals the plans for the future.
“After Reach shipped, I became a Halo fan, cheering-on 343i from the sidelines,” Staten wrote. “But I’ve spent the last four months immersing myself back into the Halo universe, and it’s my honor as creative director to help our team ship Halo Infinite in Fall 2021.”
So no exact date, although the timeframe puts it somewhere between September and December next year. That’s pretty far off when we initially expected it, and we have a pretty good reason why.
The demo for the game was released back in July, and apparently, things didn’t go too well. The feedback from the testers looks to have prompted some pretty major redos in terms of content for the game. In the words of Staten, “discussion boiled down to one fundamental truth: we needed more time to do things right.”
The announcement post goes into more details about everything, including what could change from the July demo. The graphical looked rough apparently, and the team has been tasked to do a major overhaul. The director of the art side of things, Neill Harrison, said that he was humbled by the whole experience and admitted that “the reality is that the art and visuals weren’t at the bar we hold for Halo—even in a work-in-progress state. Much of the feedback we heard from the community aligned with our own views and work we were already committed to doing around things like indirect lighting, material response, foliage and tree rendering, clouds, level-of-detail transitions, and character fidelity.”
So there you have it, the look and feel of the game was just plain bad, and needs what amount to essentially a ground-up rebuild to get the feel down. Among the highlighted criticisms were points that the gameplay and the visuals felt too flat as a result of the way the game looked on screen. The images have already been improved from the demo, but more work is needed according to the team.