Halo Infinite’s delay was allegedly partly due to ‘TV show distraction and heavy outsourcing’
New report investigates “turbulent” development
Distractions caused by the Halo TV series and a higher than usual amount of outsourced development contributed to Halo Infinite’s delay.
That’s according to a new report from Thurrott, which investigates the Xbox Series X title’s “turbulent” development history via anonymous development sources.
The publication notes that building a console launch game is already a challenging task, especially considering Halo Infinite’s SlipSpace engine has been built from scratch for the project.
However, it puts a particular focus on Infinite’s outsourced development strategy. Outsourcing is very common for any AAA project as large as Halo, but according to Thurrott’s sources, 343 was creating even more content externally than usual.
“The coordination between the many different companies contributing to Infinite has been rough, at best,” it says.
“One person familiar with the company’s plans indicated that they believed the out-sourcing for Infinite was at a ratio higher than a typical studio undertakes during development which has caused significant headaches for cross-development collaboration.”
The E3 2019 demo was one portion of the game that was developed by an external company, it’s claimed, and “at that time, the game was not in a state that was playable at that level of fidelity.”
The publication goes on to cite multiple development sources who described the collaborative effort behind development as “challenging,” with “significant disagreements” leading to the departure of the game’s creative director Tim Longo in August 2019. Longo’s replacement, Mary Olsen, also left 343 in October of the same year.
One Thurrott source reportedly pointed to the production of the Halo TV series for ShowTime as “a significant distraction” for 343’s management.
According to the publication, the in-development TV project is “often times taking their priority instead of focusing on making sure development progress is on the right path to reaching its targeted deadline.”
Microsoft confirmed that Halo Infinite had been delayed into next year earlier this month.
In a statement published on its website, developer 343 industries said that the decision to delay the game was motivated by “multiple factors” including the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on development.
Following its gameplay reveal last month, Halo Infinite’s visual fidelity faced widespread criticism from the media, fans and even big brands, who highlighted issues with both the game’s art direction and the perceived lack of advancement since the last Halo game.
In a new blog post, Microsoft was bullish about Xbox Series X’s launch line-up without Halo, claiming that the console would launch globally with over 100 optimized for Xbox Series X titles (which include backwards compatible games).