Speaking during Gary Whitta’s Animal Talking Twitch show, Spencer apologised for not hitting expectations but said he believed the delay was the right decision for Xbox and Halo.
“Let me start just by recognising the fans and the fact that it is a bummer,” Spencer said, transcribed by Stevivor. “It is disappointing to people, it’s disappointing to us. We were looking forward to the alignment of Halo Infinite and the Xbox Series X.”
He added: “In the end, I have to make the right decision. The strength of the Halo franchise — the health and ability of the team… are things tracking toward the quality of where you want the game?”
However, “it just didn’t feel, to all of us, like the Halo release that we would want,” Spencer said.
“I’ll apologise to the fans, because I never like to set up expectations and then not hit them,” Spencer said, “but I also believe we’re making the right decision, in the long run, for both Xbox and Halo and our customers.”
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).