The head of Xbox has expressed confidence in Halo Infinite’s ability to please players but has suggested the franchise will be around for many years to come even if the upcoming game is not well received.
Xbox reiterated during this month’s E3 showcase that Halo Infinite—which was originally planned as an Xbox Series X/S launch title in 2020—will be released this holiday, alongside the game’s free-to-play multiplayer experience.
Asked how much is riding on Halo Infinite as far as the future of the franchise is concerned, Xbox boss Phil Spencer told IGN the next series instalment is far from make or break for the long-running series.
“I don’t know if this is what you want me to say or not, like when I think about the community but I’m just being honest, I don’t think about it that way, like the future of the franchise,” he responded. “Halo will be here 10 years from now. Is Infinite the lynchpin on whether it survives that long? Absolutely not.
“The game has such a rabid fanbase and such a history and lore that it’s just an IP that’s going to be with us. We don’t take that for granted, but I definitely believe in my core that that is true.”
Spencer reiterated comments he made last week, when he expressed confidence in 343 Industries’ ability to deliver a quality product in time for the 2021 holiday season, but said he had no desire to put any additional pressure on the people making the game.
“I never want to put a team in a position where they feel, this one’s got to land or who knows,” he said.
The Xbox exec added: “We are so focused on Halo this holiday and making it a game that our Halo fans will be proud of, that’s the most important thing to us, but I’m not one of these kind of dire prediction people.
“I think game teams, whether it’s our teams or any team out there, they put enough kind of pressure on themselves in delivering for customers and when you’re on a franchise that’s as big as Halo with such focus on every step and every word that’s said. I trust the team, I trust the progress they’re making, and I have confidence in Halo infinite and I think that’s all that needs to be said there.
“I don’t think it’s a make or break, I just don’t believe that,” he continued.
“I think that there are going to be millions of people that are going to play that game and love that game, and I’m sure there will be some people that will see opportunities for us to do more, and that’s just the nature of being in the entertainment business and we except it, that’s just the kind of what we’ve signed up to and we love being part of that.”
Spencer explained last week why Halo Infinite doesn’t yet have a confirmed release date ahead of its planned holiday 2021 launch.
Elsewhere in the IGN interview, Spencer said he understands why some consumers are unsure if studio acquisitions are a good thing or a bad thing for gaming, but explained why he believes it is the former.