Halo Infinite’s delay is due to 343 Industries switching the game engine to the new Slipspace Engine. In a very long interview, studio head Bonnie Ross talked about the delay, use of the new game engine and the making of second Halo game on Xbox One.
Halo 5: Guardians launched in 2015 and with the upcoming game still not near to its release, everyone has a question in mind regarding its delay. Before 2015, we used to get a new Halo game after every 2-3 years but it’s not the case anymore. According to Ross, the reason for Halo Infinite delay is solely due to the change in the game engine.
The previous engine could be used to make a specific kind of game which brought limitations for the developers so they decided to make a new engine for the upcoming game eventually resulting in Halo Infinite delay.
The Halo engine is a very technical, engineering-focused engine — it’s super-hard for creatives to work in. We promised the team [after Halo 4] that we would do the work on the tools and pipeline for Halo 5, so it wasn’t such a challenging environment to develop in. Best laid plans — we didn’t do that. The team, rightfully so, called us on it.
We want a team who can do their best creative work with our engine, so it was taking the time — and we announced the Slipspace Engine — it’s all to make sure we’re building the platform for the future of Halo. So, it’s been a huge investment — bigger investment than we’ve ever done. We needed to [re-do the engine] for [Infinity]. Took a lot of work to get there.
Moreover, Bonnie Ross talked about 343i and Microsoft working on Halo 5.5 which is a game they once considered to make for Xbox One but didn’t happen.
When we [released] Halo 5, there were talks about, could we get another Halo out in two years? So, we did look at, I’d call it a ‘Halo 5.5,’ or a ‘Halo 6 ODST’ type of thing. A smaller game. We just investigated. Phil and I had a really good discussion on, ‘Where do we want Halo to go?’ If we really want Halo to be something for the next 10, 20 years, we have to do the work. If you want another game, we can do that, but […] my concern was, if you did something like that, I don’t think Halo would do well after that. You can’t put out a half-baked game
There’s no release date yet for Halo Infinite but Ross has promised that they will be showing more of the new game engine at E3 2019.
Halo Infinite will release exclusively for Xbox One and PC.