Halo Infinite was supposed to accompany Xbox Series X at launch during the upcoming holiday season. However, “multiple factors” forced developer 343 Industries to delay the flagship game into somewhere next year. Those factors were never really clarified expect that COVID-19 greatly impacted development. Halo Infinite though was seemingly suffering from more.
According to a new report from Thurrott earlier today, anonymous development sources have stated that outsourcing was a major reason behind the delay. While outsourcing development is not something rare in the games industry, Halo Infinite was being outsourced in far higher volumes. The result was a complete mess when it came to coordinating between the many different companies.
One person familiar with the company’s plans indicated that they believed the outsourcing for Halo Infinite was at a ratio higher than a typical studio undertakes during development which has caused significant headaches for cross-development collaboration.
The report also states that the demo showcased at E3 2019 was not exactly what it appeared. 343 Industries had outsourced one portion of the demo to an external developer and as such, Halo Infinite was not even playable at the level implied by the demo.
The higher-than-normal outsourcing eventually took a toll on the mainline development, leading to the birth of new challenges and constant disagreements. They were why former creative director Tim Longo decided to exit last year, bringing in Mary Olsen as a replacement who also left 343 Industries after just a couple of months.
Beyond the heavy outsourcing, Halo Infinite also had to deal with the production of the Halo television series. 343 Industries had to split resources between both projects, which made the television series a “significant distraction” for everyone involved. At one point, priority was being given to the television series instead of Halo Infinite.
Microsoft has not confirmed the new release window except that the game will release when ready in 2021. Xbox Series X, on the other hand, is on schedule to launch worldwide in November.