You weren’t the only one who was hoping for a Halo Infinite release date at E3 2021. Although developer 343 Industries showed off the game’s multiplayer for the first time, all that was revealed was a release date of Holiday 2021, leading to speculation that Halo Infinite’s release date would slide yet again.
Fortunately, this is not the case. Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, has emphasized that the Halo Infinite release window has been shortened to “a few weeks,” and that Microsoft and 343 Industries are confident in meeting the Holiday 2021 release date that was announced when the game was postponed in August of 2020.
“For us, we know kind of our range in the 3-4 week range,” said Spencer. “We don’t have yet the exact day — there’s some other things with some other game timing that we’re trying to look at. We’ll have better clarity over the summer, but this isn’t a months thing, this is just down to a few weeks.”
Spencer announced the news on the current episode of Dropped Frames, according to ResetEra. Spencer stated that the team is aware of the three-to-four-week delivery window for Halo Infinite, but would not reveal a particular date until it is confirmed.
Spencer also mentioned that the team will have to consider “other game timing,” implying that Microsoft is waiting to see when other major Holiday titles will be released in order to avoid any conflicts with Halo Infinite’s release.
Despite early speculations to the contrary, 343 Industries has confirmed that Halo Infinite’s campaign and multiplayer will be released at the same time. For the first time, the game’s multiplayer will be free-to-play, including cross-play and cross-progression between Xbox consoles and PC. For those with competent monitors, the multiplayer mode will also support 120 frames per second.
While video game launch schedules, and specifically release windows, are always prone to alter when creators encounter unanticipated roadblocks, in the age of Covid, numerous delays are swiftly becoming the new normal for big releases.
Halo Infinite was planned to be released on November 10, 2020, alongside the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, however it was postponed until Holiday 2021 due to a lackluster gameplay reveal and the impact of Covid-19. Since then, 343 Industries has been working hard to improve the game in order to match the expectations of its fans.
“Instead of picking this date and having to move it by a week, which at this point would feel like a fail, like we don’t want to do that, let’s wait until we’re really solid on what the date is,” Spencer added. “But the team is very committed to holiday. We feel good about that … I feel good about the confidence we have in both quality and getting the game done.”
If you haven’t heard, the Xbox Brazil Twitter account just seemed to confirm a November 9 release date for Halo Infinite, but given that Forza Horizon 5 is releasing on the same day, we’re very confident Xbox Brazil made a mistake. Forza is most likely the “other game” Spencer is talking to above, which is causing Halo Infinite’s release to be delayed.