Halo Infinite Delayed to 2021: Was this the right move for the Xbox Series X launch?

By Rafay Faheem 15 Aug, 20



Microsoft recently laid down the sad reveal that they will be pushing Halo Infinite from its initial launch date (Holiday 2020) all the way over to next year (no time period decided within 2021). What this means for the Xbox Series X launch is that their flagship launch title will no longer be a reality for the next-generation console. 
 
Image source: ScreenRant


The reason for the delay was stated as “multiple factors that contributed to development challenges” and they were attributed to the COVID-19 situation that has been the reason for a lot of delays in the entertainment industry for the past few months.
 
Here’s the full statement released by Microsoft about the delay:

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"Today I want to share an important Halo Infinite development update with the community. We have made the difficult decision to shift our release to 2021 to ensure the team has adequate time to deliver a Halo game experience that meets our vision.
 
"The decision to shift our release is the result of multiple factors that have contributed to development challenges, including the ongoing COVID-related impacts affecting us all this year. I want to acknowledge the hard work from our team at 343 Industries, who have remained committed to making a great game and finding solutions to development challenges. However, it is not sustainable for the well-being of our team or the overall success of the game to ship it this holiday.
 
"We know this will be disappointing to many of you and we all share in that sentiment. The passion and support the community has shown over the years has been incredible and inspiring. We wanted nothing more than to play our game with the community this holiday. The extra time will let us finish the critical work necessary to deliver the most ambitious Halo game ever at the quality we know our fans expect.
 
"Thank you for your support and understanding."

How does this fare for the Series X Launch?

 
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As of yet, the biggest launch title for the Xbox Series X was Halo Infinite but Microsoft is confident that they can capitalize on their “Best played on Xbox” gig to retain their early console sales as they have been pushing “Games as a Service” approach since quite a while. Their Xbox Games Pass (Now, renamed to Games Pass) has been bringing them a constant market share from both their Xbox audience and the PC market. They incentivized the Games Pass for future console buyers by bundling their brand new XCloud service along with the Games Pass Subscription. All in all, Microsoft seems confident that their next-gen consoles will pull through regardless of whether they have enough exclusive launch titles or not.