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We finally know why Halo Infinite was delayed

Fans were disappointed recently when it was announced that Halo Infinite would be delayed until sometime next year. There have been a few rumors that have popped up in recent days that likely explain the significant delay, but at least one of them has since been disproven. With that in mind, it might be a good time to dive into the newest rumors and unpack the ones that may still be accurate. 

According to a report from Thurrot.com's Brad Sams, there are multiple factors contributing to the delay of Halo Infinite. According to Sams' unnamed sources, a majority of the game's production has been outsourced to third-party developers. To be fair, this is a relatively common practice for huge flagship games like the Halo franchise. However, according to Sams' sources, communication between 343 Industries and the contractors working on the game has broken down significantly. 

Because of this, the multiple teams are allegedly having a difficult time collaborating with one another on several vital aspects of the game. It's unclear what parts of the game these contractors were supposedly working on, but it's no secret that Halo Infinite is the largest and most ambitious game in the series, at least in terms of scale. Halo Infinite is the first game in the franchise to feature a more open world, so it would make a certain amount of sense for 343 Industries to bring in more outside help to make this a reality.

According to Sams, the drastic dip in quality between Halo Infinite's E3 2019 trailer and the Xbox Games Showcase demo is due to the fact that an entirely different team worked on both builds. In fact, Sams posits that the 2019 trailer was not actually representative of the final product, but was rather a pre-rendered cutscene that had been outsourced.

Sams has also heard rumors that the production of the upcoming Halo TV series has led to significant delays on the project. Some of Sams' sources say that 343 Industries has been preoccupied with developing the TV show, rather than the game. 

Luckily for fans, 343 Industries has responded to these rumors and it seems that some of them they were way off. After IGN reached out to 343 for a comment, the Halo series dev seemed just as confused as the fans were to hear of some of these particular issues.

A spokesperson for 343 Industries told IGN, "343 Industries has a devoted transmedia team that is working with Showtime on the creation and production of the Halo TV show. This group is separate from the Halo Infinite development team. These are two completely independent projects with dedicated teams and leadership that do not impact one another."

In other words, the production of the TV show is not causing any kind of delay for the game. While the TV show is a major focus of the Halo brand going forward, 343 Industries has multiple teams handling various aspects of the multimedia franchise. One team in particular is working on developing the TV series, while another group entirely is focused on making Halo Infinite. In other words, even if the Halo Infinite team is outsourcing parts of the game's production, it wouldn't be in service of the television show's production.

Again, however, 343 Industries didn't exactly contradict the accusations of outsourcing. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing. It could be that splitting the work amongst multiple teams will end up helping Halo Infinite meet its new release window without a huge amount of crunch for the development team. Considering how underwhelmed fans were with the gameplay demo shown at the Xbox Games Showcase, having extra hands on deck may end up being exactly what Halo Infinite needs to improve.

Hopefully 343 Industries can smooth out those communications issues reported by Sams' sources. For Halo Infinite to be the best game it can be, the people working on it all need to be on the same page.

However, the issues don't exactly stop there. According to Sams' report, there have also been huge disagreements between the marketing team and the folks actually making Halo Infinite. These issues apparently began popping up more as the original release date for the game got closer. Sams writes, "One of the other disconnects I have been hearing about more recently is that engineering and marketing have been on two different planets. Engineering has been asking for delays and to hold material back but marketing has been plowing forward."

This would certainly go a long way toward explaining why the big gameplay demo for Halo Infinite was played through a PC rather than an actual Xbox Series X. The game simply isn't ready. Unfortunately for Xbox, that means that the biggest title meant to show off the next console generation simply can no longer do that. In the meantime, fans simply have to hope that the delay will end up being worth it in the long run.