Halo Infinite has been delayed into 2021, and not having Microsoft’s tentpole franchise to go with a new console naturally has fans shook.
The initial reaction from fans had two parts. Firstly, people were fairly welcoming of 343’s decision to delay the franchise to safeguard the wellbeing of their employees. However, the immediate response from a lot of fans was: If the next-gen consoles aren’t going to have their biggest next-gen franchise, why buy a console on day one?
The delay is good for Halo Infinite but bad for Xbox Series X.
— Tony Polanco (@Romudeth) August 11, 2020
It's easy for anyone outside of gamedev to point & mock 343 on Halo Infinite. It was the pillar for Series X this year – likely Microsoft's biggest ever project. It could have been rushed out & fixed later, but delaying out of launch for quality & employee health is commendable.
— Shinobi602 (@shinobi602) August 11, 2020
While we all agree that delays often mean better games (ignoring the fact that they make crunch longer), we're talking about THE game of the generation for Xbox/MS. Delaying this means delaying a great slice of the sellings. Hope this won't happen, but I see bad times for MS.
— ::Michele Paradiso:: (@raidenk17) August 11, 2020
We're all scared of hoping it out loud, but the dominos are lining up for a new Blinx game being the Xbox Series X launch title
— Julian Benson (@jBenson) August 12, 2020
Don't envy the Xbox team right now but have to appreciate their reasons for the Halo delay. That said, competition benefits both sides but I just can't see how this works out well for Series X, and particularly the rumoured Series S. Why buy day one?
— Nathan Robinson (@NathanRand0m) August 11, 2020
Kotaku Australia reader novasensei was fairly blunt, asking the question most people wondered this morning.
That said, some industry observers noted that delays on AAA games often don’t lead to less crunch, but more — since the teams were crunching already anyway.
Modern delay announcements often include a line like "the well-being of our team" but as I've reported a few times in the past, I've never heard of an AAA delay leading to *less* crunch. Internally, the messaging is "OK guys let's keep pushing, gotta keep this momentum going"
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) August 11, 2020
Not everyone was supportive of the decision, with some questioning 343’s management given Halo Infinite‘s extensive development time and budget.
Infinite has had 6 years, 2 restarts, 1 build scrapping, and $500M. They’ve lost key employees and now we get a delay. Normally I’d say delays are good, but this looks like development hell and I don’t understand how more people don’t come to this conclusion.
— TroySweers (@TroySweers) August 11, 2020
Others noted that 343 in particular had really struggled to transition to a working from home environment, and the challenges were especially prominent in the final stretch of development.
I've been hearing for much of this year that the transition to work from home amid COVID-19 was having an especially big impact on the final stretch of Halo Infinite's development. The delay makes a lot of sense, even though I wondered if they would actually make the decision.
— Patrick Klepek (@patrickklepek) August 11, 2020
Some fans also pointed out that while this morning’s news doesn’t look great for Microsoft, it’s not like the situation on Sony’s side is much better, with only Miles Morales confirmed to be launching before Christmas. And some wondered whether the next generation should be delayed into 2021 as well.
Dudes are going to use the Halo Infinite delay as ammo against Xbox but it's not like PS5's launch is much better. Its top title is an uplifted DLC game. Next-gen overall looking suspect.
— Tony Polanco (@Romudeth) August 11, 2020
Xbox Series X will launch in Nov. Specific release date unknown.
With the Halo delay, this is a very tough day 1 purchase. Console wars bullshit aside, you can see why many people will hold off until 2021 when the library fills out. https://t.co/4j81GHOqKf
— Skill Up (@SkillUpYT) August 11, 2020
With Halo Infinite delayed until 2021, it's reasonable to ask if Microsoft should delay Xbox Series X to 2021, as well.
While missing the holiday season is pivotal, the economy is going to be in the shitter this fall, and success stories — like Switch — came out in Q1.
— Colin Moriarty (@notaxation) August 11, 2020
The best Halo Infinite delay take, however, goes to local Assault Android Cactus developer Syama Mishra:
The real reason Halo Infinite was delayed pic.twitter.com/Dt6hPU8QT4
— Syama Mishra (@SyamaMishra) August 11, 2020