Although a firm Halo Infinite release date has yet to be set, internal talks at Microsoft surrounding when to launch the game have narrowed from the months-long holiday 2021 release window to a handful of weeks, Xbox head Phil Spencer explained during a recent appearance on the Dropped Frames podcast.
“We’ll have better clarity over the [winter], but this isn’t a months thing, this is just down to a few weeks,” Spencer said. “Instead of picking this day and having to move it by a week, which at this point would feel like a fail, we don’t want to do that, so let’s wait until we’re really solid on what the date is.”
Spencer also said that Microsoft is looking at the timings of other game releases when it comes to getting Halo Infinite on store shelves. Some online commenters have posited that the publisher is looking to avoid contending with a rumoured Call of Duty release — new installments in Activision’s first-person shooter series have had consistent spring debuts since 2003 — but it’s also possible that Microsoft simply wants to give its other big exclusive, Forza Horizon 5, room to breathe when it launches on November 9.
Halo Infinite was originally intended to release alongside the Xbox Series X on November 10, 2020, but missed that date following a less-than-stellar gameplay reveal and subsequent delay. Since then, the highly anticipated game has been publicly pegged to the holiday 2021 release window despite the high-profile departures of both creative director Tim Longo and 343 Industries studio head Chris Lee.
Multiplayer, which got a big showcase during E3 earlier this month, is set to launch alongside the single-player Halo Infinite campaign as a separate, free-to-play experience.
“The team’s very committed to holiday, we feel good about that,” Spencer added during the interview. “The way that [head of Halo production Pierre Hintz] and [head of creative Joseph Staten] are running the team, I feel good about the confidence we have in both quality and getting the game done.”