Halo Infinite Delayed to 2021

Microsoft has announced that Halo Infinite has been delayed from its planned Holiday 2020 launch to an unspecified 2021 release date. That means the upcoming Halo sequel from 343 Industries will not launch alongside the Xbox Series X, as Xbox had previously planned.Xbox did not confirm a new release window other than next year for Halo Infinite, explaining that the delay comes as the "result of multiple factors that have contributed to development challenges, including the ongoing COVID-related impacts affecting us all this year."

Xbox Series X will still launch this year, with Microsoft confirming the Xbox Series X will arrive in November, 2020.Microsoft's full statement on the delay of Halo Infinite reads:

"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."

Halo Infinite was arguably the marquee launch game for Xbox Series X, but Microsoft has clarified its launch plans for the next-gen console following the announcement. The console maker makes clear that there are, "More than 50 new games planned for this year across generations and optimized for Xbox Series X."

Last E3, Microsoft confirmed Halo Infinite was planned as an Xbox Series X launch game. While 343 remained relatively quiet about the upcoming sequel since then, we've recently seen and heard a lot more about Halo Infinite. 343 Industries recently confirmed that Halo Infinite's multiplayer will be free-to-play and support 120 fps on Xbox Series X.

Xbox also showcased the upcoming Halo adventure as part of its recent Xbox Series X event, at which point we learned more about Infinite's story and villain, how Halo Infinite's open world will work, why Halo newcomers shouldn't be afraid to jump into infinite, and how 343 is setting up Infinite to be a platform for the Halo franchise.

Since its showcase, however, the demo encountered some controversy due to discussions around its graphical fidelity. Infinite's developers addressed the blowback about Halo Infinite's graphics, explaining some of the developer's artistic goals and influences while also acknowledging some of the concerns.

Jonathon Dornbush is IGN's Senior News Editor and host of Podcast Beyond! Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.

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