343 have recently spoken out about the long Halo Infinite delay. The reason? They weren’t proud of it at all – You do have to take pride in your work after all, and it seemed to work because the game was an absolute hit.
In a recent interview with The Washington Post, several important figures behind the game’s development spoke about what key details forced the process to be delayed for all that time. The general manager of 343, Bonnie Ross, said that in 2019 the team looked at the shooter and just couldn’t accept that this was the final product. “This is not a game we can be proud of,” said Ross, which ultimately led to the developers going back to the drawing board and laying out more plans.
The COVID-19 pandemic was an attributing factor as to why the game was originally behind schedule, which was the case for many other developers as well. But as early as January 2020 the team believed that the tight schedule was going to affect the game significantly, which is why Ross asked Xbox boss Phil Spencer to delay Halo Infinite by 12 months.
In the interview, Bonnie Ross spoke about how the decision – although a difficult one to make – was the correct one going forward, so they could release the best version of the game they could. The original plan was to release Halo Infinite in conjunction with the release of the Xbox Series X and S in late 2020. Ross commented by saying, “It would have been great for Halo to be there, but it just wasn’t the right time for Infinite, and definitely not right for the team”. The delay clearly allowed them to take a deep breath, not panic, and to hit the reset button slightly, with the results that followed really making everything worthwhile in the end.
A company that cares this much about the final product is a rare commodity in this day and age, especially for such a highly anticipated and huge blockbuster of a game. We can look back at the game’s year delay with mixed emotions, but a quick glance at yesterday’s problems does reveal what we all know really, that it couldn’t have worked out any better for the developers and their chart-topping game.