Microsoft and 343 Industries are making the decision to delay the launch of Halo Infinite to 2021. 343 Industries says the delay is related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as employees have shifted to work from home and development of large games has been particularly difficult for many in the industry.
“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,” says Chris Lee, studio head for Halo Infinite. “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.”
Microsoft Corporation () is an American multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It develops, manufactures, licenses, supports, and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services. Its best known software products are the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems, the Microsoft Office suite, and the Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers. Its flagship hardware products are the Xbox video game consoles and the Microsoft Surface lineup of touchscreen personal computers.
In 2016, it was the world’s largest software maker by revenue (currently Alphabet/Google has more revenue). The word “Microsoft” is a portmanteau of “microcomputer software”. Microsoft is ranked No. 30 in the 2018 Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. It is considered one of the Big Five technology companies alongside Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook.
Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on April 4, 1975, to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800. It rose to dominate the personal computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s, followed by Microsoft Windows. The company’s 1986 initial public offering (IPO), and subsequent rise in its share price, created three billionaires and an estimated 12,000 millionaires among Microsoft employees. Since the 1990s, it has increasingly diversified from the operating system market and has made a number of corporate acquisitions, their largest being the acquisition of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in December 2016, followed by their acquisition of Skype Technologies for $8.5 billion in May 2011.As of 2015, Microsoft is market-dominant in the IBM PC compatible operating system market and the office software suite market, although it has lost the majority of the overall operating system market to Android. The company also produces a wide range of other consumer and enterprise software for desktops, laptops, tabs, gadgets, and servers, including Internet search (with Bing), the digital services market (through MSN), mixed reality (HoloLens), cloud computing (Azure), and software development (Visual Studio).
Steve Ballmer replaced Gates as CEO in 2000, and later envisioned a “devices and services” strategy. This unfolded with Microsoft acquiring Danger Inc. in 2008, entering the personal computer production market for the first time in June 2012 with the launch of the Microsoft Surface line of tablet computers, and later forming Microsoft Mobile through the acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services division. Since Satya Nadella took over as CEO in 2014, the company has scaled back on hardware and has instead focused on cloud computing, a move that helped the company’s shares reach its highest value since December 1999.Earlier dethroned by Apple in 2010, in 2018 Microsoft reclaimed its position as the most valuable publicly traded company in the world. In April 2019, Microsoft reached the trillion-dollar market cap, becoming the third U.S. public company to be valued at over $1 trillion after Apple and Amazon respectively.
Microsoft delays Halo Infinite to 2021
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It’s a decision that Microsoft’s Xbox chief, Phil Spencer, did warn may happen earlier this year. “I’d say the bigger unknown is probably the game production, just being honest,” said Spencer in May. “Game production is a large scale entertainment activity now, you have hundreds of people coming together, building assets, working through creative.”
Bungie, developer of Destiny 2, also recently delayed the company’s next big Destiny 2 expansion to November 10th, citing the difficulties of development during the pandemic. Naughty Dog also cited the pandemic for a delay to the launch of The Last of Us Part II earlier this year.
Microsoft delays Halo Infinite to 2021
Still, Microsoft did push ahead and demo Halo Infinite during its Xbox Game Studios event just a few weeks ago. At the time, Microsoft and 343 Industries were still publicly committing to launching Halo Infinite alongside the new Xbox Series X console, which is now due to hit store shelves in November.
It’s not clear what changed over the past few weeks to force Microsoft to delay Halo Infinite to 2021. The reception to the game has been mixed, though, with some criticizing the graphics and visuals in the game. 343 Industries responded to the criticisms, admitting that “we do have work to do to address some of these areas and raise the level of fidelity and overall presentation for the final game.”
With no clear Halo Infinite release date in sight, except a 2021 release, 343 Industries will now have plenty of time to avoid the typical game crunch and address fan feedback in the months ahead.