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Opinion IGN's Ryan McCaffrey "Holy crap they actually DID have the guts to delay Halo Infinite! "

GamerEDM

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Halo Infinite's Delay Is a Painful Move – but it's the Right One
Unfortunately, it is also going to be bad news for the Xbox Series X in the short term.
Delaying Halo Infinite to 2021 was no doubt a very difficult choice for 343 Industries Studio Head Bonnie Ross, Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty, and Head of Xbox Phil Spencer, but it is absolutely the right one. It requires a whole lot of entrepreneurial courage to do what they just did, as I can’t think of another time in video game history where a console’s long-touted flagship launch game got delayed at the eleventh hour. Yes, the hole that Master Chief’s long-awaited return leaves in the Xbox Series X launch lineup is a big one – and does weaken the short-term case for buying a Series X at launch – but console generations are long, and the damage that a definitely rushed and possibly disappointing new Halo game would’ve had on the Xbox brand as it continues to rebuild its image would’ve been far worse.


First, let’s look at where this leaves the Xbox Series X as it prepares to launch in November. The big launch title is arguably, as of now, not a game at all. It’s a service: Xbox Game Pass. Well, that and the Xbox Series X-upgraded-but-not-yet-optimized version of Cyberpunk 2077, which will be marketed with Xbox. It’s fair to argue that there isn’t much reason to buy an Xbox Series X at launch anymore; Microsoft itself hasn’t announced any other brand-new day-one first-party launch titles – instead offering Series X-optimized upgrades of Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4, and Gears Tactics. All of the other first-party heavyweights are early in development, and smaller second-party exclusives like Scorn and The Medium probably aren’t going to move the needle for a fence-sitting console buyer this Fall.
Halo Infinite Xbox Games Showcase Gameplay Reveal Screenshots
But Spencer was clearly prepared for this possibility. He explicitly told me back in late March that no single game – not even Halo Infinite – would delay the Series X launch in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Today he walked the walk on that statement. Furthermore, there is one major card left for Microsoft to potentially play to swing the vote: price. In that same conversation, Spencer told me that Microsoft would “remain agile” on the price of the Series X, suggesting that it can and will undercut the PS5’s price in order to make its console even more attractive in the marketplace and avoiding the pricing debacle that helped dig Xbox a deep hole at the beginning of this generation. It’s important not to forget that the Series X is the more powerful console. Combine that and a price advantage with a free trial of Game Pass that will allow Series X buyers to play hundreds of games out of the box at launch without spending another dime is an enviable position for Microsoft to be in, even without Halo.
It’s been a very publicly rough few weeks for Microsoft.



That said, it’s been a very publicly rough few weeks for Microsoft, and I can imagine some frayed nerves company-wide. First, Halo Infinite’s campaign debut at the Xbox Games Showcase was vocally criticized for not looking up to scratch to the point that developer 343 Industries acknowledged the negative reaction in an update on Halo Waypoint. Then, days later, an Irish toy retailer leaked the news that Infinite’s multiplayer component would be free to play, robbing the team of their moment to tell its full next-gen multiplayer story. Last week, meanwhile, Apple roadblocked Microsoft’s Project xCloud game streaming plans on iOS devices. After that, Xbox Series X controllers somehow found their way into regular consumers' hands, revealing Microsoft’s long-rumored other, less-powerful next-gen console, the Xbox Series S in the process, without the fanfare Microsoft would surely have wanted.And then today we got the Halo Infinite delay.

As a longtime Halo fan, though, I actively applaud this delay, first and foremost for the physical and mental health and well-being of the hundreds of developers at 343 Industries and other support studios. From a business standpoint, Microsoft can’t afford a bad – or even just disappointing – Halo game. Not after five years, not on their next-generation console, and not after Halo 5 already wounded the franchise’s once-sterling reputation with a much-deridedcampaign. Remember too that Infinite will no longer go toe-to-toe with fellow juggernaut first-person shooter Call of Duty this Fall. That’s a good thing for a Halo franchise that’s looking for some space to reintroduce and reestablish itself.
Shigeru Miyamoto’s famous adage is thrown around a lot, but it’s as true as ever.



And of course, for the actual game itself, 343 will now have the time to implement raytracing, arguably next-gen’s most visually obvious new feature, into the shipping version of the game. The art and tech teams will get more time to work on things they’d already wanted to improve as well as address things the public negatively reacted to following the Xbox Games Showcase. Numerous other aspects of the game we haven’t even seen yet will get added polish time. Shigeru Miyamoto’s famous adage is thrown around a lot, but it’s as true as ever: A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad. And at this point, the pressure is off as far as a launch date is concerned. What, really, is the difference between launching in March of 2021 versus May versus even, dare I say it, November 15, 2021 – the 20th anniversary of Halo?To that point, Microsoft need only look at Cyberpunk 2077 for inspiration and optimism. This Fall’s biggest title on any platform has suffered multiple publicly announced delays, and yet as CD Projekt Red’s long-gestating first-person RPG finally enters its home stretch, no one cares or is talking about the delays anymore because the game looks and plays wonderfully.
Microsoft need only look at Cyberpunk 2077 for inspiration and optimism.



That’s not to say Microsoft is completely blameless in all of this. When you’ve spent over two years pumping up Master Chief’s comeback as the centerpiece of your new console generation’s launch and ultimately fail to deliver that, you’re going to be left with egg on your face. Is this delay an indictment of the project management skills of 343’s leadership? Maybe, and the final product will ultimately determine that, but making a AAA video game is difficult enough as it is, let alone when it’s done on a platform that’s not out yet and in the middle of a pandemic no one could’ve seen coming where everyone is forced to work remotely for the foreseeable future.

In the end, while it may be painful from a marketing and public-relations perspective, the leadership team at Xbox – and no doubt the Microsoft executives above them – are making the right decisions here for their developers and the long-term health of the Halo IP. The Series X is bigger than any one game – even Halo – and both the console and the game will be OK. We’re going to get a better Halo game out of this than we would’ve this Fall. We Halo fans have already waited five years. What’s a few more months?




Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s Executive Editor of Previews. Follow him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan, catch him on Unlocked, and drop-ship him Taylor Ham sandwiches from New Jersey whenever possible.


 
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Gamernyc78

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Jun 11, 2018
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Halo Infinite's Delay Is a Painful Move – but it's the Right One
Unfortunately, it is also going to be bad news for the Xbox Series X in the short term.
Delaying Halo Infinite to 2021 was no doubt a very difficult choice for 343 Industries Studio Head Bonnie Ross, Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty, and Head of Xbox Phil Spencer, but it is absolutely the right one. It requires a whole lot of entrepreneurial courage to do what they just did, as I can’t think of another time in video game history where a console’s long-touted flagship launch game got delayed at the eleventh hour. Yes, the hole that Master Chief’s long-awaited return leaves in the Xbox Series X launch lineup is a big one – and does weaken the short-term case for buying a Series X at launch – but console generations are long, and the damage that a definitely rushed and possibly disappointing new Halo game would’ve had on the Xbox brand as it continues to rebuild its image would’ve been far worse.


First, let’s look at where this leaves the Xbox Series X as it prepares to launch in November. The big launch title is arguably, as of now, not a game at all. It’s a service: Xbox Game Pass. Well, that and the Xbox Series X-upgraded-but-not-yet-optimized version of Cyberpunk 2077, which will be marketed with Xbox. It’s fair to argue that there isn’t much reason to buy an Xbox Series X at launch anymore; Microsoft itself hasn’t announced any other brand-new day-one first-party launch titles – instead offering Series X-optimized upgrades of Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4, and Gears Tactics. All of the other first-party heavyweights are early in development, and smaller second-party exclusives like Scorn and The Medium probably aren’t going to move the needle for a fence-sitting console buyer this Fall.
Halo Infinite Xbox Games Showcase Gameplay Reveal Screenshots
But Spencer was clearly prepared for this possibility. He explicitly told me back in late March that no single game – not even Halo Infinite – would delay the Series X launch in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Today he walked the walk on that statement. Furthermore, there is one major card left for Microsoft to potentially play to swing the vote: price. In that same conversation, Spencer told me that Microsoft would “remain agile” on the price of the Series X, suggesting that it can and will undercut the PS5’s price in order to make its console even more attractive in the marketplace and avoiding the pricing debacle that helped dig Xbox a deep hole at the beginning of this generation. It’s important not to forget that the Series X is the more powerful console. Combine that and a price advantage with a free trial of Game Pass that will allow Series X buyers to play hundreds of games out of the box at launch without spending another dime is an enviable position for Microsoft to be in, even without Halo.
It’s been a very publicly rough few weeks for Microsoft.



That said, it’s been a very publicly rough few weeks for Microsoft, and I can imagine some frayed nerves company-wide. First, Halo Infinite’s campaign debut at the Xbox Games Showcase was vocally criticized for not looking up to scratch to the point that developer 343 Industries acknowledged the negative reaction in an update on Halo Waypoint. Then, days later, an Irish toy retailer leaked the news that Infinite’s multiplayer component would be free to play, robbing the team of their moment to tell its full next-gen multiplayer story. Last week, meanwhile, Apple roadblocked Microsoft’s Project xCloud game streaming plans on iOS devices. After that, Xbox Series X controllers somehow found their way into regular consumers' hands, revealing Microsoft’s long-rumored other, less-powerful next-gen console, the Xbox Series S in the process, without the fanfare Microsoft would surely have wanted.And then today we got the Halo Infinite delay.

As a longtime Halo fan, though, I actively applaud this delay, first and foremost for the physical and mental health and well-being of the hundreds of developers at 343 Industries and other support studios. From a business standpoint, Microsoft can’t afford a bad – or even just disappointing – Halo game. Not after five years, not on their next-generation console, and not after Halo 5 already wounded the franchise’s once-sterling reputation with a much-deridedcampaign. Remember too that Infinite will no longer go toe-to-toe with fellow juggernaut first-person shooter Call of Duty this Fall. That’s a good thing for a Halo franchise that’s looking for some space to reintroduce and reestablish itself.
Shigeru Miyamoto’s famous adage is thrown around a lot, but it’s as true as ever.



And of course, for the actual game itself, 343 will now have the time to implement raytracing, arguably next-gen’s most visually obvious new feature, into the shipping version of the game. The art and tech teams will get more time to work on things they’d already wanted to improve as well as address things the public negatively reacted to following the Xbox Games Showcase. Numerous other aspects of the game we haven’t even seen yet will get added polish time. Shigeru Miyamoto’s famous adage is thrown around a lot, but it’s as true as ever: A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad. And at this point, the pressure is off as far as a launch date is concerned. What, really, is the difference between launching in March of 2021 versus May versus even, dare I say it, November 15, 2021 – the 20th anniversary of Halo?To that point, Microsoft need only look at Cyberpunk 2077 for inspiration and optimism. This Fall’s biggest title on any platform has suffered multiple publicly announced delays, and yet as CD Projekt Red’s long-gestating first-person RPG finally enters its home stretch, no one cares or is talking about the delays anymore because the game looks and plays wonderfully.
Microsoft need only look at Cyberpunk 2077 for inspiration and optimism.



That’s not to say Microsoft is completely blameless in all of this. When you’ve spent over two years pumping up Master Chief’s comeback as the centerpiece of your new console generation’s launch and ultimately fail to deliver that, you’re going to be left with egg on your face. Is this delay an indictment of the project management skills of 343’s leadership? Maybe, and the final product will ultimately determine that, but making a AAA video game is difficult enough as it is, let alone when it’s done on a platform that’s not out yet and in the middle of a pandemic no one could’ve seen coming where everyone is forced to work remotely for the foreseeable future.

In the end, while it may be painful from a marketing and public-relations perspective, the leadership team at Xbox – and no doubt the Microsoft executives above them – are making the right decisions here for their developers and the long-term health of the Halo IP. The Series X is bigger than any one game – even Halo – and both the console and the game will be OK. We’re going to get a better Halo game out of this than we would’ve this Fall. We Halo fans have already waited five years. What’s a few more months?




Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s Executive Editor of Previews. Follow him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan, catch him on Unlocked, and drop-ship him Taylor Ham sandwiches from New Jersey whenever possible.



Of course this schill finds positivity on the continued train wreck. I remember his other shade and schilling for Xbox a few months ago.

And Crackdown 3 and it's delays say hello. They are not getting the benefit of the doubt, hopefully this isn't once again another "we told u so moment" delays do not automatically mean "better game" Microsoft has shown us tht a few times.
 

LordOfChaos

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What a joke lol...

“entrepreneurial courage”

Holy shit...


 

Chiggs

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What a joke lol...

“entrepreneurial courage”

Holy shit...

And how about "bad news in the short term?"

More like "Gave your overwhelmingly powerful opponent even more of an advantage, so much, in fact, you had better pray to God they delay their entire system until next year, and even then you are probably good and fucked."
 
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Varteras

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Delaying Halo Infinite was the right call. Whether they make good use of the time is another story. It clearly cannot release in the state it's in. This is seriously going to hurt the launch of Series X and it's unfortunately something the brand really couldn't afford. The miracle they need for this next generation to not be equally painful or worse keeps getting more demanding The only thing they can do now is push forward and try the best they can. That being said, this guy has always annoyed me.
 

TGO

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While I agree it is for the best I'm sure MS saw what was being shown beforehand and thought it was ok.
They are just responding to backlash.
But yeah! Well done MS for not continuing off a cliff 🙄
 
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godhandiscen

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Of course this schill finds positivity on the continued train wreck. I remember his other shade and schilling for Xbox a few months ago.

And Crackdown 3 and it's delays say hello. They are not getting the benefit of the doubt, hopefully this isn't once again another "we told u so moment" delays do not automatically mean "better game" Microsoft has shown us tht a few times.
Conversely, other individuals will see anything coming out of 343i as negative.

IMHO, this is the right move and I was very critical of the original showing.
 

Renozokii

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And how about "bad news in the short term?"

More like "Gave your overwhelmingly powerful opponent even more of an advantage, so much, in fact, you had better pray to God they delay their entire system until next year, and even then you are probably good and fucked."
MS literally doesn't care if Xbox Series X outsells PS5 or not. I mean ok, might be a bit extreme to say they don't care at all, obviously it would be better for them if the series x was number 1, but it really doesn't matter. You will soon be able to play xbox games on your android smart phone and tablet. Eventually, if not already, I haven't been keeping super close attention, you can add smart tvs and all computers period to the list of where you can play xbox games. They are going after mass game pass subscriptions. Ps5 can sell well, MS could shut down their entire console division and if they convince Sony to let xcloud on PS5 MS would be just as well off or better off than Sony. Delaying Halo Infinite, under the assumption it will make it better by a decent degree does a few things. Being Halo, if it ships not horrible it will sell everything. Meaning it will sell series x consoles, it will sell game pass, and it will sell people on xcloud if they can play halo on their phone. I know I sound like an utter MS fanboy, I mean I'm likely not even buying a Series X unless Halo turns out to be really, really good. But MS has positioned themselves to not be able to fail. Theres no need to be butthurt about that, be happy about the options.

Side not, can there even be playstation fanboys at this point? You can get a PS5, a decent tablet, and a controller for that tablet all together for whatever the PS5 costs plus another 200 or so bucks. You'll be able to play every game MS makes and all of Sonys stuff.
 

Jerm411

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MS literally doesn't care if Xbox Series X outsells PS5 or not. I mean ok, might be a bit extreme to say they don't care at all, obviously it would be better for them if the series x was number 1, but it really doesn't matter. You will soon be able to play xbox games on your android smart phone and tablet. Eventually, if not already, I haven't been keeping super close attention, you can add smart tvs and all computers period to the list of where you can play xbox games. They are going after mass game pass subscriptions. Ps5 can sell well, MS could shut down their entire console division and if they convince Sony to let xcloud on PS5 MS would be just as well off or better off than Sony. Delaying Halo Infinite, under the assumption it will make it better by a decent degree does a few things. Being Halo, if it ships not horrible it will sell everything. Meaning it will sell series x consoles, it will sell game pass, and it will sell people on xcloud if they can play halo on their phone. I know I sound like an utter MS fanboy, I mean I'm likely not even buying a Series X unless Halo turns out to be really, really good. But MS has positioned themselves to not be able to fail. Theres no need to be butthurt about that, be happy about the options.

Side not, can there even be playstation fanboys at this point? You can get a PS5, a decent tablet, and a controller for that tablet all together for whatever the PS5 costs plus another 200 or so bucks. You'll be able to play every game MS makes and all of Sonys stuff.

 

WellSheet

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McCaffery’s whole salary is based on sticking up for Xbox and Microsoft...so no doubt he thinks it’s “BRAVE”...

I do think they made the right call to delay it, because they wouldn’t have had a pretty reception likely...but...a delay that I wager will be a full year...this wasn’t just decided. 10 bucks and a slap on nippies that this was already in the pipeline. They HAD to show the game after all this time....but maybe they hoped it would have been received better....

on the other end...man Sony is going to eat their ass whole. At least here in the beginning. I mean fuck me, Spider-Man MM, Ratchet and Clank, Horizon2, Demons Souls...those all very different, but very big boxes demographic wise. Where is Microsoft’s fight? I wanna see them push back hard and gain ground! Competition is good for this industry...
 
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jaysius

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You know what's hilarious, this time next year, everyone that's excited and anxious about this will be having a great time with either an xbox or a ps5, and have forgotten the entire thing.
 

Ozzy Onya A2Z

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I don't celebrate mediocrity. It's the right call but it's not courageous nor is it entrepreneurial, simply required. The gameplay reveal was no where based on the gameplay alone, lest we dive into the engine or systems and production output.

If I remember correctly Ryan is the guy that said Halo 4 "Out Bungie'd Bungie". I think we all know where he stands. Time for 343 to pull a Halo 2 development hell to a best in series game turnaround and sustain for the first year. I'm not holding my breath but I'll enjoy any Halo game somewhat.

As for courage it's time for leadership courage at Xbox/MS and take to the task of restructuring 343. It would serve the game releases quality far better if they had an entrepreneurial aspect to the staff, their wages, their job security and ultimately their game output. Having hundreds of staff, outsourcing partners and MS/Xbox at your back just breeds complacency and isn't fostering of the hunger an entrepreneur has to market lead or innovate, let alone the team they develop and drive. Chop the heads off that multi-headed studio and build a new studio from the ground up; not rebuild, build anew. Clearly slipspace and the last decade of 343 games wise isn't the transformative studio or new engine fans want to believe in but have repeatedly been let down by. Slipspace appears to simply have been another Halo iterative engine and when combined with a mess of a studio, game release and new hardware platforms with XSX and PC they're clearly not up to the challenge as market leaders heading into next gen.

Compare Unreal to Slipspace and we see some vast differences. Compare Cyberpunk 2077 to the gameplay reveal and we see some vast differences. Imagine another studio of this size using Unreal for example and having near 500 staff and multiple outsource partners over 4.5 years. Courage my ass, required delay? Fuck yes. Real courage would have been a gameplay reveal that stayed true to the core but blew the doors off with innovation or cloud integration or power of XSX/PC or full scale Halo war all around you or dynamic geometry throughout the Halo ring you're playing on.

As a Halo fan all I see is another game launch fucked and years of waiting again. Games like Apex Legends do more for feeling like a Halo multiplayer game these days than literally a blank slate from 343 for 5 years. In the same amount of time Respawn has produced Jedi Fallen Order and Apex Legends.
 
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Omeggos

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This game has been in development for how long? 5 years? And this guy feels is congratulating 343i for having the guts to delay it another year due to their incompetence?

How about calling them out?
The incompetent thing to do would be to continue planning to launch the game as a half-baked mess knowing it is indeed a half-baked mess.
 
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The leadership is fuckin awful, they've thrown away the steam they gathered up after the DF reveal.
They have no cards left.
What they have is what we see and it's sub par.
 
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JerryinSoCal

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Why do so many people act as if this game was going to be a huge launch title? it's cross gen, you didn't need a Series X to play it, it's coming to PC s you don't even need an xbox to play it. MS's strategy right now and until they start releasing exclusive games means there is no need to upgrade to their next gen console. People say they don't care about console sales they only care about game pass subs, well if that's true than they aren't any worse off today than they were yesterday before the delay was announced. I think their strategy is stupid btw but what they've been doing isn't working all that well either so I don't blame them for trying something different.
 
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GamerEDM

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Why do so many people act as if this game was going to be a huge launch title? it's cross gen, you didn't need a Series X to play it, it's coming to PC s you don't even need an xbox to play it. MS's strategy right now and until they start releasing exclusive games means there is no need to upgrade to their next gen console. People say they don't care about console sales they only care about game pass subs, well if that's true than they aren't any worse off today than they were yesterday before the delay was announced. I think their strategy is stupid btw but what they've been doing isn't working all that well either so I don't blame them for trying something different.
Breath of the Wild was also a cross gen title that played a major role in helping the nintendo switch sell big numbers. I think most people would say that without Breath of the wild the Nintendo switch launch wouldnt have nearly been as successful.
 
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MrS

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McCaffery lacks the intelligence to spin convincingly and just comes off looking like the type of Xbot who would cape for the brand on GAF. It’s pathetic that IGN continue to bankroll his carnival of stupid, but here we are.

Why do so many people act as if this game was going to be a huge launch title?
because it’s new Halo, xBox’s biggest IP, launching on The World’s Most Powerful Console. Phil and co hyped it up and now have to watch the fallout. Your question is like asking “why would Sony fans expect Horizon/GoW/Uncharted/Gt7/Bloodborne 2 to be a huge launch title”.
 
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Stilton Disco

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Man, hope the guy doesn't have too much whiplash from all that positive spinning.

then why did he refer to halo 5 as a debacle? a 95/100 was a debacle?
It's no longer the latest game, so they don't have to pretend it was good anymore to stay on MS's good side.

Expect the same thing with TLOU2 when a 3rd game is in need of some good press.

Entertainment 'journalists' are a sodding joke, and don't even pretend to be impartial or objective anymore.
 
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Hope this doesn't turn out to be mass effect andromeda type situation. But right now all signs points to it, hear me out.

- Mass Effect Andromeda was delayed on multiple occasions.
-Mass Effect Andromeda had an inexperienced ME team working on it
-Mass Effect Andromeda had it's development shift efforts from one engine to another (Frostbite tech) which caused headaches for development.
-Mass Effect Andromeda launched to a buggier retail release with janky looking character models and facial animations

-Halo Infinite initially announced some two years ago.
-Halo Infinite team sees major development members quit the project.
-Halo Infinite sees its efforts of making the game shift from one engine to another (slipspace or whatever it is called)
-Halo Infinite's debut gameplay showing looks weak with low poly textures, pop ins. But most important of all it's the reveal of craig that leads to the backlash. Craig demands a full story about him and his family in the fictional universe.
-Halo Infinite is now delayed.

what if the game is beyond repair and this delay wouldn't help them salvage much it'd still be a lackluster release? I hope I am wrong because Halo is a tent-pole series and Xbox consumers deserve the best and Microsoft needs to deliver the best!
 

Kokoloko85

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Have him and Alanah Pearce got another email from MS to talk about gamepass value the same time as everyone else?? Ah not this week...

Sorry but I dont see 343 improving much, they’ve had plenty of time. People need to realise they arent Bungie and they dont have much experience. Halo 4 and Halo 5 tells me Infinite won’t be amazing.
Shame because a a title like Halo needs your best team working on it