Halo Infinite and 343 Industries are seeing some leadership shake ups following the game’s delay into 2021. And honestly, it sounds like the game is probably farther away than we initially anticipated.
Joseph Staten, a veteran on the Halo franchise dating back to the days when the series was still being developed by Bungie, has shifted from his role overseeing the launch of Tell Me Why to 343 Industries to improve the game’s campaign. 343 posted an update on the Halo Waypoint site confirming Staten’s new role:
“As product lead on Halo Infinite, however, Joseph will be focused on supporting the campaign team’s existing, talented, creative leaders and ensuring they have everything they need to create an awesome Halo game. His return to the franchise excites me and we’re all looking forward to having him on board!”
Staten responded to the news in a tweet on his personal account, where he echoed the sentiment that he wouldn’t be changing that much, but would be instead attempting to bolster what the team has already been working on.
I'm thrilled to join @Halo to help them ship Halo Infinite. As the project lead for the Infinite Campaign, I will be supporting the team's existing, great leaders and empowering them to do their best work. https://t.co/pQiNPQVBZs
— Joseph Staten (@joestaten) August 27, 2020
Admittedly, Staten’s involvement does raise questions about just how far into 2021 Halo Infinite is being delayed. It was originally set to come out in November alongside the Xbox Series X, but changing leadership for a game that was, up until very recently, about three months away doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence we’ll be seeing Master Chief again too early in the year. If a series veteran is being shifted around within Microsoft to manage an overhaul of a campaign that would have been relatively complete by now on its original time table, just how much needs to change, and how much time will it take? Maybe we’ll get a better sense of how far along the game is in the coming months, because even if Halo Infinite isn’t going to be an Xbox Series X launch title now, it’s still one of the biggest names Microsoft has in its ecosystem, and it would be surprising if it just disappeared off of the company’s promotional tour.
In other news:
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon Gets Current-Gen Release Date, and a Vaguely Gestured at Next-Gen One
- Gollum From Lord of the Rings is Getting His Own Game, Isn’t That Precious?
- 505 Explains It Had to Decide Who to Exclude With Control’s Next-Gen Upgrade Restrictions
While the plan to get Halo Infinite out in time for the holidays might have fallen through, for a time, Microsoft did consider putting out Master Chief’s latest out in “pieces,” releasing either the campaign or the free-to-play multiplayer out alongside the Xbox Series X’s launch to avoid a complete delay. However, talks between Microsoft and 343 upper management eventually settled on the delay instead, with Head of Xbox Phil Spencer saying that wouldn’t be the type of Halo experience the companies wanted to start off a new console generation with.
If nothing else, the system will support backwards compatibility with Xbox One games, so you’ll be able to play all the other Halo shooters on it through the Master Chief Collection while you wait.