January 28, 2022

Beyond Going Long

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Halo Infinite’s final campaign is only 1/3 of what was originally planned

Difficult development.

Halo Infinite is officially out, and I probably don’t bother anyone when I say the game is a hit. The number 86 is still lit on OpenCritic and obviously the game was also popular with us. But at the same time, the problematic Infinite project emerged.

And it happened again thanks to Bloomberg editor Jason Schreyer, who was able to get some interesting details from the development. For those who don’t know, Infinite came out 6 years after the release of Halo 5: Guardians, which is a very long time for a Halo games release. Well, there is a good reason for that.

Aside from the much-criticized demo from last year, which served as a good stimulus, the entire project was just too complicated. It wasn’t until Joe Staten, who was called up for the project in the summer of 2020, persuaded Microsoft to postpone the match and give the team a chance to finish it.

The complexity of the project lies in the so-called technological debt. The engine the studio used to develop games dates back to the first Halo game, which this year celebrated its 20th anniversary. It is said that the toolkit, called Faber, was so complex to use that the studio considered migrating to the Unreal Engine for a long time, which eventually didn’t happen and took up the possibility to dig into the engine we know today as Slipspace.

Another problem with the study was high staff turnover. Lots of study done with 343 industries through decades, but Microsoft’s Terms and Conditions do not allow such employee to be paid for a period of more than 18 months. The result, of course, was chaos. The game was moved several times – the studio originally planned to release a multiplayer game in 2019 and a campaign in 2020, but, of course, this did not happen.

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The situation got to the point that in the summer of 2019, during a “crisis”, the studio decided to remove up to two-thirds of the planned content from the campaign. – The Breath of the Wild open world turned out to be several smaller sections of the Zeta Halo episode, and the developers’ task was simply to make sure that the remaining third was as good as possible. Overall, this explains why the studio was forced to delay Co-op and Forge mode until next year. Because it looks like we’re lucky to have a playable game.

As Schreyer added – it can come as a result of complex and frustrating development in the form of God of War or Anthem. And Halo Infinite appears to be closer to the previous one. Luckily.

Source: Bloomberg

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