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With E3, players finally managed to get a bit more insight into the upcoming next entry in the immensely popular and famous Halo franchise, Halo Infinite. The year-long delay from its initial release date was a heavy blow for many fans, admittedly, 2021 is a good year for the release, being the 20th anniversary of both Halo and even the Xbox brand. But more important than any of that is the fact that there’s a beta coming up for Infinite this summer prior to its full release, and there is of course a way for prospective players to get into it. According to the developers, it should be a fairly easy matter to sign up for this beta, though it’ll be even easier if we talk about how to get in.
Microsoft has revealed some new information specifically regarding the PC edition of Halo Infinite within a blog post that was focused on the company’s bigger vision for the future of PC gaming. In this blog post, Microsoft shared that Infinite will have both cross-progression and cross-play for multiplayer.
Ever since Star Wars Battlefront II launched with a multiplayer progression system heavily influenced by loot boxes, the gaming world has frowned on such systems without fail. The community doesn’t like the idea of a player’s progression being significantly affected by how much money they’re willing to pour into microtransactions. That being said, microtransactions do not necessarily equate to loot boxes, something a lot of people tend to forget. Halo Infinite will have microtransactions. However, it will not have loot boxes.
Anyone who was waiting for Halo Infinite before knows that it was delayed recently due to issues with COVID-19. At the time that this delay was announced, no specific release date was mentioned for it later down the line, though it was expected for that release to be sometime in 2021. But the uncertainty is gone now, as we have now been officially informed that Halo Infinite is now expected to release in Fall of 2021, developer 343 Industries confirmed this in a blog post. As part of 343’s year-end update, they confirmed the new release date, while also giving expectant fans a peek at some of the game's art, graphics, and customization features.
Most of the news regarding Halo Infinite has been bad recently. The hotly anticipated game has been delayed until 2021, to start with. On top of that, another of its directors has left the project, raising some questions about the future of the project in general. And yet, not all the news is bad, as the game's various marketing promotions are still making their mark this year. Believe it or not, the latest of these promotions is actually courtesy of Butterfinger.
Quite recently, director Chris Lee has left Halo Infinite, news that is coming not too far on the heels of the game’s delay from the release date that was supposed to coincide with the launch of the Xbox Series X/S. That delay ended up pushing Halo Infinite back to some as of yet to be revealed date in 2021.
A lot of games have been getting delayed over the past few months: Cyberpunk 2077 got delayed more than twice, and lots of other titles suffered similar fates. However, no one expected one of the most hotly anticipated games of 2020 to get delayed, especially since it is the flagship title for the Xbox, and has been for twenty years. That’s right: Halo Infinite has been delayed until 2021. As for why, Developer 343 Industries stated that a major reason for the delay was the shift to work-from-home operations, and that it will give the team the time to "deliver a Halo game experience that meets our vision."
Without a doubt, Halo Infinite is one of the most hotly anticipated games of the upcoming holiday season, at least as far as the Xbox is concerned. This isn’t really surprising considering the nature of Halo as one of Microsoft’s flagship series. And yet, very little has been revealed about the game, with the public only seeing a few cinematic trailers. Xbox has said that the game will be significantly different from previous Halo games, but of course we can still expect the game to look and play like a Halo entry, but Xbox’s Phil Spencer recently made a few hints about how the game will be structurally different from the Master Chief Collection, though it’s a little unclear what he is implying.
Halo Infinite is without a doubt one of the most anticipated games of 2020, even if it isn’t going to be available until the end of the year. That being said, it’s really no surprise that the Coronavirus has impacted its development just like it has every other major form of entertainment. It seems that every anticipated game, show and movie has been delayed or cancelled and Halo Infinite is not exempt from the viral crosshairs, as made clear by statements from the developers.