Halo Infinite: before success, development was a real disaster

When it had its gameplay revealed in July of last year, Halo Infinite became a reason for a joke. With tough, slow gameplay and dated graphics, the game that should be the flagship and drive sales of the new generation of Xbox consoles ended up needing to be delayed.

When they hit shelves in late 2020, despite having the new Halo listed as one of the release titles, both the Xbox Series X how much the Xbox Series S were marketed without a major exclusive game. Now, almost a year later, a Bloomberg article signed by journalists Dina Bass e Jason Schreier details the disaster that took place behind the scenes before the project finally got underway.

The 343 Industries team began planning their new game in the series as early as 2015, the same year in which Halo 5 was released. It was soon decided that the new Halo would no longer have linear stages, and would then have a huge open world. According to the Bloomberg text, the developer aimed to adapt the success of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the next Master Chief adventure.

From there, the production team began working on the project using the engine Faber, the same used by Bungie in previous games in the series. The tool, however, was washed and difficult to use, and one of the biggest complaints of the devs was about the excess of code that made “gambiarras” to solve problems found by the creation team of the devs. Halo older.

Added to this was a problem that was quite common to Microsoft and its studios: by using hired labor for temporary periods, every 18 months to 343 lost employees essential for the project. New employees arriving to help with production didn’t have the necessary knowledge of title coding — let alone those who came before, created by Bungie — making the whole process even slower.

At some point, in 2019, 343 Industries executives decided to cut almost two thirds from what was originally planned for the new Halo. During this period, production was so messed up that some devs were instructed to go to the office and literally do nothing, while the studio’s leadership decided what their next step would be. Finally, it was decided that the open world would be greatly reduced compared to the initial idea.

It soon became clear to developers that Halo Infinite it wouldn’t even come close to having the quality expected for a launch title on MS’s new consoles. But that didn’t stop Phil Spencer’s company from press the studio to run even further and deliver the game within the allotted time, hoping to have the finished product to hit the shelves with the new Xbox in November 2020.

And that’s when the infamous demonstration arrived, released in the middle of last year. After community feedback — and all the memes born thanks to suboptimal quality — Microsoft has decided to bring back Joseph Staten, who was primarily responsible for scripting the franchise’s first three games, as the new creative director for the new Halo. The professional managed to convince the company to give more time for the studio to work on the game, and Phil Spencer allowed the project to be postponed.

Staten presented several ideas that would make the game a success, and from there things finally started to change for the better. Unlike last year’s demo, Halo Infinite was released yesterday on December 8, 2021, has been very well accepted by the players and the specialized critics. The game is available in Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC versions, and is also part of the Xbox Game Pass catalog.

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