Halo Infinite Devs Health Delay, Community Disappointed Anyway

Halo Infinite Devs Health Delay, Community Disappointed Anyway

Halo Infinite Devs Health Delay, Community Disappointed Anyway

Seven Spartans stand in front of the Breaker map in Halo Infinite wearing cosmetics from the second season of Halo Infinite.

Screenshot: 343 business sectors

It’s rare to see a video game developer publicly acknowledge crunch, let alone cite its avoidance as the reason for the delays. On Friday, developer 343 Industries unveiled the long-awaited roadmap for Infinite Halofilled with a number of pushed back features and a candid acknowledgment that such decisions were made in an effort to put “team health” first. Some Halo the players still turned around.

Infinite Halo has been on a bit of a rollercoaster since its release last November for Xbox and PC. For the first time in the series, its multiplayer mode is free-to-play, with a seasonal pattern not unlike similar patterns featured in similar free-to-play games. It was the biggest Halo launch in series historybut a few months later, amid a dearth of new maps and modes – an event repeated six times during the season – players started bouncing off the game. Earlier this month, a lot of info on upcoming maps and modes some renewed interest ahead of season two, which is slated to launch next week. Then the roadmap came out.

It’s almost comical that a JPG with text and a handful of bullshots could spark an entire weekend of ~speech~. But you have to understand that the most dedicated gamers have long taken this thing as a promise that committing hard for Infinite Halo would pay off down the line. Moreover, even the roadmap itself did not go according to schedule. In November, Joseph Staten, creative lead of 343 Industries mentioned Infinite HaloThe “first year” roadmap would be released in January. Your calendars may show that it’s been at least a few days.

Reviewed in a vacuum, purely on the merits of “content,” devoid of explicitly stated limits and the human cost of what it takes to create said content, of course, the roadmap is a bit underwhelming. Some core features have been pushed beyond their intended release windows. Others were given more tenuous “to be determined” timelines. (The entire roadmap itself is labeled with a “subject to change” disclaimer.) a blog post Posted at 7:00 p.m. ET on a Friday night, Staten pointed to a pretty rock-solid explanation:

…a “zero priority” of team health and setting ourselves at a pace of sustainable development so that we can provide you all with great experiences while maintaining a healthy work/life balance. We know we need to deliver more content and more features faster. Sticking to priority zero means we sometimes have to slow down to stay healthy and move faster later. But we are also actively looking for ways to accelerate.

It’s no secret that the video game industry is plagued by the scourge of “crunch”, or prolonged periods of compulsory or insidious overtime, usually a major factor in cases of burnout and attrition. That 343 Industries is going out of its way to put its developers first – in the midst of a still-raging pandemic, no less – isn’t the kind of thing you see every day. As to what it actually means for Infinite Halo:

  • Online co-op, originally slated to roll out with the release of season two, is slated for some time in August.
  • Split-screen co-op is now separated from online co-op. It’s planned for, uh-oh, “timing TBD”.
  • The option to replay campaign missions, which is something you can’t currently dois scheduled for sometime in August.
  • The popular Forge creative mode will receive a beta in September and will also be in beta for Season Three. (Leaked images indicate this will be Forge’s most robust iteration to date.)
  • And the big thing: Season two will run for six months, twice as long as its planned timeline. The third season takes place in early November.

The latter is the biggest sticking point for gamers, who regularly cite Haloprogression system as a reason to bounce back from the game. Infinite HaloThe battle pass is 100 levels. If you play regularly and focus on completing challenges for XP, you can easily maximize it in a month or two. So what, they ask? Play for fun? Pfft.

The Halo Infinite Roadmap provides dates for the first-person shooter's Year Two content.

Picture: 343 business sectors

Over the weekend, a Reddit post on the roadmap has accumulated thousands of comments, many of which are negative. Some are even bordering on vitriol, calling it “pathetic depressing” and saying it’s “a miserable time to be a Halo fan.” A common sentiment sarcastically points out that, if you put aside the suite of cosmetic options, the new features planned for Infinite HaloThe first year of returns to… three new modes and two new maps.

Players compare this to the previous Halo games developed by 343. In its first year, 2012 Halo 4 saw 343 addition 11 new cards added to the game’s rotation, spread across four paid post-release DLCs. For the years 2015 Halo 5, meanwhile, 343 added fewer official maps in the game’s first year (only nine) but supplanted those with additional levels for the PvE Warzone mode and with maps created in Forge. These games, however, weren’t made during a pandemic. Infinite Halo is also the first game in the series that hasn’t reused popular maps from previous games (for now at least).

“Most fans don’t realize that the damaged ring represents the unfinished product that is Halo Infinite,” said one player. joked. Others, more serious, have gone as far as raise the question whether or not Microsoft should hand over the Halo franchise to a developer other than 343 Industries.

Even players who are generally positive about the game haven’t exactly come to his defense. The people on the LowSodiumHalo subreddit—a digital space for fans to congregate “without all the salt” typically associated with the mainstream Halo communities – say they are “disappointed” and “oof”, while acknowledging that having general dates for certain features, like the Forge beta, is at least a balm.

To a certain extent, I understand. Halo the fans are hungry. I’ve personally been on the edge of my seat for split-screen co-op since launch. Six months was a bit long for the first season, so while I can’t wait to see what happens in the second, the new modes sounds absolutely crazy—I’m not entirely sure that’s enough to keep the player base healthy for another six months. But if 343 Industries really wants to put its team first, if that justification isn’t just a public service to cover up some behind-the-scenes issues for minimal end results, then it’s definitely worth the wait. Not a question in my mind.

Representatives for 343 Industries did not immediately respond to a request for comment. If you work in the studio, or are otherwise knowledgeable about the status of its operations and would like to chat – recorded or unrecorded – my inbox is open: anotis@kotaku.com.

#Halo #Infinite #Devs #Health #Delay #Community #Disappointed

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.