Halo Infinite won’t have campaign co-op or Forge at launch, developer 343 has announced.
The two much-loved modes of play have been delayed. Campaign co-op won’t hit the shooter until season two at the earliest, which means about three months after launch.
User creation tool Forge, meanwhile, won’t hit the game until season three at the earliest – or about six months after launch.
These target releases are “subject to change”, 343 warned.
It’s a big disappointment for the Halo community, with both campaign co-op and Forge considered fundamental to the Halo experience.
In the video, below, Joseph Staten, head of creative for Halo Infinite, said it was a “really tough decision” to delay both modes.
“Our number one priority is making sure whatever we ship, whenever we ship it, it meets the right quality bar across all platforms: Xbox devices, PC in all its different configurations,” Staten said.
“And when we looked at these two experiences, campaign co-op and Forge, we made the determination they’re just not ready. And as a studio, we don’t want to ship things if they’re not ready, so people can play them, have fun, have a nice stable, performant experience.
“So, we’re going to keep campaign co-op and Forge in the oven for a little bit longer, and then when they’re ready we’re going to release them as part of our seasonal roadmap next year.”
Staten went into a bit more detail on why each mode was delayed. On Forge, he said:
“As a toolset, it’s really advanced, and it’s going to hopefully give people the ability to create a whole bunch of new, innovative, novel experiences. But again, there are technical complexities there, and it’s just going to take time to get it right.”
And on campaign co-op:
“We have the opportunity to play campaign all the time. It’s this wonderful, wide open, nonlinear take on a Halo campaign, and it’s going to offer so much more flexibility to take down Banished bases from all kinds of different angles, to progress through the game in your own way to a certain extent.
“At the same time though, that’s complicated when you think about save systems and all the technology that needs to drive this more nonlinear experience. So, in a co-op scenario that’s even more complicated. And that’s another reason why it’s going to take longer, just to make sure it’s quality day-one, and people can jump in and play and have fun.”
It’s a slightly awkward conversation to have now, in August, with Halo Infinite still without a release date. Staten acknowledged this, saying 343 is “100 percent committed to releasing this holiday both campaign and our first season of free-to-play multiplayer”.
“We just have to work through a couple more details and we’ll be talking about our actual release date real soon.”
Staten said 343 talked about delaying the entire game so it could launch with Forge and campaign co-op (Halo Infinite was once due out last Christmas), but ultimately decided against it.
“We talked about doing that, but where we landed was, Halo Infinite is a live game, so it isn’t really ever done,” Staten said.
“It’s going to progress and evolve from season to season. We talk about launch being the beginning of that journey. But to have a beginning you need to pick a moment and actually begin.
“So ultimately we decided, we’ve been working on this game for a really long time, our fans have been waiting for this game for a really long time, with solo campaign and our first season of free-to-play multiplayer in really good shape for holiday, we didn’t want to delay any more. Let’s get started, and we’ll continue to evolve from there, season to season.”
Multiplayer splitscreen wasn’t in the recent technical preview, but it will make it into Halo Infinite for launch on all Xbox consoles. But multiplayer splitscreen won’t make launch on PC.
“There are technical challenges around PC with a whole bunch of different configs and other issues,” Staten explained.
“So we’re not going to have splitscreen multiplayer on PC for launch. But it’s absolutely something the team is excited about exploring post-launch.”
343 plans another big technical preview for Halo Infinite with the same player versus bot content as before, but also with 4v4 PvP as well as Big Team Battle. Insiders will get the chance to test Forge before it comes out, 343 promised.