Halo Infinite Players Hit Back At 343 For Delays Attributed To Health Reasons

Crunch in video game development is nothing new. However, it is having a brighter spotlight shone on it now than it ever has done in the past. Partly due to better transparency in the industry, and partly due to the pandemic as studios continue to get to grips with creating games from home. A studio openly acknowledging it is taking steps to reduce the strain on its employees should be good news, but it seems there are layers to the latest update from 343 Industries regarding the future of Halo Infinite.

343 revealed a number of new details about what's to come in Infinite between now and the end of 2022 last week. However, almost none of those things will arrive on the dates 343 originally stated. Even the roadmap detailing what's next was three months late. That has naturally ruffled quite a few feathers, even though a blog post from 343's creative lead Jospeh Staten went into detail as to why so much of Infinite's future has been pushed back.

There's “a 'priority zero' of team health and getting ourselves into a sustainable development rhythm so that we can deliver great experiences to all of you while maintaining a healthy work/life balance,” part of Staten's post reads. Despite the lead's explanation that 343 is putting the well-being of its devs first, Infinite players aren't happy. A Reddit post highlighted by Kotaku includes a lot of negative reactions to the new roapmap, with one person even going as far as to describe it as “depressingly pathetic” and a miserable time to be a Halo fan.

As for what that road map revealed, the good news is Infinite's second season will still begin next week on May 3. The bad news is that season will last six months, just like season one, despite 343 previously claiming season two would be just three months long. Online co-op and the ability to replay missions have been pushed back to August, splitscreen co-op is now TBD, and Forge won't be getting its first beta until at least September.

Yes, the rejigged roadmap is disappointing in the short term if you're a Halo fan. Especially when things have been slow going since launch and the game's player count has dropped significantly. It's also a slower rollout for new maps and features than previous Halo games. Inifinite is the most ambitious Halo game yet though, and a large chunk of its development has happened during a pandemic. As frustrated as you may be, the reason for the delays is legitimate, and it's refreshing to see a studio sharing that it is actively attempting to maintain a healthy work/life balance for its employees. That's far better for the game and the industry in the long run.

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