Earlier this week, 343 Industries dropped an absolute bombshell when it announced Halo Infinite would be delayed until 2021 "to ensure the team has adequate time to deliver a Halo game experience" that meets its vision.
Since then, 343 founder Bonnie Ross has apologised for disappointing many fans while at the same time thanking them for their support and understanding. Now, the head of Xbox Phil Spencer has spoken for the first time about the delay on Gary Whitta's Animal Crossing talk show - admitting it's a bummer.
"Let me start just by recognising the fans and the fact that it is a bummer... I know it's disappointing to people, it's disappointing to us - we were looking forward to the alignment of Halo and the launch of Series X as a, you know, a really kind of seminal moment almost for Xbox - thinking back to the original Xbox with Halo: CE"
"In the end, you know, I have to make the right decision for the game, for the team and for the overall platform and I think the strength of the Halo franchise... it's a hard decision"
"We're disappointed, we know it was something people were looking forward to this year, but we're also incredibly committed to deliver a great game and I think that's the most important thing."
As stated, it's all about delivering a "great game" at the end of the day. Phil reinforced this with the following comment:
"I make the call...like I said, with hopefully the best intent in the long run for our fans and our platform."
There was even a point where team Xbox considered releasing the game in individual sections, but it didn't feel right:
“We made the decision late last week - and I say we, Bonnie Ross who runs 343, Matt Booty who runs our first party studios organisation and myself, and they came with some options, the things that we could do, maybe parts of the game we could ship on given dates, and it just didn't feel to all of us like the Halo release that we would want.”
Spencer added how he didn't like to set up expectations and then not deliver and also reiterated how the delay was the right decision in the long run:
“I’ll apologise to the fans, because I never like to set up expectations and then not hit them, but I also believe that we’re making the right decision in the long run, for both Xbox and Halo and our customers.”
"when we know, we know - let's make the decision, let's put it out so we're talking to our fans directly, be as transparent as we can be. It'll be not our favourite day, but we'll get through it - I've had bad days before - and move through it and keep working on the things that we love doing, which is building video games and delighting fans."
How are you feeling about the Halo delay a few days later? Do you think the game will be better off? Share your thoughts down below.