The decision comes almost three weeks after the first gameplay footage was revealed.

By Nick Romano
August 11, 2020 at 03:40 PM EDT
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343 Industries

The coronavirus has caused a delay in yet another impending video game title, one of the more anticipated releases of 2020. Well, now it's one of the more anticipated of 2021.

Halo Infinite, once set to drop this holiday season, has officially been postponed to next year, with the developers at 343 Industries citing complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We have made the difficult decision to shift our release to 2021 to ensure the team has adequate time to deliver a Halo game experience that meets our vision," studio head Chris Lee said in a statement Tuesday.

News of Halo Infinite's delay comes nearly three weeks after 343 unveiled the very first gameplay footage, more than eight minutes' worth, during an Xbox Games Showcase.

Lee cited "multiple factors that have contributed to development challenges, including on-going COVID-related impacts affecting us all this year." Like many other gaming studios and publishers, 343 Industries moved operations largely out of office to remote locations. Lee thanked the team "finding solutions to development challenges" but acknowledged that "it is not sustainable for the well-being of our team or the overall success of the game to ship it this holiday."

Many games this year have faced delays prompted by an array of complications, including shipping dilemmas with physical releases, troubleshooting bugs from remote locations, and having the proper technical bandwidth to sustain operations while developers work from home. The Final Fantasy VII remake, The Last of Us Part II, Ghost of Tsushima, Marvel's Avengers, and Cyberpunk 2077 are some of the bigger 2020 titles that have had to bump planned releases.

"We know this will be disappointing to many of you and we all share in that sentiment," Lee continued. "The passion and support the community has shown over the years has been incredible and inspiring. We wanted nothing more than to play our game with the community this holiday. The extra time will let us finish the critical work necessary to deliver the most ambitious Halo game ever at the quality we know our fans expect."

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