Halo Infinite will not launch with campaign cooperative play or Forge, as announced by developer 343 Industries during a development update video.
Joseph Staten, the creative head of Halo Infinite, stated the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic put a strain on development. Much like many other development teams in the industry. This forced the team push certain features out of the game’s launch state. This included split-screen co-op for it’s campaign and the level editing (Forge).
“Unfortunately, as we focused the team for shutdown and really focused on a quality experience for launch, we made the really tough decision to delay shipping campaign co-op for launch,” Staten said. “And we also made the tough call to delay shipping Forge passed launch as well.”
However, it’s likely these features will return to the game in future. Staten specified that Halo Infinite is a “live service,” so new content will be brought to the game as time progresses. He also mentioned that 343 already has a roadmap worked up for Halo Infinite that’s in development.
“Yes, some of the things we won’t be able to do for launch, but that’s part of being a service,” Staten said. “And the good news is we have a year-long, post-launch content and feature roadmap already worked out. You know, we’re already working on those things now. So yeah, some things won’t land in a launch timeframe, but some things will just roll out over time. That’s part of this Halo Infinite journey that we’re kicking off together with fans.”
Staten added that the biggest reason for the delay for both the campaign co-op and Forge was the team’s commitment to quality.
“What is our number one priority? Well, our number one priority is making sure that whatever we ship, whenever we ship it, it meets the right quality bar across all platforms–Xbox devices, PC and 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 when they’re not ready. […] 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.”
More specifically, the team wants to release campaign co-op in Season 2 of Halo Infinite, while the Forge will be introduced in Season 3.
Earlier this month, 343 Industries also announced that assassinations also wouldn’t be making the Halo Infinite release. There are other issues the team is trying to focus on, like bots having a difficult time climbing stairs.
Despite these problems and performance reports of the game struggling on older consoles, 343 is adamant that Halo Infinite will launch this holiday season.