Halo Infinite Remains On Track for 2020 Release Even Though Xbox Management Acknowledges "Unique Challenges"

Xbox's first-party studios are facing "challenges and constraints" in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, even though Halo Infinite currently remains on track to launch this year.

March 27, 2020

It seems like only a matter of time until upcoming games that are set to release in 2020 start getting pushed back a bit as the coronavirus pandemic around the globe has forced many developers to now work from home. When it comes to the team at Xbox, specifically, it sounds like many of the publisher’s first-party studios have had difficulty pivoting to these new development pipelines, even though Microsoft has taken safety into account above all else.

Courtesy of GameSpot, Xbox Game Studios Head, Matt Booty, has stated that both first-party developers under Microsoft’s umbrella, in addition to third-party partners, have definitely been affected by new work schedules as a result of COVID-19.

“We know that gaming connects people during times of social distancing, and we are committed to delivering the highest quality Xbox Game Studios games for our global community of players. At the same time, the health and safety of our XGS development teams is our top priority,” Booty said of the ongoing happenings at Xbox’s studios around the globe. “Each studio is facing unique challenges and constraints depending on its particular location, and many of our external development partners around the world are similarly affected. We are supporting our studio leaders to make the right decisions for their teams and their individual games during this challenging time.”

Reading between the lines with what Booty is saying, it definitely seems like development plans for projects that are associated with Xbox Game Studios could be impacted to a significant degree because of what is happening in the world. While Booty doesn’t mention any specific developers or games that might be specifically affected by the coronavirus, it’s clear that plans behind the scenes for Xbox Game Studios have been changing.

As of now, though, Xbox’s most notable release of 2020, 343 Industries’ Halo Infinite, is still slated to arrive later this year alongside Microsoft’s new console, the Xbox Series X. Microsoft has verified that Halo Infinite remains on schedule to launch in Holiday 2020, but didn’t go as far to provide any more specifics into the window in which the latest entry in the series is planned to launch.

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However, depending on how long this pandemic continues to affect the world, these plans could absolutely change. In fact, 343 Industries itself previously confirmed in a blog post that the coronavirus has impacted how the studio is able to operate right now. “We’re removing all the obstacles in our path and tracking well, but need to be mindful of our current limitations and understand that the coronavirus situation may get worse before it gets better. Rest assured that every single one of us is doing everything in our power to continue developing and delivering quality Halo experiences while we adjust to this new way of life,” 343 expressed. “Beyond all of that though, please remember that this is bigger than games and bigger than Halo.”

While video game release plans in 2020 are absolutely of much less importance in comparison to everything else that’s happening around the globe right now, it’s definitely intriguing to see how this situation is affecting each publisher individually. Hopefully, the whole world will be able to get this pandemic under control sooner rather than later allowing for society, and video game release schedules, to get back to some sense of normalcy.

The Xbox Series X is still on track to arrive later this year at a yet-to-be-decided date and price in the Holiday 2020 window.

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Logan Moore

Logan Moore is the Managing Editor around these parts and enjoys the video game Super Mario Odyssey.

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