This morning I woke up earlier than usual and I started to scroll through my YouTube subscription feed. I saw that the official Halo channel had uploaded a new video titled “Halo Infinite | Update september 2022“. Initially I was excited but that turned quickly to disappointment at the end of the video, hell even throughout it; but what was I expecting from a game studio that has consistently over promised, under delivers and underwhelms in what they produce in nearly everything put out. Not only that, I read their news blog post to find out a little more detail (where I could) and was equally disappointed from what I read (and lack of details).
If you go to any website that covers technology and/or video games then you will find headlines like this today:
- Ars Technica – The cancellation of Halo Infinite’s split-screen co-op changes my review
- IGN – Halo Infinite Forge Mode Gets November Release Date, But Split-Screen Co-op Cancelled
- The Verge – Halo Infinite’s co-op and Forge modes delayed to November
- Gamespot – Halo Infinite’s Split-Screen Co-Op Has Been Canceled, As Studio Focuses On Live Service
- Polygon – Halo Infinite campaign co-op delayed to winter, season 3 delayed to 2023
- Kotaku – Halo Infinite Fans Upset As Local Co-op Cancelled, Next Season Delayed
and the list goes on. The two common themes in all the articles I read were delayed, and cancelled. Those two things are what 343 love to do with Halo Infinite.
First I will get something out of the way. I am not actively playing Halo Infinite anymore due to the lack of content, the abysmal network code causing massive desync issues and a poor multiplayer experience for me, and all of the people I did play with have left the game and don’t want to return at all. I will only be returning to the events that I have not completed but other than that I am out. I’ll be finishing my season 2 battle pass and that is it for me. No season 3 and I will be watching from the sidelines for a while until I find there is some meaningful changes to the game and hopefully at 343. I will also say that I am not entitled to anything from 343. I never bought the game, I have spent money on 2 battle passes. I am just a massive Halo fan that wants to best out of the game and franchise I love so much.
A new roadmap from 343 with a massive caveat (as per usual for the company)
“Subject to change” is another way 343 can weasel their way out of adhering and committing to any deadline or ensuring that they met some obligation to completing. Just like their old road map everything is up in the air including the plans that get announced by the team. By saying “subject to change” they can chop and change as they see fit with no real repercussion because they told us that the roadmap is “subject to change”. It leaves them with an out and a way that they are not held accountable for missing anything. If you don’t know you can meet the deadline, don’t commit to including it in your roadmap.
In what world should I believe that this new road map will stick either? You have lied on numerous occasions in the past, you have continued to give false hope to Halo fans, and you have continued to break promises that you should not be breaking. I can also imagine that you are impacting the stock price of Microsoft so you are also affecting shareholders of Microsoft here. I have little to no hope that by the end of the 2022 that we will have a stable network co-op experience. The Forge mode that you are putting out is a beta and not even the final or polished version of the mode; so expect that to also have a large number of bugs and glitches. I have not played it and have not been following what insiders have been saying about the mode. If you question any of those problems that you experience though, 343 can chirp back that it is still “in beta”, so there is another excuse. The new maps that are coming in the winter update (if I read/heard correctly) are also going to be made in Forge so the quality will not even be as high as the other maps that are currently available for Halo Infinite. Cheap and quick maps to please the fans instead of actually putting in the work and creating maps from the ground up with heart and soul. Nothing in this new road map is good news.
Now onto seasons. 343 seems to not understand what a season is. They can say Halo Infinite is a live service game and want to get to a 4 season per year state but I just don’t see this happening. They can continue to say what they want out of a season until they are blue in the face but until they actually produce something of a meaningful season that is expected then I don’t believe a word they say. There is absolutely no excuse season 2 should last 10 months. How in the world has the studio gotten into such a state where they cannot even produce and provide a new season in 3 month increments? How bad is the management or project planning that there needs to be this much under the hood changes to accommodate seasons and being a live service game? Didn’t 343 already know the product was going to be a live service? What in the hell were the teams over at 343 doing for the last 5 years to have Halo Infinite in such a poor state? Also remember the game was supposed to be released a year earlier. Imagine if that did happen. This game needed to be in development for another 2 years minimum. There is no excuse from the teams working on this that they need at least 9 years (current development time and the time it still needed) to produce a quality Halo game.
Where is the apology from the heads at 343? Where is the apology from Phil Spencer on the shit show that is Halo Infinite? Neither care about Halo or the Halo community. If they did they would put their hands up and put out a video looking the fans directly in the face and beg for forgiveness, open and start a dialogue where they transparently say what has gone wrong and the steps that have been taken so that future Halo titles are not going to be affected in the same way. Someone with real leadership working on the title needs to step up and actually do this and reassure the fans because the quality of the posts and videos right now are not doing anything to stop the uproar of fans. I love Halo. I want Halo to be the best first person shooter it can be and to see it in such a state is a shot in the heart and makes me weep. The people writing the Halo blog posts on Halo Waypoint and appearing in the videos are all saying “that the team feels and understands the fans frustrations and the game is not where it should be” but all those words ring hollow right now (to me anyway).
As someone once said “Don’t make a girl a promise, if you know you can’t keep it”. 343 should listen to this and have it plastered all over the walls at offices because right now all we get a broken promises.