Halo Infinite was initially supposed to launch alongside the Xbox Series X|S. But what should have been the ultimate launch game for the console eventually came out over a year later than initially planned. We later learned that the devs cut nearly two-thirds of Infinite's original content during this time, but it now appears that 343 Industries was glad to make the decision.
“The level of balance that we’ve gotten to and the pacing and stuff like that was really helped by the extra year of development that we had,” said character director Steve Dyck in a conversation with VG247. “The easy trap to fall into would’ve been to say: we’re adding. Adding, adding, adding. But right out of the gate we were like – nope, if anything, we’re removing stuff to get a better sense of pacing and flow and an all-out better-feeling game. That was huge.”
The extra year gave the team time and space to figure out and drill down on the best aspects of the game, while at the same time removing content that seemed extra. The team made sure not to add extra bosses, enemies, or weapons just for the sake of it, but used the time to "craft and polish" the things that were already there.
“A year ago, you could play the game. It’s true, it wasn’t finished, but most of the stuff you see today was in it – it just wasn’t as polished. [The delay] really just gave us those opportunities,” said associate creative director Paul Crocker. "We were supported to make that decision. Which, it’s incredible, to have that level of support. It’s not as simple as the thing we’re working on [at 343] – there’s a whole organization around it [in Microsoft], as we all know.”
It's this fine tuning that took place during the extra year that eventually made Halo Infinite one of the biggest games of 2021. It also featured at number two spot on TheGamer's cumulative Game of the Year list. It proves that delaying a game – even by an entire year – is better than putting out an incomplete or unpolished game.
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