343 Industries’ Joseph Staten has confirmed that Halo infinite campaign co-op won’t release until May 2022 at the earliest. This ties in with the previous statements that the delayed feature will release during Season 2 of the post-launch content plan, which will now be coming six months after launch.
The statement came during an interview with Eurogamer, the Head of Creative at 343 referring back to the original feature delay when saying, “At the time that we talked about campaign co-op and Forge I said our goal is to ship campaign co-op in Season 2 and our goal is to ship Forge with Season 3.
“Yes, we are extending Season 1, so our goal still remains what I said before, which is to ship campaign co-op with Season 2 and Forge with Season 3. But those remain goals. Those remain targets. And we can’t commit to any hard dates right now, because as we’re seeing with this multiplayer beta, other things might move up in the priority stack for us.”
343 obviously need to keep things quite fluid at this time, as they brace for the full launch of their sci-fi shooter epic on 8th December. Kind of. The Halo Infinite multiplayer has effectively been released, despite Microsoft labelling it a beta. You can play all of the maps and modes, you are able to spend money on a battle pass, and the quality is such that you can consider the game to have released. However, there’s is clearly space for 343 to iterate and improve the game from initial feedback, and they have done so by making changes to the challenge-based progression system.
There is a sense that the campaign and other parts of the game are coming in hot, though. The Halo Infinite campaign was revealed for the first time in July 2020, showing off the more open world and combat against the Banished. However, it received an awful lot of backlash for the graphical style and polish. It wasn’t long until Microsoft took a decision to give the studio more time to refine and polish their product, giving Halo Infinite a new 2021 release window. With working from home and a need to avoid the kinds of stories about excessive crunch at the studio, they’ve given 343 as much time as possible while still holding to that release window.
Yet, even with the added time, Halo Infinite will ship without campaign co-op and without the Forge creative mode, both being cut from the launch version so that the team could focus on only what’s vital to include. In announcing that Season 1 would last six months instead of three, 343 emphasised the need to take their time and not overwork the team, especially around the holiday period when many will be taking time off. Co-op and Forge are not, it seems, trivial things to enable, especially with the campaign having a much broader world design than ever before. Again, it’s disappointing, but given the goals for this game’s release, it’s likely the right approach to take.
Halo Infinite will release on 8th December for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC.