343 Industries has announced that Halo Infinite won’t feature co-op or a Forge Mode level editor right away when it launches.
This news comes after a year of delayed development for the latest version of Microsoft’s premiere sci-fi first-person shooter franchise, and the news that Halo Infinite’s multiplayer mode will be a free-to-play release that will launch after the single-player campaign.
It’s worth noting that 343 Industries seems committed to finishing these two features, which have been staples of the Halo series for over a decade now. They’re scheduled to be part of the post-launch content, currently each pegged for 3 and 6 months respectively after release.
Since the first game, players could play the campaign together on the same console, and the Forge Mode level editing system has been a recurring feature of Halo since Halo 3.
Halo Infinite will be the first game in the series to severely change the core structure of levels and combat in the series. It’s being touted as an open-world adventure, while previous games were constructed around linear, replayable levels.
The technical complications of developing co-op technology for an open world on 5 platforms (Both Xbox One devices, both Xbox Series X|S, and Windows 10), combined with the pandemic, appear to be the cause for the delay.
Halo Infinite’s multiple delays continue to showcase the challenge of developing large games that maintain popular features that are much more expensive to develop now than they were in older console generations—particularly in a studio that is apparently trying not to crunch to meet deadlines.