Earlier this week, Tim Longo, Creative Director of Halo 5 and Infinite, left 343 industries. There was no word on why he left, only that he was no longer with the company.
A few weeks back, a hiring ad was posted that was for a “live design lead” position at 343. One of the responsibilities was to design “AAA player investment” which is a fancy way to say the game will have micro transactions.
This combination of news lead to a lot of concerns. Was Infinite doomed? Is this game in trouble because one of their lead devs left? Another game with micro transactions?
There’s a lot to unpack here, but I think the biggest reason for “panic” from fans and others is because we don’t really know much about the game.
To give a quick summation of what we know; it will be after the events of Halo 5, it will focus on the Master Chief, it will be on a new engine and feature an art style that is inspired by the original games. That’s pretty much it for the core of what the game is.
We don’t know how the game looks in real time, we don’t know if the gameplay builds on Halo 5 or goes in a completely different direction. We don’t know what the game is, period.
The lack of information we have on the game leaves a lot of room to fill in the blanks. When the creative director of a team leaves, and we haven’t seen any gameplay, it’s easy to connect the dots and say that the game is a mess and it’s going to be Anthem all over again.
Again, we don’t know what’s happening. Maybe the game is going so well and they have a great marketing plan in place and just haven’t started it yet. Maybe the game is a disaster and they’re holding off showing gameplay until the last second. Both types of speculation are what happens when there’s no information.
The only thing I know is that Halo 5 released roughly 46 months ago. This has been the longest amount of time in between major Halo releases.
I want Halo Infinite to be amazing, and I think it very well may need to be for Halo to make a significant resurgence. Infinite will launch with Project Scarlett, and simultaneously launch on the Xbox One and PC. This game will have the most reach of any Halo game, and it will have the eyes of the entire industry on it.
I don’t know what is happening with Halo Infinite, and I can’t sit here and speculate either way. The lack of information can be maddening, but I can’t assign good or bad connotations to the lack of something. I don’t know what it means when a lead developer on a game leaves. It could be bad, but I just don’t know.
Halo Infinite is scheduled to launch Holiday 2020. That’s about 12-16 months from now. It’s safe to say we are probably going to see something sooner rather than later. I don’t know when exactly that will be, but when it does, hopefully we can all exhale and judge what we see.
I hope what we see blows everyone away, but until that point, I just have to wait and hope it lives up to expectations.