In a lengthy development update video released on Friday, Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries talked over the feedback from its recent multiplayer tech test (opens in new tab) and also dropped some news about the upcoming launch, covering what is and what isn't going to be in the game on day one. Some Halo mainstays, including campaign co-op and the Forge mode, will not be available on launch day.
Campaign co-op is planned for Halo Infinite's Season 2, with each of the game's multiplayer seasons lasting about three months. "Unfortunately, as we focused the team for a quality experience for launch, we made the really tough decision to delay shipping campaign co-op for launch, and we made the tough decision for delaying Forge past launch as well," says creative director Joseph Staten.
Staten says the Forge and co-op just hadn't hit the quality bar they needed to ship, so they'll fit into the seasonal post-launch roadmap. Campaign co-op arriving in season 2 means it should show up about three months after launch—assuming it lands at the start of the season and not the end. Forge is planned for season 3, meaning it will likely be added to the game about six months after launch.
Staten explains the more open-ended nature of Halo Infinite is a big development challenge in terms of "save systems and all the technology that drives this more non-linear experience, and in the co-op experience that's even more complicated. That's another reason why it's going to take longer, just to make sure it's quality."
There's still no release date, but 343 will be talking about launch date "soon." The studio is also planning another tech test soon, which will include big team battles.
Some other tidbits from the video:
- Part of the tech test's PC performance struggles were due to a misconfiguration in the .exe; fixing that means the game should see a 20% performance boost straight away, not including what other optimizations 343 works on.
- Consoles will have splitscreen multiplayer at launch, but PC won't due to technical challenges. But 343 is "absolutely excited about exploring" splitscreen multiplayer on PC post-launch.
- The dev team is currently in "shutdown mode" which means a lot of bugfixing, reviewing issues, and buttoning up the game for launch. Polish, basically.
- After shutdown is complete, they'll have more campaign and gameplay to show in the run-up to launch.