A spokesperson for 343 told IGN that the studio has a dedicated “transmedia” team inside the company, led by Kiki Wolfkill, and that this team works independently of the game developers.
“These are two completely independent projects with dedicated teams and leadership that do not impact one another,” the spokesperson said.
The report from Brad Sams said development of the Halo TV show has been a “significant distraction for 343 management.” The report added: “Often times taking their priority instead of focusing on making sure development progress is on the right path to reaching its targeted deadline.”
The last we heard, production on the Halo TV show was shut down due to the virus.
Brad Sams mentioned in his report that a “significant portion” of Halo Infinite is being outsourced to third-party contractor studios. 343 is working with at least two outside studios on Halo Infinite–SkyBox Labs and Sperasoft–and outsourcing in general is common for AAA games. However, a source told the site that the outsourcing work on Halo Infinite is at a higher ratio than normal.
Also in the report, it is claimed that Halo Infinite’s E3 2019 trailer was outsourced to an unnamed studio. It’s also mentioned in the report that the collaborative effort on Halo Infinite from its outsourcing studios has been “challenging,” with “significant disagreements” occurring during development.
Halo Infinite’s original creative director was Tim Longo, but he left the company in August 2019. He was replaced by Mary Olsen, who also subsequently left the studio. In response, 343 released a statement saying there was “no creative dilemma” at the company.
Brad Sams also heard from sources that Halo Infinite’s engineering and marketing teams are on different wavelengths. The engineering team wants more time to get the game in a better place, he said, while marketing efforts have persisted. Even after the Halo Infinite delay to 2021, Microsoft announced a marketing deal with Monster Energy.
In total, Sams reports that Microsoft has spent “hundreds of millions of dollars” on Halo Infinite so far, spread across the investment in new technology in the Slipspace Engine, along with the regular development and marketing costs.
Halo Infinite is now coming at an unspecified date in 2021. The multiplayer portion of the game will be free-to-play, but many questions about that remain.
The delay of Halo Infinite is a big blow for the Xbox Series X, as this would have been the first time since the original Halo in 2001 that a new Halo game launched with Xbox hardware. Microsoft considered releasing a portion of Halo Infinite earlier, but decided against it.
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