This would be only one year after previous creative director for the game, Tim Longo, was reassigned, leaving the campaign development of Halo Infinite in the hands of Mary Olsen, who would then leave 343 in October 2019.
The most pertinent piece of information for Halo fans was the news that the game would now release in Fall 2021, a full year after its initial launch date. While no specific date was given,
The lengthy blog post details improvements which the team have implemented since the announcement of the delay, including a section where they directly reference “Craig”, a lifeless enemy prominent in the demo that became the lightning rod for much of the online mockery.
Neill Harrison, Director of Art Management at 343 said of the internet’s favourite brute: “There’s been further work done on the material fidelity and more variety added for Brute faces, we’re also working to add some hairdos and beards which was something we hadn’t gotten to in July. So, whilst we have come to love our dear old Craig, he’s certainly undergoing a significant makeover.”
Also in the blog post were new details from the live team about how the ongoing support for the game is going to work.
While the team confirmed that the game would not feature loot boxes, the controversial “coatings” system would remain. Whereas in previous Halo games armour customisation amounted to RGB colours that players could pick from, coatings are more substantial skins that give armour different textures and patterns compared to the original flat colourful designs of the early games.
This has not gone down well among fans, many of who believe this is limiting creativity and player-led customisation.
Although there won’t be loot boxes, coatings will be available for purchase as well as being attainable through gameplay. The first of which has been available for some time via promotional cans of Monster energy drink adorned with Master Chief since Summer 2020, a deal put in place before the delay of Infinite, leaving the cans as promotional relics of a game that you can get armour for, but not play for a year.