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Halo Infinite delayed until 2021 because 'it is not sustainable' to release this year

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Halo Infinite has been delayed until 2021, meaning it will miss the Xbox Series X launch later this year. This is a massive decision that leaves Microsoft in a considerably weaker position when it comes to software – but the reasoning given by studio head Chris Lee makes sense. 

"The decision to shift our release is the result of multiple factors that have contributed to development challenges, including the ongoing COVID-related impacts affecting us all this year," Lee says in a statement. 

"I want to acknowledge the hard work from our team at 343 Industries, who have remained committed to making a great game and finding solutions to development challenges. However, it is not sustainable for the well-being of our team or the overall success of the game to ship it this holiday."

Halo Infinite was revealed last month, though it was criticized in some circles for not looking nice enough. A couple of really bad screenshots didn't do the game any favors. More time in development is ultimately the right call – it just makes the Xbox Series X a less enticing purchase at launch.

Here's the statement in full from Microsoft: 

This leaves Microsoft without a flagship launch game going into its now-confirmed November release date. Games like The Medium and Scorn are still set for launch, according to an accompanying blog post from Microsoft, but they're not as big a draw as a new Halo game.

The PS5, meanwhile, will have Spider-Man: Miles Morales later this year, as well as Deathloop from Bethesda.