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Halo Infinite's issues due to mismanagement, Microsoft policies

Halo Infinite's current state is a result of mismanagement, Microsoft's contractor policies, and a huge reboot made in 2019.

Published Wed, Dec 8 2021 11:39 AM CST   |   Updated Sun, Jan 2 2022 7:11 PM CST

A new report from Bloomberg reveals what went wrong with Halo Infinite's development.

Halo Infinite's issues due to mismanagement, Microsoft policies 34 |

Halo gamers usually have one question when it comes to Halo Infinite: What happened? Halo Infinite is the first mainline Halo game to come with a F2P multiplayer without core game modes, no playlists, complete with microtransactions and a badly-designed progression system. It's also the first Halo game to launch without co-op, and other features like Forge won't be here for nearly a year.

The true is Halo Infinite's current over-monetized and content-cute state is due to many factors, including COVID-19 interruptions, the departure of key 343 Industries staff, and decisions made by "stakeholders" and both live ops and creative teams. Some of the bigger issues lie with how Microsoft and 343i run their day-to-day gaming business that were compounded by the usual rigors of games development.

According to Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, development of Halo Infinite was a conflicting process. Mismanagement at 343 Industries led to multiple teams working against one another to the point where 2/3rds of the game had to be removed in 2019. One developer told Bloomberg that 343i was "developing four to five games" instead of one single cohesive game.

This was also compounded by 343i's monetization decisions that were made with stakeholder input, which has resulted in one of the most unpopular progression systems and in-game storefronts in gaming history.

Halo Infinite was originally to be a much larger open world, but this scope was scaled back because there were too many cooks on separate projects at once--not everyone was actually working on a game that could come together.

The issues were magnified by Microsoft's contractor policy. Like many game studios, 343 Industries relies heavily on external third-party contractors to get things done. Many tasks like animation, environmental effects, and character models are outsourced to contractors. There's simply too much for any one team to do.

Unlike other companies, Microsoft has a strict policy that says contractors can only work for 18 months. After that time they have to rotate out. This constant movement of talent and workers interrupted Halo Infinite's 6-year development cycle on many occasions and amplified other problems like mismanagement, scope creep, and COVID-19.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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