Microsoft has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on Halo Infinite's development, new reports from Thurrott's Brad Sams indicate.
Halo Infinite was meant to be the penultimate Halo game. Designed to fulfill Microsoft's Halo-as-a-service ambitions and serve as a direct vehicle for recurring microtransaction revenues, Infinite was supposed to be the last Halo game and span a 10-year period. The platform hasn't coalesced, though, and the game was split between a F2P multiplayer game and a premium campaign. This epic vision cost quite a bit, though; Microsoft is believed to have shelled out a big budget for years of Halo Infinite's turbulent development.
In a recent YouTube video, Brad Sams, VP and general manager at Stardock who also has close ties with Microsoft sources, says that Halo Infinite's budget could have commanded hundreds of millions.
"For hundreds of millions of dollars dumped into this thing...it's frustrating from a Halo fan's perspective," Sams said after discussing key points of Infinite's mis-steps.
Sams also talks about Microsoft's use of contractors for its games, namely with Halo Infinite, which was built from the ground up alongside the new Slipspace games engine. It also didn't help that 343i was making Halo Infinite across five Xbox consoles with different varieties of power and specifications, as well as PC, which has a veritable galaxy of part combinations.
"Then there's also the big contractors--people really latch onto this contractor idea. Using contractors in the gaming industry is not unusual. It's really not. It's happened before, it'll happen again and typically they're done for specific reasons.
"The problem on Microsoft's side is they were using it more as a life boat--we need more development time to do this and so let's just start bringing on contractors. Microsoft can only keep contractors on the books for so long. In the U.S., if you keep a contractor on the books for so long they're technically become employees. After so long you do have to cut contractors."
It's possible that the comment was an off-the-cuff remark rather than a statement backed up with data or source information, but it has long been speculated that Halo Infinite's budget commanded hundreds of millions of dollars. The original belief was that Infinite's budget was $500 million, but that was shot down by 343i's Frank O'Connor.