Halo Infinite is Microsoft's upcoming and highly-anticipated entry in the Halo franchise. While the game was initially supposed to be a launch title for the Xbox Series X|S consoles, it was delayed following a lukewarm reception to gameplay reveal. Although the title does not have a firm release date anymore, it is slated for a release in 2021.
Although plans in game development are always subject to change, Microsoft has already stated that it wants its upcoming title to be a "platform" that grows over time, and that there are no sequels currently planned.
That said, in a recent interview with Kotaku, apart from explaining why Microsoft doesn't need to put games on PlayStation to recoup its $7.5 billion purchase on ZeniMax Media, Xbox executive Phil Spencer also stated that the company is open to the idea of releasing Halo Infinite in parts. That is, releasing the campaign and multiplayer modes separately if one is complete before the other, rather than bundling them as is done traditionally. Spencer went on to say that:
Bonnie [Ross, head of the Halo franchise] and the team will go drive those decisions. But I think we want to make sure people feel like they have a Halo experience. I think we can look at options like that. [...] So, yeah, I think that’s something to think about, but we want to make sure we do it right.
The executive also highlighted that the development team would have to cater to the structure of the game as well as the narrative if this discussion is taken.
While Spencer's statement doesn't confirm that Halo Infinite's release will be going down this path, it does indicate that this is at least one of the options that the development team might be considering. If the company does pull the trigger on releasing the game in parts rather than in one go, it will be interesting to see how its audience adapts to the formula. It is quite likely that if people are put off by their experience with one mode, they'll be put off by the whole experience, but of course, the vice versa is equally possible too.
If successful, a staggered rollout would also give Microsoft the option to indeed grow Halo as a platform as it intends. The multiplayer mode could act as a standalone which the company updates, improves, and grows over time, whereas the campaign mode would be solely narrative-focused, allowing the firm to flesh out the Halo story even further in future iterations.
That said, we would like to know: what are your opinions on this matter? Should Microsoft release Halo: Infinite's game modes separately if one is complete before the other or should it stick to the more conventional approach of a bundled release? Let us know in the comments section below!