Halo Infinite’s downgrade between its conception and development phase has just come to light. 343 Industries made a ton of changes to the game during its development, as it was the first game in the franchise to feature an open world. Halo Infinite made a lot of changes to the first-person shooter franchise, but the open world of the game also went through a lot of changes as well.
— Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (@Official_AIAS) February 25, 2022
The team went through a lot of iterations on scope and biome variety before I joined. Even after I joined the team, we had to make choices about where to scale back.
Joseph Staten stated that the team couldn’t feasibly make a world that they had originally wanted to make if they wanted to achieve the same graphics and world depth that players were expecting from the game. Although Joseph Staten did say that 343 did make a big leap from the past Halo Infinite before and after the 2020 E3 demo are very different, and that content had to be cut.
We didn’t end up cutting that much ultimately from the open world, but I know from the original designs there was a pretty significant scaling back of what the team had hoped at one point that they could deliver on. We knew that we needed to truly deliver a quality experience [and] scope our ambitions to make sure that the stuff that we did ship met expectations.
It seems as though it took a lot to meet those expectations. While it is an open-world experience primarily designed around the next generation of consoles, players did notice that some features commonly found in an open-world game were missing. During the game’s development, Halo Infinite’s team thought to make sure that the game’s mechanics wouldn’t sit at odds with the characters and themes of the game, as well as the franchise overall.