Halo Infinite delays worth it as game had the biggest launch in the series

Xbox Series X/S Halo Infinite dynamic background
(Image credit: Microsoft)

In its most recent earnings call, Microsoft revealed that Halo Infinite had the biggest launch of any Halo game to date.

It later publicly confirmed this via Twitter, adding that more than 20 million people have begun playing Halo Infinite since it launched last month.

As transcribed by VGC, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also mentioned that Game Pass has attracted at least 25 million subscribers across Xbox and PC.

It's no doubt thanks to Game Pass that Halo Infinite enjoyed such a successful launch since it was made available on the service on the same day as release, meaning anyone with a Game Pass subscription could download it at no extra cost.

Overcoming the odds

What makes this especially impressive is that Halo Infinite didn't have the smoothest development cycle.

The game was initially slated to launch alongside the Xbox Series X|S in 2020. But after a rather maligned July preview that was immediately mocked for its less than impressive visuals, Microsoft opted to delay it to 2021; a bold move considering it cost the new Xbox console its killer app.

The free-to-play multiplayer mode wound up being released about a month earlier than the planned December 8 release date and although it garnered a mixed response, it was already proving popular back then.

343 Industries has since been making improvements, adding additional modes and tweaking battle pass progression, and there is still plenty left to come.

The single-player campaign is currently lacking co-op and, unlike previous games, Halo Infinite launched without Forge mode, which lets players create and customize their own maps. These are currently slated to coincide with season 2 and season 3 of the multiplayer respectively.

Michael Beckwith

Michael is a freelance writer with bylines at the Metro, TechRaptor, and Game Rant. A Computer Games Design and Creative Writing graduate, he's been passionate about video games since the Game Boy Color, particularly Nintendo games, with Xenoblade Chronicles being his favorite game ever. Despite everything, he's still a Sonic the Hedgehog fan.