Since Halo Infinite was revealed at E3 2018 we have heard precious little about it. The teaser trailer gave nothing away apart from the title and the apparent return of Master Chief himself.
Needless to say that fans of the long-running FPS series have been incredibly keen on finding out new information, anything from a release date to some actual gameplay would be nice.
Well, in an interview with USgamer at the DICE summit in Las Vegas, 343 industries boss Bonnie Ross decided to talk a bit about crunch and how that affects the development of Halo Infinite.
In the interview, Ross said this “That’s why we’ve taken a bit more time—usually it’s three years between every Halo—to really do the investment in the engine and the tools and pipeline, and we’re still working on it”
Ross had this to say regarding the development of Halo 4 “Yeah, with Halo 4, just given the nature of being a brand new team that had not worked on the Halo engine before, we did put the team through a really bad crunch”
Crunch is a big issue in the industry of late, especially with the poor job security offered by companies like Activision Blizzard despite the hard work of its employees.
It makes sense that going forward 343 industries would want to avoid it in order to make for a smoother release with less controversy.
Ross went on to say this about Halo 5 and crunch:
“We didn’t do that for Halo 5. It ended up being a bigger game than we thought it was and we didn’t have time. When we shipped Halo 5, it definitely was a point of, I think, crisis with the team.”
So despite promises, they have made previously it seems they fell short and still fell into crunch for it. This is the main driving force behind these answers.
On the matter of the working environment itself, of Halo Infinite Ross said this:
“But we showed it at E3 last year, and it is basically trying to create an environment that we can build the game better, faster, and ideally, you know, prevent crunch. I think there will always be with any game, I think there will be times where we need to work longer hours.
“But I think that we need to be really deliberate with that because it’s not fair to the team, and the team doesn’t want to do it. And so we’re trying to work out how do we create the best environment to hopefully mitigate that.”
We still don’t have any release information about Halo Infinite but at least we know why now. Hopefully, the more relaxed work environment leads to a better game down the line, just not this year.