Back at E3 2018, Microsoft announced an ambitious beta-testing program for Halo Infinite that would see developer 343 Industries invite people to test the game ahead of launch and give feedback to the studio. Now, the developer is scaling back some of those plans.
In a blog post, 343 boss Chris Lee said the studio remains “committed to building the game in partnership with our community,” but the company is making some changes.
“Given the unprecedented challenges of this year, we’re not quite where we expected to be in terms of broader public flighting,” Lee said. “While not the full program we had envisioned, we have been working very closely with the community on nearly every facet of the project.”
Some of the challenges that Lee is referring to here including the shift to a work-from-home setup for 343 and its development partners. Additionally, Lee said 343 has been impacted by the social justice movements taking place around the US and the world, with its team members taking time to come together and take a stand against racism.
Although 343 is scaling back its beta-testing plans for Halo Infinite, Lee mentioned that 343 worked with “confidential groups of community representatives” since the beginning of the game’s development to gather feedback around the game’s art style and story, while the studio also brought in community members to playtest the game.
While 343 can no longer commit to offering public beta tests for Halo Infinite, Lee said 343 is “assessing options for broader hands-on opportunities before launch.”
Lee also mentioned that there may be beta tests after launch given how 343 plans to grow and evolve Halo Infinite over time. “In fact, in many ways, feedback and community flighting will be even more important after launch as we partner together to continually evolve and update the game into the future,” Lee said.
343 sees Halo Infinite as a platform instead of game, and one that the studio plans to support until 2030 or later. Halo Infinite is scheduled for release this holiday as a launch title for the Xbox Series X. The game will also come to the regular Xbox One as well as PC.
For more from today’s Xbox event, check out GameSpot’s roundup of all the big news and reveals.
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