343 Industries have often stressed that launch day for Halo Infinite is just the beginning of the journey for the next Halo. That's only getting more true as they announce two big features that aren't making it in for launch. 343 got together for a development update video since the first big technical test to talk results and plans for the future. Campaign co-op and the Forge level editor are both getting kicked down the road into next year.
"Unfortunately, as we focused the team for shutdown and really focused on the quality experience for launch, we made the really tough decision to delay shipping campaign co-op for launch," says creative head Joseph Staten in the update video down here. He later describes "shutdown mode" as a period of heavy bug fixing. "And we also made the tough call to delay shipping Forge past launch as well."
Both Forge and campaign co-op getting bumped back is a pretty big bummer, honestly. I've never been a campaign Halo player myself, but my pals who are always seem to be going through in two-player pairs. Even Staten acknowledges while making the announcement that "campaign co-op is fundamental to the Halo experience." Forge, too, is a pretty beloved part of the series.
Staten says the plan is to roll out campaign co-op in Infinite's season two and Forge in season three. Halo Infinite seasons are planned to be three months long, meaning it may well wind up being mid-2022 before both arrive.
The other warthog in the room is that for all this talk of hitting features for launch, Infinite doesn't actually have an announced launch date. "We are 100% committed to releasing this holiday, both campaign and our first season of free-to-play multiplayer," Staten says, adding that there are a few details to work through before properly announcing a date.
In the meantime, 343 talk earlier in the update about plans for additional test flights coming prior to launch. They're planning for another large-scale flight, including more registered Halo Insiders than in the technical test. That flight will have bot matches and weapon drills like the tech test, and will also be adding proper 4v4 multiplayer matches and Big Team Battle matches too.
Until we hear a more definitive date, Halo Infinite is still planned to launch this holiday season.