Halo series stewards 343 Industries have given a rather sombre update on the state of Halo Infinite’s future, and there’s a lot of delays and cancellations. The game’s campaign network co-op, season 3 of multiplayer, and Forge mode have been pushed back, and couch co-op outright cancelled. And if there’s one thing about Halo that you don’t mess with then it would seem that’s couch co-op.
The problem seems to be that players identify the Halo series with couch co-op. That’s got some going as far as calling Infinite a game “held together with duct tape and broken dreams”. Others are just disappointed that they won’t be able to play co-op with their family. Halo Infinite is the first open-world game for Big John Halo though, so you can argue that the series is having to move with the times. At least the campaign network co-op is still coming, which is a feature Katharine's been waiting on for months so she can finally play Infinite the way she wants to.
Despite the fairly predictable dissension among the Halo community thanks to a long-promised feature being dropped, others have questioned whether fans are just overly nostalgic about the whole splitscreen thing. However, it’s been pointed out that 343’s founder and head Bonnie Ross had committed to the Halo series always featuring splitscreen in the future, on stage at the DICE 2017 event. Ross made the comments after fans reacted negatively when Halo 5 skipped including it. You can see what Ross said for yourself:
Halo Infinite’s campaign network co-op is still set to arrive this year though. That’s now scheduled for November, way overshooting the proposed August launch date pencilled in back in April. Forge mode’s open beta, which was meant to arrive this month, is also now meant to be coming in November. Season 3, dubbed Echoes Within, now won’t see the light of day until March 2023. 343 are now staging a Winter Update between November 8th and March 7th that features campaign network co-op, Forge’s beta, and mission replay. Two new maps are also incoming: Detachment and Argyle. Remember to try before you deny.
Halo Infinite Season 3 begins on March 7th and runs through June 27th 2023. You can see the full, updated roadmap for Halo Infinite here. I’ve got to admit that I’m old enough to remember the days when couch co-op was a big deal, so seeing a series such as Halo walk away from that is disheartening. It just might not be that relevant after two decades.