Two of Halo‘s most popular features will not be available when Halo Infinite launches. The campaign co-op and forge modes will be delayed and therefore not shipping with the game, 343 Industries stated via an update video on youtube. This decision was made to allow the developer to focus on having both the single-player and multiplayer components finished in time for a release this holiday season.
During the said update video, creative Joseph Staten confirmed that both modes would be held back, owing to the studio being “100 percent committed” to the release window offered for Halo Infinite during E3 this year. Staten stated:
Unfortunately, as we focused the team for shut down, and really focused on a quality experience for launch, we made the really tough decision to delay shipping campaign co-op for launch. And we also made the tough call to delay shipping Forge past launch as well.
Campaign co-op has been a fixture of the franchise since the early days and ultimately helped it succeed as well as it did on the original Xbox. Forge mode first saw its inclusion in the game series in Halo 3 but has since proven very popular. It allows players to create custom game modes by customizing the map, rules, and more. Many official game modes first saw inclusion as a fan-made mode using Forge.
During this Staten stated that they plan to release these features with games seasonal structure. While the game will launch with season 1 of multiplayer. The plan is to release the campaign co-op as part of season 2, with forge added as part of season 3. He also stated that they plan to release a new season every 3 months, placing both modes firmly in the 2022 timeframe.
Discussing the complications that arose when it came to co-op, Staten stated:
On the co-op side, we have the opportunity to play the campaign all the time, it’s this wonderful, open, non-linear take on the Halo campaign. It’s going to offer so much more flexibility to take down Banished bases from all different angles, to progress through the game in your own way. At the same time though, that’s complicated. When you think about save systems and all the technology that needs to drive this more non-linear experience, and in the co-op experience that’s even more complicated.
The game has yet to set a firm date for release outside of “Holiday 2021”. Community Manager Brian Jarrard has stated that the studio is actively getting close to announcing a firm date. For now, they are still actively rolling out multiplayer test flights.