Halo Infinite public beta plans have been scaled back substantially from the original plans, according to a 343 Industries blog post.
At E3 2018, Microsoft announced plans to put Halo Infinite in fans' hands ahead of launch, with a beta-testing program that would allow players to give feedback that would shape the final product. Now, however, that looks like a pipe dream.
"Given the unprecedented challenges of this year, we're not quite where we expected to be in terms of broader public flighting," creative director Chris Lee writes. "While not the full program we had envisioned, we have been working very closely with the community on nearly every facet of the project."
Lee references the work-from-home setup that has been put in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 343 members have reportedly taken time to come together in light of the social justice movements taking place globally. As a result, a massive public "flight test" seems unlikely at this point, especially with the release date of the Xbox Series X and Halo Infinite drawing ever closer. However, Lee writes that the studio is still "assessing options for broader hands-on opportunities before launch."
Keep in mind, Halo Infinite will likely be the last standalone Halo title for a decade, and 343 Industries is considering the game the start of their platform for the future. As we previously reported, there are plans to add new pieces of Master Chief's story to the game after launch, and updates to keep the game relevant as technology advances. This unique structure means there will likely be plenty of opportunities to beta test future Halo Infinite updates and features. "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 writes.
Still, it's a bummer to think about potentially not getting hands on Halo Infinite ahead of launch, especially after its presentation at Xbox Games Showcase was so polarizing. Stay tuned, as we'll update you accordingly with any Halo Infinite beta news as we get it.