What you need to know
- A new report from YouTuber Sean W suggests that Halo Infinite’s battle royale codenamed “Tatanka” is turning into an Unreal Engine, and possibly even Halo itself.
- We exclusively revealed Tatanka earlier this year as a Halo “battle royale-lite” game designed to appeal to a new audience.
- Since the departure of Halo leader Bonnie Ross, many fans have been wondering what, if any, change in direction might be on the way to acquiring Microsoft’s flagship shooting franchise.
- We’ve been investigating the Sean W rumors over the past week, and we can tentatively confirm some aspects of it.
Halo Infinite may be set for a major change of direction, according to new reports that we can tentatively confirm at least in part.
Last year, we exclusively revealed that Halo Infinite was set to get its own codename that resembled Battle Royale. Tatanka, in development between 343i and partner team Certain Affinity. Following the leak, CA released a statement affirming its deeper commitment to the Halo franchise, and as recently as last week, it stated that the team is doing just that. “Major work” on Halo Infinite.
Halo Infinite has been in a bit of a turmoil lately. The live service left much to be desired, and the 343i has struggled to get back to the pace needed for updates that live service shooters generally enjoy across competitors like Fortnite, Valorant and Apex Legends. Blizzard is unleashed Monitor 2 This week, too, more pressure is piling on Halo Infinite to keep up.
The long awaited game shaping mode It’s coming later this year, but the third season of content has been delayed until spring 2023, with season four coming naturally later. In conversations with 343i former and current employees who wished to remain anonymous, Halo Infinite’s internal Slipspace engine has been blamed for a lot of issues with the game’s ongoing development. Two separate sources described the launch status of Slipspace’s developer tools as “nonexistent.” The descriptions paint a bleak picture for the contractors and new 343i employees, who had to work with a “hard” engine that was light on documentation and pipeline maturity. To that end, this latest rumor may not come as a surprise.
Report: Change in direction of Halo
last week, YouTube Shawn W He shared a video detailing some of the rumors he’s heard about Halo Infinite, along with some speculation about what could happen going forward. In essence, Sean W mentioned that a Tatanka battle royale-like Halo mode might move to the Unreal Engine. If it doesn’t already exist, this will likely mean dropping a lot of the work that’s already been done on Slipspace.
At first, I crossed out the report. It didn’t quite make sense to give up more than two years of work on Tatanka to move it entirely to a new engine, but after talking with Sean W and doing some digging myself, it definitely looks as if Tatanka was either giving up Slipspace, or wasn’t on Slipspace. Absolutely from the start.
Information I received during the original Tatanka leak earlier in the year indicated that the game was supposed to include content systems created by Halo Infinite’s Forge user, along with progression from Halo Infinite itself. Ostensibly, switching it to a new engine would likely be incompatible with the design goal of incorporating Halo Infinite content, which would continue to exist as a completely separate engine. But the information we have received may indicate a broader change in direction for the Halo franchise.
It looks like Halo is already preparing for a wider switch to the Unreal Engine, which is known for games like Gears of War, Fortnite, and many others. Shawn W’s report was also confirmed by Jeremy Pinter from ACGIn addition to some of our own sources. I wanted to gather more details in an effort to paint a more complete picture of what’s going on with Halo now before creating a report, but here’s what we know so far.
Some details about the concrete plan remain a mystery, and we have some tentative indications that this change may extend across the entire franchise as well, and not just Tatanka, as the 343i prepares to explore the future of the franchise. With 343i founder Bonnie Ross and Slipspace architect David Berger absent with the company, the studio appears eager to explore new ways to adapt to the fast pace of evolution in the world of service shooter games. Moving to a more popular engine with mature tools and, perhaps most importantly, high levels of experience from the game developer workforce, could be the key to knowing the future of Halo.
At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be any real indication that Halo Infinite itself is about to end. The development on Forge does not stop, nor does the development in the third or fourth season.
Guessing: why this might be a good thing
Halo Infinite’s live service simply wasn’t ready when the game launched to acclaim from fans and media alike last year. While there were reservations about the relatively meager offering of maps, modes, and progression, everyone seemed keen to give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt — surely the company that pioneered the idea of a console service game would get Halo Infinite nailed? right?
Fast forward to now, and we know that Halo Infinite Live simply wasn’t ready. Seasons of six months are an anomaly in an industry where service games operate frequently one month Seasons, with new battle passes filled with cosmetics that provide a sense of progression and reward, while maintaining a competitive balance of tact. Halo Infinite’s seasonal updates were also somewhat lacking, adding small amounts of new maps and features compared to other competing games.
To say the least about the difficulty of telling an individual account of why it is so difficult. Some of the people I’ve spoken to blame former game director Chris Lee, while others blame studio head Bonnie Ross. A consistent area of irritation rests on the Slipspace engine, however, which has become somewhat infamous in the suspension surrounding Halo Infinite for its difficult execution.
I know from the information and conversations I’ve had about Tatanka that the game was supposed to include Halo Infinite, and Certain Affinity has received the Halo Infinite source code to build its implementation. We know from the leaks in the Halo API some parts about how to play Tatanka, although if the game is indeed switching the engine as rumored, then basically anyone is guessing how much of the original plan will be kept.
Rather than represent the continuation of Halo Infinite, it is possible that Tatanka eventually grows to represent the next phase of Halo itself as a completely separate and independent experience. On a different engine, it might spoil Microsoft’s original plan to integrate Forge mapping tools, but they could still bring the cosmetics of Halo Infinite by taking advantage of Halo’s social APIs.
Microsoft . is registered “Endless” trademarked a few months ago, which seems to be referring to some type of downloadable content for the Halo Infinite campaign. There were some Possible suggestions That The Endless may switch over to the Unreal Engine as well and become a standalone experience, although we’re unable to confirm anything about The Endless at this time.
The Unreal Engine is widely used in the gaming industry in general, and the in-house Microsoft teams from The Coalition to Undead Labs have a wealth of experience with the tools. Microsoft and Certain Affinity also have in-house tools and pipelines for working with the Unreal Engine already built in, at a time when Slipspace is widely rumored to be problematic to work with at best. Microsoft’s use of contractors will also likely complicate issues with Slipspace, since training new hires to use tools literally nobody in the gaming industry creates creates a speed deficit — and speed is absolutely fundamental in today’s world of live service games.
Of course, I’d caution against taking all of this with a pinch of salt until we get some kind of official statement from Microsoft, or some form of tangible physical evidence. But as the saying goes, there is no smoke without fire, and now there is a lot of smoke.