A new report from YouTuber Sean W says that Halo Infinite’s Battle Royale mode, which goes by the codename “Tatanka,” is switching to the Unreal Engine and maybe even Halo itself. Reach a new group of people.
Since Bonnie Ross left Halo, many fans have been wondering what changes might be coming to Microsoft’s flagship shooter franchise. Since last week, we’ve been looking into Sean W’s rumors, and we can tentatively confirm some of them. New reports we can at least partially confirm suggest that Halo Infinite may be going in a very different direction.
Last year, we told you that Halo Infinite would have its Battle Royale-style mode called Tatanka, made by 343i and its partner team, Certain Affinity. After the leak, CA said in a statement that it was even more committed to the Halo series, and just last week, it said that the team working on Halo Infinite was doing “great work.”
Halo Infinite has been in a bit of a mess lately. The live service leaves much to be desired, and 343i is struggling to get back to the pace of updates that live service shooters like Fortnite, Valorant, and Apex Legends usually get. This week, Blizzard is also releasing Overwatch 2, which puts more pressure on Halo Infinite to keep up.
The long-awaited Forge mode is coming to the game later this year, but the third season of content has been pushed back to Spring 2023. Season four will come even later. Many of Halo Infinite’s ongoing development problems have been blamed on its internal Slipspace Engine, according to anonymous 343i employees from the past and present.
Slipspace’s developer tools have not yet been released, according to two different sources. Descriptions paint a bleak picture for contractors and new 343i employees, who had to work with a “difficult” engine with little documentation and pipeline decay. So, these recent rumors might not come as much of a shock.
Is Halo Going In A Different Direction?
YouTuber Sean W revealed speculations and conjecture about Halo Infinite last week. Sean W stated that Halo’s Tatanka battle royale-like game might go to Unreal Engine. If it wasn’t there, this could imply dropping most of Slipspace’s efforts.
I dismissed the report. It didn’t make sense to dump 2+ years of work on Tatanka to transfer it to a new engine, but after talking to Sean W and conducting my own investigating, it seems Tatanka is ditching Slipspace or was never on Slipspace, to begin with.
The original Tatanka leak stated the game would have Halo Infinite’s Forge user-generated content capabilities and Halo Infinite’s improvements. Switching to a new engine may conflict with the design goal of including Halo Infinite content, which would remain on a different machine. Information we’ve heard suggests a more extensive Halo franchise overhaul.
Halo can convert to the Unreal Engine, used by Gears of War, Fortnite, and others. ACG’s Jeremy Penter and some of our sources validated Sean W’s account. I wanted to gather more details before reporting on Halo, but here’s what we know thus far.
We have tentative signs that this shift could affect the entire series, not Tatanka, with 343i exploring the franchise’s future. 343i founder Bonnie Ross and Slipspace architect David Berger have left the firm, so the studio may look for new ways to adapt to the fast-paced shooter industry. Service Moving to a famous engine with developed tools and experienced game developers could help Halo’s future. There’s no sign Halo Infinite is ending yet. Forge Season 3 and 4 work continues.
Speculation: Why This Could Be A Good Thing
When Halo Infinite premiered last year amid tremendous acclaim, its live service wasn’t ready. While there were misgivings about the limited maps, modes, and advancement, everyone was willing to give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt. Indeed the company that pioneered the console service game would have mastered Halo Infinite. Left?
Halo Infinite’s live service wasn’t ready. Six-month seasons are a rarity in a market when service games frequently have one-month seasons. New battle passes laden with cosmetics provide advancement and reward while maintaining competitive balance. Halo Infinite’s seasonal upgrades added fewer maps and features than other games.
There’s no sign Halo Infinite is ending yet. Forge Season 3 and 4 work continues.
Locking down a single explanation has been challenging. Some say former game director Chris Lee is to blame, while others say studio chief Bonnie Ross. Slipspace Engine has grown known for its challenging implementation in Halo Infinite comments.
Tatanka was supposed to feature Halo Infinite, and Certain Affinity received the source code to develop it. We know how Tatanka is thought to play from Halo API leaks, but if the game switches engines as claimed, it’s anyone’s guess how much of the original idea would be retained.
Tatanka could evolve to represent the next chapter of Halo as a different, standalone experience. Microsoft’s original goal was to incorporate Forge mapping tools on another engine, but they may still offer Halo Infinite cosmetics by using Halo’s social APIs.
Microsoft registered “The Endless” trademark a few months ago, indicating Halo Infinite DLC. The Endless may transition to Unreal Engine and become a standalone experience, but we can’t confirm this.
Unreal Engine is widely utilized in the game business, and Microsoft’s The Coalition and Undead Labs have vast experience with it. Microsoft and Certain Affinity have internal Unreal Engine tools and pipelines, while Slipspace is known to be difficult at best.
Microsoft’s use of contractors may also exacerbate Slipspace’s challenges, as training new personnel to utilize tools no one else in the games business employs creates a lack of speed. Speed is crucial in today’s live service gaming world.
Please take all this with a grain of salt until we have an official word from Microsoft or tangible evidence. But as the phrase goes, there is no smoke without fire, and there is a lot of smoke.
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