Halo Infinite, the next game in Microsoft’s long-running franchise, will launch on December 8th. The date appeared on the Microsoft Store today and a source familiar with Microsoft’s plans tells The Verge that December 8th is accurate. Later in the day, Microsoft officially confirmed the date during the opening of Gamescom, and showed off a new cinematic trailer you can see above.
Microsoft had originally planned to launch Halo Infinite alongside the Xbox Series X / S in November 2020 but delayed the game to fall 2021 due in part to the challenges of game development during a pandemic.
Halo Infinite’s development has clearly been bumpy, and Microsoft even assigned Bungie veteran Joseph Staten to head up development of the game nearly a year ago. While we haven’t seen a great deal of campaign gameplay since the infamous Craig meme was born last year, the first multiplayer technical preview looked and felt just like the Halo that fans will enjoy playing.
The official launch date comes just days after 343 Industries revealed Halo Infinite won’t launch with campaign co-op and Forge. Cooperative play with friends should arrive in season two of Halo Infinite, approximately three months after launch. The Forge mode, that allows Halo players to customize and share maps, won’t arrive until season three of Halo Infinite, around six months after launch.
Halo’s campaign co-op and Forge mode are popular parts of the franchise, so the news understandably disappointed fans. But the main Halo Infinite campaign and multiplayer mode is launching on December 8th, so fans will get a taste of new Halo in less than four months.
Microsoft is also shipping a new Halo Infinite-themed Xbox Series X console and a companion Xbox Elite controller with Halo Infinite styling alongside the new game, it announced today.
Update, 2:38PM ET: Added Microsoft’s official confirmation at Gamescom and mentions of the new Halo themed console and controller.