343 Explains Why Halo Infinite Campaign Footage Wasn't Shown At Gamescom

With Halo Infinite now in the "shutdown" phase of development, the team didn't want to take precious time away to create a new campaign demo or trailer.

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Microsoft's Joseph Staten has explained why developer 343 Industries did not show any campaign footage for Halo Infinite at Gamescom. In a blog post, Staten said he "definitely hear[s] the disappointment about not seeing campaign gameplay" at the showcase.

Explaining why campaign was a no-show, Staten said the development team is now in "shutdown mode," which means work on the game's main features for launch is finished and the studio is now fixing the highest priority bugs. This is a big job that takes a lot of time and resources, and creating a new campaign demo or trailer to show off campaign would have slowed things down.

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"We're spending lots of time playing the game, verifying fixes, and generally doing all we can to ensure Campaign (and Multiplayer!) plays great on all platforms--from an original, 8-year-old Xbox One to a brand new, ultra-spec PC. This is a very challenging task, even for a large and experienced team," Staten said.

"In many ways, shutting down a game is like being on final approach to landing an airplane. And if you'll forgive a bit of aviation-geekery, the entirety of the team is essentially in a 'sterile cockpit,' which is to say: We're at a critical phase in the flight that is Halo Infinite, so it's extremely important to avoid distractions and stay focused on mission-critical tasks only."

Creating a new Halo Infinite campaign demo or a trailer takes a "huge amount of effort to do well," Staten said, adding that any work on something like that would "take cycles away from bugs and other shutdown tasks."

Staten also assured fans that just because 343 isn't showing Halo Infinite's campaign right now, that is not a reason to worry. He has already played the campaign multiple times all the way through and is now going for a 100% run, meaning completing all primary and secondary missions. To make his point, Staten shared some anecdotes from his latest playthrough.

"Every time I [replay Halo Infinite's campaign], I always find something new, tucked away on Zeta Halo. Sometimes these are quiet little bits of environmental storytelling, such as an abandoned but desperately defended Marine recon post, high on a lonely mountainside (fortunately, the Banished missed the fully loaded S7 sniper rifle that the Marines left behind)," Staten said. "Sometimes these are combat encounters with deviously polished scripting, for example: a UNSC forward operating base that seemed abandoned… until I heard the laughter and taunts of multiple, energy sword-wielding and cloaked Elites, as I stumbled into their trap."

"No matter how many times I play, Halo Infinite remains, fundamentally, super fun to play--and we're very eager to share all the fun with you through captured gameplay, trailers, and other content once we get this plane safely on the ground. But for now, it's focus-time in the cockpit as we stick the landing. Please, keep those seatbelts fastened, and thank you for your patience and support."

To date, the only campaign gameplay footage for Halo Infinite that has been officially released came in July 2020, and it was very underwhelming for many fans. The campaign demo released at the time spawned the Craig the Brute meme for its perceived poor quality, and 343 has since announced that his looks will improve.

Halo Infinite's campaign and multiplayer modes are launching on December 8 as separate products, with multiplayer being completely free-to-play. Campaign is included on Game Pass. The next Halo Infinite. beta test will include Big Team Battle and 4v4 Slayer.

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