Evidence Mounts For Early ‘Halo Infinite’ Multiplayer Launch On November 15 – Forbes

Last night I wasn’t out doing fun things on a Friday, I was staring at my computer for eight hours, trying to make sense of a flurry of rumors about something that would be one of the larger gaming stories of the year, if it was true.

The current rumor, which is starting to be backed up by a growing pile of evidence, is that Halo Infinite is going to launch its free multiplayer component three weeks ahead of the stated December 8 release. If you believe the theory, Halo Infinite will instead be released on Monday, November 15.

Some clues here can be debunked, others could be tough to trust, others are…harder to explain away.

This mainly started when a cluster of leakers started making separate claims that this November 15 launch was happening. Among them were NatetheHate, declaring it outright, and HaloDotAPI, sharing a multiplayer image with the date attached.

While I’ve never heard of these leakers before this, that got the ball rolling. The 15th, a Monday, is an odd time of the week for a surprise drop like this, but it’s also the 20th Anniversary of the release of Halo: Combat Evolved and the Xbox itself, giving it significance to Microsoft and the Halo brand, and a reason they might do it. Xbox already has an announced 20th Anniversary show planned on Monday at 10 AM PT, and what better time to spring a surprise like this?

After the rumors started, things began to pop up in weird places. On Google, if you search for Halo Infinite on mobile, there’s a countdown to November 15, as it says the game launches in two days. I think I can explain that one away because about 10 months ago, a date was listed for Infinite’s release before it was ever actually announced, and it was the 20th Anniversary on the 15th. A bunch of sites ran with that back then, and I think that’s how it got into Google’s system there.

I can’t…really say the same for what some people found datamining the Xbox store, where the 11-15-21 date appears listed under “PreOrderReleaseDate.” This has echoes of an undated “Early Access Edition” of the game that was found a little while ago. You can already pre-order and even pre-download the game, so I don’t know what else that would be referring to.

So, let’s keep going. Microsoft or Xbox has said nothing to push back against this since the rumors started, even behind the scenes when I’ve asked for comment. That’s a bit unusual. Yes, in the past Microsoft has said that they were not splitting Halo multiplayer and the campaign up, but that was more in regard to say, one being delayed a few months, I think. More recently, Halo’s Joe Staten said the following:

“That’s right, it’s a big year and for this twentieth anniversary we might have something a little special up our sleeves.”

Granted, Microsoft is doing a lot of Anniversary stuff already, like a Halo-themed Xbox released on that day, but still.

Then there’s another leak report, this time from Halo Hub, which says they were able to get into accessible 343 data to find text strings like “ Halo Infinite Season 1 “Heroes of Reach” starts on November 15th” and actual dates for season launch events:

  • Week 1: Nov 23rd – Nov 29th, 2021
  • Week 2: Jan 4th – Jan 10th, 2022
  • Week 3: Feb 1st – Feb 7th, 2022

Like unless they are just straight up lying, as are the other leakers who claim inside knowledge, it’s hard to discount this completely.

Is there any reason to think this is not happening, other than at baseline, it seems kind of far-fetched for Microsoft to pull a fast one like this? The main reason I can think of is that it might upset a few people, namely, the Forza Horizon 5 team who has had a killer launch, and would see a ton of players peel out to go play Halo instead. And Microsoft partner EA has Battlefield 2042 in Early Access now, with the full launch next week. Real bad timing to drop a rival multiplayer shooter bomb like this on top of them, though remember, Battlefield wasn’t supposed to come out now, as it was delayed, and if Microsoft was planning this, it’s probably been a while in the making.

Finally, there’s one plain piece of evidence: Halo Infinite multiplayer is…ready. The multiplayer has always felt further along than the campaign, and after a year delay, the technical tests showed essentially zero real problems and like it was ready to launch the next day. So why not three weeks early? It certainly seems capable of that.

I am mostly convinced this surprise Monday Anniversary launch happening at this point. Some of these things could be misleading or explained away, but all of it put together is pretty compelling. Absolutely stay tuned for either more evidence or an early announcement. And you may want to reconsider your Monday plans, just in case…

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