Ever since Bungie parted ways with Microsoft and the Halo franchise, Xbox's flagship series hasn't been the same. Halo 4, Halo 5, and The Master Chief Collection all failed to perform as well with critics as past games, and the latter suffered from severe technical issues for years. Halo is Xbox's most important franchise, and so it makes sense for the company to go all out to ensure that the next game in the series, Halo Infinite, lives up to expectations and avoids the pitfalls of its predecessors. And a new rumor suggests that Microsoft and 343 are truly going all out for the next Halo, to the tune of a $500 million+ budget.
According to German website Xbox Dynasty, Halo Infinite's development budget is over $500 million, and that is for development costs alone. This would make Halo Infinite the most expensive video game project ever produced, with a larger budget than even Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2. Xbox Dynasty doesn't provide proof to back up its claims, so fans should take this with a massive grain of salt, but it would make sense sense if other rumors about Halo Infinite turn out to be true.
There are rumors that Halo Infinite is an open world game, and open world games tend to have larger budgets than other titles. We also know that Halo Infinite is using a new engine called Slipspace, and the development of that engine was likely an extremely expensive prospect.
Combine that information with the rumor that Halo Infinite is a launch title for the next Xbox, and the possibility of such a massive budget seems a little more believable. After all, if Microsoft is releasing Halo Infinite on Xbox One, PC, and a newline of hardware, it potentially has a much larger audience size than if it were just releasing on the Xbox One by itself. This may make the company more likely to break the bank funding the game.
Xbox's game-streaming service would also benefit from a major exclusive game like Halo Infinite, which could be even more incentive for the company to give the game a record-breaking budget. Microsoft is facing tough competition from Google Stadia, and signs point to Sony being more aggressive about game-streaming with the PS5 as well, so it would make sense for the company to push its streaming service with a killer app right out of the gate.
There's also the possibility that Halo Infinite is going to be a live-service game. Even though it's still considered Halo 6, using the word "Infinite" in the title suggests that it could be a game that's supported on a long-term basis. If so, maybe Microsoft would feel better about giving the game such a massive budget.
Of course, there could be absolutely nothing to this rumor, and Halo Infinite may have a budget more in-line with past Halo games. Fans should find out more when Halo Infinite is shown at E3 2019.
Halo Infinite is in development for PC and Xbox One, and is rumored to be in the works for the next-generation Xbox consoles as well.
Source: Xbox Dynasty