Halo Infinite was announced Sunday during Microsoft's E3 2018 press conference but left many excited Halo fans with unclear expectations. Most prominent among them was confusion over when Halo Infinite would arrive, since no release window was revealed. A new rumor, however, points towards an interesting plan in the works at Microsoft, potentially splitting Halo Infinite's single-player and multiplayer into two different games.
According to the website Thurrott, an insider source claims that Halo Infinite will split and release its single-player and multiplayer modes independently. The single-player mode, focusing on Master Chief and continuing from the ending of Halo 5: Guardians, will launch in late 2019. The Halo Infinite multiplayer will then launch after, assumedly in 2020.
While this news should absolutely be considered a rumor until proven otherwise, the source does have some credibility. They apparently leaked the title of Halo Infinite, as well as its announcement during E3, well before the event itself. And even if the rumor is accurate now, that doesn't mean it's reliable going forward. Microsoft could change its mind in-between now and release. But it's still an interesting strategy to consider.
What would it mean if Microsoft did split up Halo Infinite's single-player and multiplayer aspects? It could mean that Microsoft will sell each facet of the game separately, or even release the multiplayer half free-to-play. It could mean that Microsoft is building a multiplayer that's too big to fit into the expectations typically associated with what's normally bundled into a single-player game. Or it could just mean that development with the new SlipSpace engine requires a bit more time to work the kinks out of.
Perhaps the best takeaway from this rumor, along with all of the others spreading since Halo Infinite's announcement, is that no one really knows what to expect. It has been almost three years since Halo 5 was launched, so a studio the size of 343 Industries could reinvent Halo if that's what it wanted to do. That multiplayer might launch some time after Halo Infinite's single-player is likely the least of the differences fans can expect from what's coming next.
Halo Infinite has no currently announced release window or supported platforms.