Unannounced Halo Battle Royale Project Said to Be Cancelled

Halo has had a period of tumultuous recent years under the development umbrella of 343 Industries. The iconic Xbox franchise, that laid down the blueprint for first-person multiplayer shooters during its heyday, has faltered with recent releases. Halo Infinite, which came out in 2021, received critical acclaim at launch, but fans cooled off on the title as 343 scrambled to push out timely seasonal multiplayer updates to keep players hooked. While Halo Infinite saw a resurgence in player count when its season 5 content launched late last year, the game’s unannounced battle royale mode has reportedly been cancelled.

The information comes from XboxEra co-founder Shpeshal_Nick — as reported by Eurogamer — who went on the XboxEra podcast Monday and said that long-gestating Halo battle royale project, codenamed Tatanka, was rumoured to be no longer in development. “I got a DM about it last week, that Tatanka has been cancelled,” Nick said on the podcast.

The Halo infinite battle royale mode was being co-developed by Certain Affinity. Back in April 2022, the developer had said it was deepening its relationship with 343 industries. “We’ve been part of the Halo franchise for more than 15 years and we’re honored to say we are deepening our relationship with 343 and have been entrusted with further evolving Halo Infinite in some new and exciting ways,” Certain Affinity had said. And while 343 has remained tight-lipped about the battle royale mode, Certain Affinity had hinted at the same in late 2022, confirming that the company had been the development lead on the unannounced Halo project for more than two years with close to 100 developers working on it. “It’s something big and new for the franchise. But I can’t say any more about it,” Certain Affinity COO Paul Sams had told Venture Beat in September 2022.

Reacting to the information from the XboxEra podcast, video game historian and leaker Liam Robertson also confirmed the cancellation of the Halo battle royale project in a post on X Tuesday. “I talked about this last year and I can back this up. I researched it a bit. However, I think it was cancelled even earlier than this claims but yes, it was 2022,” he said.

Early last year, in the wake of a spate of layoffs at Microsoft that impacted developers at The Coalition, Bethesda Game Studios, and 343 Industries, the Halo maker had assured fans that it would continue development on the franchise “now and in the future.” This came after rumours that claimed development on future Halo games were being handed over to a third-party studio, with 343 Industries being moved to a supervisory role.

343 Industries also saw a flurry of high-level departures since the release of Halo Infinite, hinting at instability at the studio. 343 founder and lead Bernie Ross, who had worked on Halo titles for 15 years, stepped down in September 2022. The studio also went through restructuring, with Bryan Koski, who previously took care of marketing for Halo, becoming GM of the franchise, while Elizabeth Van Wyck heading business and operations.

Halo Infinite received its Season 5: Reckoning update in October last year, bringing two new maps, a reimagined Halo 4 Extraction mode, a new 50-tier Premium Battle Pass and other additional content. The season 5 launch also introduced new updates to Forge, the Halo mode that allows players to create and edit multiplayer maps, bringing in the ability for players to populate their custom maps with friends and foes from the Halo Infinite campaign.

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