'Halo Infinite' Early Release: People Are Convinced The Xbox Game Will Drop in November

Fans are speculating that Halo Infinite's multiplayer could be released several weeks early, thanks to various leaks, convincing deductions and a Pringles promotion.

For a bit of context, the game was originally meant to be a killer app for the Xbox Series X and was going to launch alongside Microsoft's console in November 2020. Following a less-than-stellar response to its E3 preview, however (many were disappointed with its outmoded graphics and lack of next-gen innovations), it was delayed by over a year, so that the team at 343 Industries could whip it into a better shape.

It wasn't until Gamescom 2021 that a new release date for the first-person shooter (FPS) was revealed. During the conference, gamers learned that the Halo Infinite experience would be split into two - with its online multiplayer being distributed separately to the campaign as a free-to-play title - and that both halves were launching simultaneously on December 8.

Now, due to compelling evidence that has been unearthed online, people are beginning to wonder if that might not the case anymore. Here is why some are convinced that Halo Infinite's multiplayer component is releasing early.

Why 'Halo Infinite' Multiplayer Could Be Releasing Early

The rumors began circulating on Friday, when Twitter accounts @NatetheHate2 and @HaloDotAPI both reported that the multiplayer experience would be launching on November 15, in order to coincide with the anniversary of the very first Halo game.

While these claims were unsubstantiated at first, evidence quickly started to pile up from there. Data miners went through the Xbox Store product page with a fine-tooth comb and discovered that the pre-order release date for Halo Infinite was indeed listed as "2021-11-15".

Xbox store data for Halo Infinite multiplayer 👀 pic.twitter.com/HYxtEfco8M

— Adam Fairclough (@EvilBoris) November 12, 2021

Meanwhile, excited fans noticed that if you googled Halo Infinite on your phone, then a timer would display in the search engine counting down to November 15. Likewise, Pringles were hosting a promotion on their website (entitling you to double XP in the multiplayer) that was doing the exact same thing.

Thanks @Eskieas for bringing this to our attention. The Pringles Halo Infinite promotion page is now confirming Halo Infinite early launch too! pic.twitter.com/bcHft6GFQw

— HaloHub (@HaloHubGG) November 13, 2021

It is worth noting that both of these countdowns have now been removed, but that only added fuel to the fire. As per the Streisand effect, fans are now convinced that Microsoft is trying to cover up authentic leaks, so that they can reveal the information themselves during their upcoming Xbox anniversary celebration.

Speaking of which, if Halo Infinite's multiplayer is going to launch early, November 15 would be a great day for it. Not only is there a special Xbox livestream taking place (which would be an ideal opportunity for making this announcement) but it's also a date with a great deal of significance for the Halo brand. After all, the first game in the series was released 20 years ago today, so it makes sense to do something big to mark this occasion.

Meanwhile, because Halo Infinite's single player campaign is a separate product, it can still adhere to its December 8 launch date. The multiplayer component was always going to be free to play, so retailers like GameStop won't be stocking it anyway. As such, an early release won't negatively affect them or interfere with their distribution plans in any way.

And Why It Might Not

As tempting as it is to get caught up in the hype, it is worth managing your expectations when it comes to the prospect of an early release for Halo Infinite.

For a start, most of the evidence listed above is no longer available. The Pringles and Google countdowns have each been taken down, the Microsoft Store listing has been updated to December 8, and even the initial leakers are starting to hedge their bets.

On the subject of the latter, @HaloDotAPI followed up their original tweet by indicating that the Halo Infinite multiplayer will actually be launching later than they first assumed and that they might have jumped the gun a little.

I may lose 100 bucks because the Multiplayer will drop few days later but at least servers are already up... Which is nice 📃 🚀 #HaloInfinite https://t.co/n1H5MmYjRh

— HaloDotAPI (@halodotapi) November 14, 2021

Finally - while it makes sense from a sentimental, anniversary celebration perspective – the timing of this release wouldn't be ideal on a commercial level. The game's Xbox stablemate Forza Horizon 5 has barely been out for a week, and Microsoft will want both of these major blockbusters to have time in the spotlight, without one cannibalizing the other's player base.

Furthermore, Battlefield 2042 is scheduled to come out at the end of the week and EA Play Pro members are already immersing themselves in it via early access. It would not benefit either Halo or Battlefield (two juggernauts in the FPS market) if they were to release within days of each other, and the former would be able to much more easily dominate the charts if its publisher just waited until December.

Either way, it will not be too long before we find out for definite what is happening. The current thinking is that, if an announcement is imminent, then everything will be revealed during the Xbox anniversary livestream. For information on when this will be broadcast and how to watch it, click here.

At the time of writing, both the single player and multiplayer portions of Halo Infinite are officially scheduled for release on December 8. They will be available as part of the Xbox Game Pass service at launch.

Newsweek has contacted the Xbox PR team for comment on this story but has yet to receive a reply.

Halo Infinite Multiplayer Key Art
Image shows key art for the "Halo Infinite" multiplayer experience. 343 Industries