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Microsoft recruits Certain Affinity to help with Halo Infinite

Even the Master Chief needs help sometimes

an image of Master Chief from behind, standing at the opening of a spaceship bay with blue light flooding in, in Halo Infinite Image: 343 Industries/Xbox Game Studios
Joshua Rivera (he/him) is an entertainment and culture journalist specializing in film, TV, and video game criticism, the latest stop in a decade-plus career as a critic.

Halo Infinite was a nigh-perfect renewal of the Halo franchise. The game has a fun and expansive campaign and well-tuned multiplayer, in a package that hearkens back to the halcyon days of Xbox Live and the sound of power shields charging up. It’s also been slow to add new content to its excellent-but-troubled multiplayer mode, but help seems to be on the way in the form of Austin studio Certain Affinity, which has been hired to assist 343 Industries in “further evolving Halo Infinite.”

The news comes via the briefest of posts on the Certain Affinity site, which notes the studio will be “deepening our relationship with 343.” Founded in 2006 by Max Hoberman, the former multiplayer and online lead for the Halo series, Certain Affinity has carved out a niche as a support shop, largely assisting in the development of games in the Call of Duty and Halo franchises.

Certain Affinity’s hiring appears to be in step with recent comments from 343 about the Halo developers’ efforts to expand in order to meet the demand for more agile updates and a faster cadence of content. Responding to fans on Reddit, Brian Jarrard, community director at 343, spoke quite frankly about the “challenges and constraints” the studio is facing in supporting Infinite.

We’re certainly not happy to be unable to meet player and community expectations, it’s a difficult situation that’s going to take the team time to work through. Right now the focus is on S2 and we’ll have more to share on that in the coming weeks. Meanwhile a lot of production planning, costing, planning, hiring, etc. is all happening which doesn’t really lend to detailed regular updates. We understand the community is simply out of patience and frankly, I think understandably tired of words. We just need some time for the team to get the details sorted and then we can certainly share as much as we can.

Following an exciting launch, the conversation around Halo Infinite has largely deteriorated into community frustration with a lack of new content and an unsatisfying seasonal model. These frustrations have been compounded by the decision to continually delay big features like campaign co-op and the Forge map editor, and lengthy outages sidelining an entire multiplayer mode.

Getting Infinite up to speed will be a long and slow task for 343 and partners, but the studio is positioning forthcoming Season 2 — dubbed Lone Wolves — as the first small step, with two new maps, new multiplayer modes, and a bevy of tweaks.

Halo Infinite Season 2 launches on May 3.

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