Something happened during a livestream dedicated to the upcoming updates for Halo Infinite Season 2. The stream was interrupted – hacked – to show an encrypted message from an artificial intelligence company called Lux Voluspa. Then the developers at 343 Industries continued to talk about new armor coming to the game as usual.
It was staged, of course, just a bit of fun mid-run viral marketing to keep fans on their toes. The Halo developers immediately started play shyly, and many fans speculated that the short clip was related to narrative elements that 343 will incorporate into Halo Infinite’s multiplayer mode. But a few others had a different reading: Could it have something to do with a battle royale mode?
I don’t think there’s a strong connection there, but that doesn’t mean battle royale is out of the picture. Based on a report from our colleagues at Windows Central and other recent evidence, it seems likely that Infinite will get its own battle royale mode down the line.
Who is watching the #HaloInfinite live stream? What was that “leaked” video that just popped up that they didn’t talk about?! #Halo ⬇️⬇️⬇️ pic.twitter.com/4NWytVB26SApril 27, 2022
Is a Halo Infinite Battle Royale mode coming?
It looks like Infinite will be entering the Battle Royale game. In January, Windows Central reported that Certain Affinity, a development studio that contributed to Halo Infinite as well as several previous Halo games, was working on a new game mode, named Tatanka. Was Tatanka a battle royale? This was unknown at the time, but Jez Corden of Windows Central has since added more details: The mode has been in development at Certain Affinity since the spring of 2020, with a focus on bringing in new players.
The new mode could be an evolution of Halo 5’s “Warzone”, a 24-player team mode that also featured light PvE elements with bots. It seems likely that it will feature the now-standard closing circle that defines most battle royale games, but details are still sketchy. And whatever Creative Affinity is working on is certainly bigger than the Battle Royale-esque Last Spartan Standing mode introduced in Season 2.
We have more supporting evidence that Tatanka, regardless, is in active development, however. In April, Certain Affinity tweeted that he is “deepening” his relationship with 343 and that he “has been tasked with evolving Halo Infinite in new and exciting ways” while promoting new job openings. Certain Affinity is also working on Infinite’s Forge mode, but it’s clearly got some new stuff on the way as well.
Alright, so, battle royale when?
We don’t know – it may launch with Season 3 in November 2022, but Certain Affinity will also be busy releasing and improving Forge mapping tools. It seems plausible that the rumored battle royale mode could release next year, but it would make a big splash if it landed on Infinite’s first anniversary this year.
But wait, didn’t 343 say that Halo Infinite wouldn’t include battle royale?
Yes, but that was a long time ago. In July 2018, 343 writer Jeff Easterling said, “I’ll tell you right now, the only ‘BR’ we’re really interested in is ‘Battle Rifle’. But four years is a long time, and the multiplayer of Halo Infinite itself changed significantly during development 343 prototyped an Overwatch-esque hero shooter approach for Infinite, as confirmed by a former dev. That mode didn’t work out, but it’s fair to say that 343 is interested in trying things out with Infinite beyond the classic arena shooter form. What he was developing and saying publicly in 2018, three years before his release, will naturally be very different from what he was in 2022.