Credit: MicrosoftMountain Dew and Doritos are going to have to delay their promotional campaigns. Halo community director Brian Jarrard announced on the series forums Monday that public testing for the PC version of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which is supposed to debut sometime this year, has been delayed.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection does exactly what it says on the tin (or aluminum can) by gathering all the games in which series protagonist Master Chief appeared. The collection came out for Xbox in 2014, but Microsoft didn't even announce it would arrive on PC until March 12, 2019. It revealed that the games won't be released all at once. Halo: Reach arrives first, then Halo: Combat Evolved, followed by Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4. These releases would allow Microsoft to bring the main Halo games to Windows 10 before the next entry, Halo Infinite, finally makes its debut.
Jarrard tweeted on April 1 that if all went according to plan, the first public tests of Halo: Reach would arrive this month. On April 17, he said that the tests might not debut this month after all, and on April 29, he confirmed that public tests wouldn't arrive before May.
On the Halo Insider forums he said, "At this point I'm not even going to attempt to share another 'target timeframe' for the first public flighting beyond saying that the 343 publishing team and our partners at Ruffian and Splash Damage are working hard to get the pieces in place to support flighting as soon as possible."
It's not clear what exactly caused the delay. Jarrard said in the forum post that "this is a really complicated project, and we all agree that quality trumps everything else and we need to bring MCC to PC at the bar Halo fans and PC players expect and demand," which is "turning out to be more challenging than first anticipated in some aspects while there's been great progress and work done in plenty of other areas."
Maybe it's harder than anticipated to bring a series designed primarily for consoles to PC; maybe dragging games released over a decade ago to modern platforms isn't an easy feat.
We should know more about how the PC version of Halo: The Master Chief Collection is coming along before too long. Jarrard said a blog post describing the development progress made in April is "ready to go" and should be published today.
PC gamers have waited five years for Microsoft to collect the most important entries in its best-known series to PC in a single collection; delaying public tests a bit probably doesn't seem like that big a deal. Just don't say that to all the junk food marketing execs waiting for a new Halo game to exploit.