Xbox’s Halo battle royale reportedly axed, but Forge is to the rescue

Certain Affinity’s Halo battle royale spinoff looks to be dead in the water, but Xbox players can at least turn to this great alternative.

Halo battle royale canceled: Master Chief in a green suit of armor holding a battle rifle

The long-rumored Halo battle royale game has been canceled, according to a fresh report. The Xbox console exclusive, codenamed Tatanka, was being developed by 343 Industries support studio Certain Affinity.

During this weekend’s episode of the XboxEra podcast (via Eurogamer), industry insider ‘Shpeshal Nick’ revealed that we won’t be getting a Halo-shaped addition to the best battle royale games list anymore, as it’s been cut. Though the game was never confirmed to be a BR, in January last year Bloomberg reported that it had started its life as one, though there was scope for it to “evolve in different directions.”

In a September 2022 interview with GamesBeat, Certain Affinity COO Paul Sams said that the project had been in the works for “more than two years” at that point, with “close to 100 developers” working on it.

The move may be disappointing to many who were hoping to drop in and prove that they were the most Spartan-y Spartan. However, considering how precarious the industry is right now, particularly in the live service space, it’s unsurprising that the call’s been made. Last year Sony chopped down its list of upcoming GAAS titles, while developer Naughty Dog announced the cancellation of The Last of Us Online.

Additionally, if we’re being real here, battle royale is long past its heyday as a genre. The flurry to churn out odiously-similar shooters has, thankfully, died. Even Epic Games, developer of the biggest BR of them all in Fortnite, has looked to diversify its offering in recent times through Lego Fortnite, Rocket Racing, and Fortnite Festival respectively. All things considered, a Halo battle royale could’ve easily died on arrival.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for those who were eagerly anticipating Certain Affinity’s handiwork. A few months back, our friends over at PCGamesN reported that a team working within Halo Infinite’s Forge mode had produced its own battle royale mode for one of the best games.

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Inheritor Battle Royale comes complete with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from the genre. These include a closing zone, multiple POIs, and weapon pick-ups. Additionally, the team over at The Forge Falcons has made full use of Forge’s excellent toolset, implementing procedurally generated terrain, AI enemies, and more.

In December, The Forge Falcons announced that the project had been completed and that Inheritor’s 3.0 update is “the pinnacle of Halo battle royale possible within Forge, for now.” If it doesn’t quite take your fancy, you’re in luck. On January 10, The Forge Falcons announced that it would be giving Halo Infinite the Warzone treatment with the upcoming Reclaimer Battle Royale.

According to the group, Reclaimer is “a reimagining of Alcatraz Island/Rebirth Island from Warzone […] with a Forerunner/UNSC aesthetic.” Suffice to say, the future remains bright for Halo battle royale enjoyers, even if the official spinoff is no longer in development.

As for Infinite itself, it finally looks like 343’s on track to deliver the premier Halo experience we expected when it launched back in 2021 – at least for its multiplayer. With the aforementioned Forge mode now out in the wild, alongside plenty of new maps, modes, and playlists to get stuck into, it’s making a solid case to be inducted into the list of best multiplayer games. For more on that, though, be sure to check out Rory’s thoughts on Halo Infinite in 2024.