Craig the Brute continues to be the only positive to come out of delayed Xbox Series X flagship title Halo Infinite, and Microsoft is embracing him.
The Xbox Series X launched without its killer app this week, but Microsoft is making the best of Halo Infinite‘s delay by embracing the Craig the Brute memes created by the title’s gameplay demo. The demo, meant to be a statement about what next-gen would look like on Microsoft’s consoles, was mostly panned by fans because the gameplay didn’t look that much better than what was already available on Xbox One. In fact, some claimed that footage of Halo Infinite looked worse than past games in the series. This all culminated in the birth of Craig, a particularly stoic Brute enemy that took off in viral images and videos throughout social media.
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Since the gameplay demo back in July, anything new related to the Master Chief has been altered to include this new “character.” The back of the Xbox Series X box famously boasts the picture of Master Chief, and the internet quickly replaced it with Craig’s mug because of the game’s delay. Craig has also been seen internally as a type of Xbox mascot by none other than Xbox head Phil Spencer, who tweeted that he was officially the face of the brand as of now.
Spencer elaborated on that tweet in a recent interview with GameSpot‘s Tamoor Hussain, saying that he and other people within Microsoft have created t-shirts with Craig’s face to celebrate the character. He says that he loves how the team at 343 Industries embraced the character because it was too funny to ignore, and speculates that he’d be around for “many, many decades” in the Halo lore. In the video version of the interview, Spencer is jovial at the mention of the character, and the love seems like a genuine attempt to jump on one of the only positives to come out of Halo Infinite‘s public unveiling and spin the PR in the right direction.
At the current moment, players can go out and buy snacks and energy drinks bearing the image of Master Chief, accruing codes and “armor coatings” for a game that may not be out for months and months. It’s a scenario that is much less than ideal, and one that is brave considering how vital Halo could have been at tipping the scales between the Series X|S and Sony’s PlayStation 5. The coming weeks will tell the story as to how important Microsoft’s first-party support really was to a console launch, and it will also likely dictate the pace that Microsoft’s many studios will be working at when it comes to their Xbox Series X exclusives.
As for Craig the Brute, one hopes that he can find a place of honor in the delayed and possibly split Halo Infinite that doesn’t also warp the narrative of the game to something different. The wider Halo universe has plenty of joke characters stretching back all the way to the secret Legendary ending of Halo: Combat Evolved. Will the final release of Infinite give Craig a voice? Will he appear off to the side in one of the semi-open world environments? Considering that Microsoft is seemingly already planning for “decades” of Halo titles, the answer is probably all of the above.
Next: Bad News For Halo Infinite As Director Leaves the Delayed Project
Halo Infinite is currently scheduled to release on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC in 2021.
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