One noteworthy absence from Gamescom's Opening Night Live show was any gameplay footage of Halo Infinite's campaign.
Instead, we got a fancy cinematic introduction of the game's first season, along with the leaked 8th December release date.
But in a post on 343's Inside Infinite blog, lead writer Joseph Staten explained that the team is currently in "shutdown mode" as they polish the game for final release.
"[Shutdown mode] means we're done with feature work and focused on crushing high-priority bugs. We're spending lots of time playing the game, verifying fixes, and generally doing all we can to ensure Campaign (and Multiplayer!) plays great on all platforms - from an original, 8-year-old Xbox One to a brand new, ultra-spec PC. This is a very challenging task, even for a large and experienced team."
Crucially, this also means the developers can't be exposed to outside interference: "[W]e're at a critical phase in the flight that is Halo Infinite, so it's extremely important to avoid distractions and stay focused on mission-critical tasks only," Staten continued. "For Campaign, that means putting maximum effort into ensuring the wide-open, adventure-filled experience you'll all get to play on December 8th is as great as it can possibly be. And gameplay demos and trailers not only take a huge amount of effort to do well, they also take cycles away from bugs and other shutdown tasks."
The community has been on edge recently as it was announced that Infinite won't have campaign co-op or Forge at launch. There were fears the game wouldn't be ready by the end of the year or would release in a poor state. The latest blog post appears to be a direct response to these concerns, in a bid to alleviate them.
Halo Infinite is set to be released on 8th December on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.