Halo Infinite’s creative director Joseph Staten is leaving the studio
One of Halo's founding fathers has finished the fight
343 Industries’ head of creative Joseph Staten is reportedly leaving the studio following sweeping layoffs at parent company Microsoft.
Staten is a veteran of the Halo franchise who served as writer and director of cinematics at Bungie on Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2. He left the studio in 2013 after the release of Halo 3: ODST, but joined 343 Industries in 2020 to help steer Halo Infinite’s single-player campaign toward completion.
Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier reports Staten is leaving 343 Industries to rejoin Xbox Game Studios Publishing, the wing of Microsoft’s Xbox division that partners with independent studios to create and publish franchises on Xbox platforms.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Halo Infinite shake-up
📱 Halo veteran Joseph Staten is leaving 343 Industries
🆚 Previously 343’s head of creative, he’ll be rejoining Xbox Publishing
🍎 Staten was brought on in 2020 to steer Infinite toward completion
🌡️ His departure follows a huge wave of job cuts at Microsoft
Schreier goes on to say that 343’s Halo Infinite campaign team was “hit hard” by the recent round of job cuts at Microsoft. In an internal email, studio head Pierre Hintze wrote: "We've made the difficult decision to restructure elements of our team, which means some roles are being eliminated”.
Halo Infinite began what was hoped to be something of a redemption arc last November with the release of its long-awaited Winter Update. While the game’s live-service multiplayer received rave reviews at launch, much like its paid single-player campaign, it hemorrhaged players in the months after release owing to meager seasonal updates and major content delays.
The introduction of Forge beta and online campaign co-op did drum up fleeting excitement but didn’t do enough to tip Halo Infinite back into the limelight. The game is currently sitting outside the top 20 most-played games on Xbox – not the sort of position Microsoft likely wants, or expected, its flagship live service shooter to settle only a little more than a year after launch.
The game’s Season 3 Echoes Within update is expected to run from March 7 to June 27, adding new maps, game modes and a larger 100-tier battle pass. And for the time being, you can even unlock exclusive in-game goodies by buying packs of cookies.
For all its multiplayer fumblings, Halo Infinite’s single-player campaign has earnt it a spot in our pick of the best Xbox Series X games. It’s also one of the Xbox Series X 120fps games that really shows off the power of the new-gen system.
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