343 Industries Says It Will Continue Developing Halo Games Despite Microsoft Layoffs
Microsoft laid off 10,000 employees last week, citing the current economic climate. Job cuts at the tech giant have also affected the games division. Specifically, developers The Coalition, Bethesda Game Studios and 343 Industries – the latter of which is responsible for the Halo series. The studio, which has seen a flurry of high-profile departures of late, has now taken to Twitter, to assure fans that it will continue development on Halo “now and in the future”. The development came after reports surfaced that future work on the beloved franchise was being contracted out to a third-party studio, with 343 Industries moving into an oversight role.
A report in Metro, which translates a renowned leaker Spartan’s bathrobe original board, also added that initial plans for a Halo Infinite story-based DLC had been cancelled. The aforementioned layoffs have further bolstered speculation that 343 Industries is looking to scale back its work on Halo Infinite and beyond, though studio head Pierre Hintze’s official statement paints a different picture. “Halo and Master Chief are here to stay,” it read. “343 Industries will continue to develop Halo now and in the future, including epic stories, multiplayer, and more of what makes Halo great.” The story aspect is important to note here since the report also suggested that the “main games” of the Halo franchise “will no longer have story campaigns”.
Development on Halo Infinite has been shaky to say the least, due to several delays and shifts in direction leading up to its December 2021 launch and beyond. Even without considering the layoffs, several senior departures, including those of Halo Infinite’s multiplayer creative director Thomas French and developer Joseph Staten, seriously affected the company. The latter now joins Xbox Game Studios Publishing. News of the layoffs hasn’t silenced former employees either, with many criticizing Microsoft for Halo Infinite’s messy development cycle.
Patrick Wren, who worked for 343 Industries for eight years, is one such vocal individual. “Layoffs at 343 shouldn’t have happened and Halo Infinite should be in a better state. The reason for both of these things is incompetent leadership at the top during Halo Infinite’s development, which is causing tremendous stress for those who are working hard to make Halo the best it can be,” he said. tweeted after Microsoft’s layoffs announcement.
While Halo Infinite got off to a good start, both on the campaign and multiplayer fronts, 343 Industries eventually started to get criticized for not offering enough content. The first was the long-awaited split-screen campaign co-op mode, which was not only reduced to network/online-only, but suffered delays, extending long after the beta testing periods. The mode was originally supposed to drop in August 2022, but was delayed to November and was included in the game’s winter update, which added a battle pass into the fold.