Former Halo Infinite developer calls out “incompetent leadership” after 343 layoffs
Shots have been fired at Halo Infinite’s departing creative director.
A former Halo Infinite developer has publicly criticized the leadership of the game on social media following layoffs at 343 Industries. Microsoft has recently laid off around 10,000 employees in a wave of downsizing that has affected every aspect of the company, including staff members from Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda.
Related: Microsoft lays off a massive wave of 10,000 employees, including staff from Xbox & Bethesda
According to Bloomberg, the layoffs include people in 343 Industries, which has been the custodian of the Halo series since 2011. Some of the roles within 343 Industries have been eliminated entirely. One staff member who has been repositioned within the company is Halo Infinite creative director Joseph Staten, who has been moved to Xbox Publishing. The layoffs have prompted a response from Patrick Wren, former senior multiplayer designer on Halo Infinite, who has criticized the “incompetent leadership” of Halo Infinite throughout its development.
The layoffs could be seen as a lack of confidence in Halo Infinite, especially as there are now going to be fewer people working on new content for the game. It’s no secret that Halo Infinite has faced a lot of issues since launch, which doesn’t even count the botched reveal or the delay that came from it. The single-player campaign in Halo Infinite was highly acclaimed, but the game was missing a ton of features at launch, and the multiplayer has faced criticism since it went live, thanks to a litany of technical issues and a progression system that gives players little reason to come back. A lot of this blame has been laid at the feet of 343 Industries, at least by the fans, and cutting down the staff is a bad sign for Halo Infinite.
The future of the Halo franchise is looking shaky, at least under 343 Industries. Halo Infinite’s development issues have been public knowledge throughout its production, to the point where former staff members are openly discussing them on social media. We could imagine that Microsoft is at least considering moving its flagship first-person shooter franchise to another one of its studios in the hope of avoiding a similar disaster with the next iteration of the franchise, but such thoughts are pure fantasy at this point.