Halo developer 343 Industries will retain Master Chief and Cortana under its roof, but reports of deep cuts to the Halo development staff call into question the studio’s ability to sustainably develop future Halo content.

This saga started last week, when we found out that Halo Studio has had an impact as if Microsoft plans to lay off 10,000 people. Ever since the news broke, speculation has been rife about Microsoft’s plans, including its flagship franchise. Rumor Microsoft could transfer Halo development to another studio entirely, leaving 343 Industries in a production role. These rumors prompted 343 Industries to stop the rumors at the end of the week.

343 Industries’ studio head Pierre Hitze He shared a message on Halo’s official Twitter account.Writing, “Halo and Master Chief are here to stay. 343 Industries will continue to develop Halo now and into the future, including epic stories, multiplayer and more that make Halo great.”

But for the studio that is difficult to connect Halo infinite Release dates most of the time, can the recently cut 343 big-budget, AAA first-person shooter franchise continue to thrive? It’s hard to say.

IGN reached out to Xbox representatives, but declined comment ahead of publication.

‘Hit hard’

IGN has learned that 343 of Halo’s development team has been heavily discounted. One former 343 worker estimated that about a quarter of 343 workers were affected by layoffs, although this is not a hard statistic. We’ve learned that about 30 people have been let go from 343’s art department alone, with former employees saying 343 Industries “affects all positions.”

Meanwhile, at least one high-level source familiar with the inner workings of 343, but not with the studio, has told IGN that it is moving into a publishing group. However, based on conversations IGN has had with knowledgeable sources, the situation at 343 appears to be ongoing, and there’s growing—if not confirmed—belief that 343 won’t be Halo’s sole developer at the time of the settlement.

A look at the LinkedIn profiles of other freelancers reveals the success of people working on Halo Infinite’s engine, rendering, VFX, gameplay, game design, and other important departments. 343 is clearly a very different studio compared to seven days ago. Additionally, 343 Industries has been dealing with the growing pains of launching a live service game since last year’s whirlwind of highs and lows since Halo Infinite’s initial release.

Despite a strong start to the end of 2021, Infinite included praise for both A fresh take on the Halo campaign and franchise’s First free-to-play multiplayer, cracks began to appear quickly. Fans immediately backed off Infinite’s controversial multiplayer progression systemas a 343 had difficulty in repairing the shop and battle pass.

But the problems did not end there. Cancel split screen collaboration, Long delays to Forge ModeAnd Long content drought In the first seasons of Halo Infinite. After just five months, it looks like the beginning of Halo’s big comeback, the The community was impatient..

343 saw a creative exodus after a quick start, with 343 Founder Bonnie Ross, Multiplayer creative director Tom FrenchAnd Lead Narrative Designer Aaron Linde All will leave the company in 2022.

Former senior multiplayer designer Patrick Wein, now working on Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, was unsympathetic in a Twitter post with his review of 343’s leadership.

“343 cuts shouldn’t have happened and Halo Infinite should be in better shape. The reason for both of these things is the lack of leadership during Halo Infinite’s development, putting a lot of stress on those who are working so hard to make Halo the best it can be,” Wren wrote.

With those origins, 343 faces another creative vacuum at the top, with the director of Halo Infinite Joseph Staton left 343 and rejoined the Xbox edition. Staten’s return to Halo was always designed to be a Temporary arrangementBut his departure is causing concern among the Halo faithful.

Regardless of what happens with Halo in the future, it’s clear that Halo Infinite’s original 10-year plan isn’t playing out the way Microsoft intended. For now, Halo Infinite Season 3: Echoes Within is still set to launch in early March, bringing new maps, modes and weapons to the game.

Additional reporting by Kat Bailey.

Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN covering video game and entertainment news. He has over six years of experience in the gaming industry at IGN, Nintendo Wire, Switch Gaming Magazine and Lifewire. Find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.

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