Future of Halo Infinite in Jeopardy?

Halo Infinite could be in more trouble as Joe Staten, Head of Creative for the game, has left for another position.

By Jason Collins | Published

Halo Infinite

The future of 2021’s Halo Infinite might be in jeopardy as Microsoft’s massive restructuring extended to the company’s gaming division. This includes the developers of Halo and the previously delayed Starfield. And while the restructuring comes at a difficult time for Microsoft, considering its troubles with finalizing the Activision Blizzard (ABK) acquisition, many fans believe that all is now lost for the Halo franchise, which has had a rough year.

Those concerns stem from the fact that Joe Staten, the Head of Creative for Halo Infinite, is leaving the game’s development studio, 343 Industries. To provide more context, Joseph Staten was instrumental to the success of the Halo franchise while it was developed by Bungie—a studio now owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment. The news about his involvement in 343 Industries’ Halo was very well received by fans, who are now sad to see Joe go.

However, Bloomberg reports that the now former Head of Creative isn’t going far; he left 343 Industries to join Xbox Publishing. This could lead to Halo Infinite running into some trouble.

The news regarding Staten’s departure was first shared by the head of 343 Industries, Pierre Hintze, who stated that Microsoft had to make a difficult decision to restructure certain elements of the company, including the gaming division and its first-party studios. He shared news about Staten’s departure, adding that the studio will continue to support Halo Infinite, especially the troubled multiplayer component of the game, as well as its live service elements. The resulting impact on the future of the Halo gaming franchise remains to be seen.

halo infinite

The decision to restructure the gaming division isn’t the only change happening within Microsoft. It’s actually a minor part of a much greater restructuring effort by the company, which is currently cutting some 10,000 jobs as it seeks to reduce costs amid a broader economic slowdown. This affected the development staff at Bethesda Game Studio, currently working on the aforementioned Starfield, as well as staff at 343 Industries.

Some of the staff working with Halo Infinite who lost their jobs at the studios were actually industry veterans who have more than a decade of history with Xbox gaming development.

This is certainly disheartening news, and the scale of the job cuts in the gaming division isn’t clear-cut—so the number of people affected remains unknown at the time. According to 343 Industries’ former employees, the studio has received a particularly hard blow and has lost over 60 of its employees. As rumors now suggest, because of losing Joe Staten, and more than one-third of its workforce. 343 Industries will be forced to halt the development of Halo Infinite single-player mode, which aligns with the studio head’s previous statement.

Microsoft revealed its plans to hire staff, but in more strategic, competitive areas, such as AI development and machine learning. The company listed the global economic slowdown as the main reason for the restructuring, but it also reported nearly $200 billion in revenue as it continues to pursue the ABK acquisition for nearly $70 billion. As for the fans of Halo Infinite, some are disheartened by Joe Staten’s departure, while others commend his decision to rejoin Xbox Publishing, calling 343 Industries a sinking ship.