Former Halo Infinite developer criticizes 343 Industries’ ‘incompetent leadership’ following layoffs

The future of Xbox's biggest franchise remains unclear

Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite’s future looks bleak.

Following widespread reports of layoffs at Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries and Halo veteran Joseph Staten leaving the studio to rejoin Xbox’s publishing team, a former developer has criticized the studio’s leadership.

Patrick Wren, a former senior multiplayer designer on Halo Infinite who is now working on Star Wars Jedi: Survivor at Respawn, doesn’t cite specific leaders in his tweet but has harsh words for the developer’s top management.

Wren goes on to remind fans to be kind to the remaining developers working on 343 Industries, highlighting those who pushed “for a better Halo” were laid off for it.

Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier first reported that Joeseph Staten, the game’s creative lead, is leaving 343 Industries to return to Xbox Publishing. Back in 2020, Staten was brought in to solve many of Halo Infinite’s key issues, including the game’s lack of online co-op, new multiplayer content and poor communication from the studio to fans.

It’s important to point out that it’s not entirely out of the ordinary for Staten to be leaving 343 Industries and returning to Xbox’s publishing division. In the past, he’s has been brought in to help push games over the finish line, and in the case of Halo Infinite, there’s a possibility his work in that regard is complete.

While Halo Infinite’s situation has improved drastically over the past few months — online co-op is finally available, Forge launched and content updates are arriving at a faster pace — the game still doesn’t offer what most would consider a “live service.”

According to Schreier, 343 Industries was “hit hard” with layoffs, though it remains unclear exactly how many employees have been cut from the studio. Starfield developer Bethesda also suffered layoffs. Microsoft announced that it will cut 10,000 jobs over the next two months, slashing roughly 5 percent of its overall workforce.

It’s no secret that I’ve played Halo Infinite a lot over the past year and a bit, so this news is disappointing to me. The game suffers from undeniable issues related to a lack of new content, but the underlying multiplayer mechanics and single-player campaign are the best in the series since 2007’s Halo 3.

It’s unclear what these layoffs and Staten leaving the studio mean for the future of Halo Infinite, but the situation doesn’t look good. Microsoft and 343 Industries have not released an official comment regarding these reports.

Source: @jasonschreier, @Witdarkstar