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343 and Halo are indeed here to stay, but not everything will be staying the same.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

January 31, 2023

2 Min Read
Key art for 343 Industries' Halo Infinite.

The Halo franchise will remain with 343 Industries. 

A new report from Bloomberg's Jason Schreier has confirmed the developer will remain on hand to create more games for the shooter franchise following reports suggesting 343 would be taken off the series. 343 later disputed those claims, saying it would "continue to make Halo games now and in the future."

Those reports came in the wake of Microsoft's mass layoffs earlier in the month, which also affected its first-party game studios. According to Bloomberg, at least 95 people at 343 were laid off, including studio veterans and contractors.

Bloomberg further said that 343 will reportedly switch to Unreal Engine 5, as the studio's internal Slipspace engine was claimed to be "the source of headaches" for staff while developing 2021's Halo Infinite.  

Several developers have switched to Unreal for their upcoming projects, and it's been said that 343's first use of the engine will be with a project made in tandem with Certain Affinity. Unreal may also be used for future Halo titles, though there's concern from some developers about its effect on how the games would feel to play.

Matt Booty, who runs Xbox Game Studios, also allegedly told remaining 343 staff that the Redmond-based developer will stay as the internal developer in charge of Halo, even as Microsoft works with "outside partners and outsourcing houses."

As far as Halo Infinite is concerned, Bloomberg stated that 343's planned single-player DLC for it had been cut, as developers (many of whom were laid off) were prototyping in Unreal and pitching future Halo games. Infinite

In an internal email, 343 studio head Pete Hintze said the plan is to now give Infinite a "robust live offering." The studio will also be focused on creating a "new tech stack" for its next project and "bringing Halo to more players through more platforms than ever before."

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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