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The recent string of layoffs at 343 Industries was the breaking point for several former staff members.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

January 19, 2023

2 Min Read
Promo art for Halo Infinite.

Former 343 Industries staff are using Twitter to air their grievances with Microsoft. After the Halo Infinite developer was caught up in Microsoft's recent 10,000 layoffs, the ex-employees turned their ire towards the studio's parent company. 

"The layoffs at 343 shouldn't have happened and Halo Infinite should be in a better state," said former multiplayer designer Patrick Wren. "The reason for both of those things is incompetent leadership up top during Halo Infinite development causing massive stress on those working hard to make Halo the best it can be."

Tyler Owens, previously on 343's studio operations team, added that Microsoft's business practices and policies is "slowly killing the thing I love. [...] They set Halo up for failure."

Halo Infinite's development was reportedly troubled, and the game underwent multiple soft reboots and regime changes before its December 2021 release. Its development was in such a rough state that longtime series veteran Joe Staten joined the team to help get things in order. But that came with its own drawbacks, such as losing split-screen and a full open world.

Staten, following the 343 layoffs, is reportedly leaving the developer to rejoin Xbox's overall publishing team.

The departure of Staten marks another high-profile exit for 343. Last year, the developer lost several key members, including founder Bonnie Ross, design lead Jerry Hook, and art director Nicolas Bouvier.

Last year, Xbox Game Studios' Matt Booty acknowledged the troubled launch of Halo Infinite and said that it would recover. While the game is in a stronger state now with the addition of Forge and much needed updates, the studio behind it deserves to be in a similar position of strength instead of facing frequent upheavals.

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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