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Report: Halo Infinite's head of creative Joseph Staten departing 343 Industries

Staten joined the studio in 2020, but will now reportedly be rejoining the Xbox Publishing team.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

January 19, 2023

2 Min Read
A screenshot from Halo Infinite

It's being reported that Halo Infinite's head of creative, Joseph Staten, is leaving developer 343 Industries.

According to Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier , the veteran Halo developer will be staying at Microsoft, and is leaving the studio to rejoin the Xbox Publishing team.

The news comes after Microsoft confirmed plans to make 10,000 layoffs across its entire organization, with Bloomberg reporting the game studios such as Bethesda and 343 Industries will be affected by the wave of job cuts.

In an email seen by the publication, 343 studio head Pierre Hintze told staff the studio had "made the difficult decision to restructure elements of our team, which means some roles are being eliminated," and rumblings indicate that Halo Infinite's campaign team will be hit hard.

Staten has helped shaped the overarching narrative of the Halo franchise for more than a decade, penning novels including Halo: Contact Harvest, serving as a writer on Halo 3 and Halo: Reach, and lending a hand with Halo Wars as a creative consultant.

When the franchise was still under the stewardship of Bungie, he also doubled up as creative director on Halo 3: ODST, and eventually joined 343 as head of creative to work on Halo Infinite in 2020.

Halo Infinite, however, struggled to meet expectations at launch, with Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty suggesting the title "tripped and stumbled" out of the blocks. Staten himself, meanwhile, said the team "didn't have time" to fully realize the game's open world.

343 has lost a number of key figures in a short timespan. Last year, Halo Infinite design lead Jerry Hook, multiplayer lead Andrew Witts, art director Nicolas Bouvier, and multiplayer director Tom French all left the studio for pastures new.

Game Developer has reached out to Microsoft for more information on the scope of the reported layoffs at 343 and other Xbox studios.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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