Former Halo Infinite Dev Blasts Management Over Layoffs

Former Halo Infinite Dev Blasts Management Over Layoffs

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Image: 343 Industries / Microsoft

Of all the Microsoft teams caught in the blast radius mass layoffs announced yesterdayits possible Halo Infinite manufacturer 343 Industries was among the hardest hit. The studio faced a wave of subsequent departures Halo Infinite’many players are struggling and the new cuts have drawn strong criticism of those who got him into this mess.

“The 343 cut should not have happened and Halo Infinite should be in better condition,” ex Halo Infinite multiplayer designer, Patrick Wren, tweeted Wednesday night. “Both of these things are due to incompetent management at the top at times Halo Infinite development, causing enormous stress to those working hard to make Halo the best it can be.”

At this stage it is no secret that Halo Infinite faced with a turbulent development cycle, from constant a rotating cast of directors to long delays after a game reveal was slammed online for its crude-looking graphics. Former studio executives too earlier hinted at periods of crisis on the project, while a Bloomberg report detailing developers’ struggles with the game’s engine and problems with Microsoft’s reliance on contract workers who constantly filter out of the studio instead of full-time staff. “The contract stuff is a whole other can of worms that pisses me off,” Wren tweeted last night. “So many amazing people and talents that just disappeared.”

It’s extremely rare for game developers to talk openly about the problems they’ve witnessed in past projects, let alone openly share their opinions about how a team or studio is run. Ren who left 343 Industries just before Halo Infinitelaunched in 2021, went on to praise his former colleagues and their efforts to deliver on the game’s full multiplayer promise.

“The people I worked every day with were passionate about Halo and wanted to make something great for the fans,” he tweeted. “hey helped push for a better Halo and got laid off for it. Devs still there are working hard on that dream. Look at Forge. Be kind to them during this awful time.”

The harsh criticism came after Microsoft announced 10,000 jobs would be cut across the tech giant’s operations, including gaming, despite reporting “save results” last year, including $83 billion in operating income. The night before the company Top managers are said to have been busy serenade by Sting at personalized concert in the Swiss Alps.

Meanwhile, as reports from my city and others spilled that Xbox studios ranging from The Coalition to Bethesda were affected by the layoffs, as the day progressed it became clear that 343 Industries was facing particularly brutal layoffs as many developers Halo Infiniteincluding some very high profile, shared the news on social media that they had been affected.

Even before yesterday’s layoffs, 343 Industries was facing wave after wave of high-level departures as Halo Infinite struggled to ship new seasonal updates and features on time. Most notable was the departure of studio head Bonnie Ross last September. More recently, multiplayer director and longtime halo veteran Tom French revealed he leaves in December. And yesterday, amidst the chaos, Bloomberg reported that director and longtime Halo writer, Joseph Staton, focused on the publishing side of Xbox’s business as the studio made the “difficult decision to restructure.”

Even more unfortunate, this latest setback for the studio comes after a rare bright spot Halo Infinitelive service after launch: the creator mode of Forge. After the cancellation of split-screen co-op, many fans saw it as an opportunity to save the game allowing players to make their own maps and modes. And so they have, with creations inspired by everything from The Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim to Pokemon. Some of them are the most positive Halo Infinite players have felt since launch, but that’s exactly how the game’s future is once again uncertain.

When Halo Infinite was first revealed in 2020, 343 Industries studio head Chris Lee called it “the beginning of the next 10 years halo.” A few months later, he left to join Amazon.

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