In a bombshell announcement, Microsoft stated that it will lay off 10,000 people. Halo Infinite’s 343 Industries has been impacted, according to reports, and veteran developer Joseph Staten is reportedly exiting to rejoin Xbox Publishing.
Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier broke the news of Staten leaving and noted that 343 Industries was “hit hard” by Microsoft’s layoffs. Staten has a storied legacy in the Halo franchise. He helped pen the stories for Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, and more. In 2020, 343 Industries announced that Staten was back to help the team “get [Halo Infinite] to the finish line.”
Staten’s departure from Halo Infinite isn’t entirely unexpected. The original 343 Industries blog post announcing Staten’s support stated he would help “for a bit,” suggesting that Staten’s presence on Halo was temporary.
Microsoft won't share specific numbers, but several employees have told me that 343 Industries was hit hard. This comes in the wake of a long-running hiring freeze and a lot of contractor departures— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) January 18, 2023
Other 343 Industries workers have started taking to Twitter to announce their layoffs. Christopher Blohm, Design Lead at 343 Industries, announced his departure from the studio after “twelve years at 343 [Industries] and 23 years at Microsoft.”
According to Bloomberg’s report, both Bethesda Game Studios–developer behind Starfield–and 343 Industries were affected by Microsoft’s layoffs. Exact reduction numbers aren’t known, but 343 Industries studio head Pierre Hintze confirmed in an internal email that Halo Infinite’s multiplayer and live service elements would continue to get support.