Joseph Staten, a veteran at Bungie who joined 343 Industries to right the Halo Infinite ship, will leave the studio later this month. The news comes as Microsoft announced a round of layoffs happening across the company.
Staten will be leaving 343 Industries and returning to Xbox Publishing. Bloomberg mentions Staten, which began with Bungie in 1998, before joining 343 in 2020 as Head of Creative on Halo Infinite.
An internal email from 343 Industries’ Pierre Hintze, explains that 343 Industries was affected by the layoffs at Microsoft, saying “we’ve made the difficult decision to restructure elements of our team, which means some roles are being eliminated.”
Several former employees, including Patrick Wren, a senior multiplayer designer on Halo Infinite, did not mince words about the layoffs.
The layoffs at 343 shouldn't have happened and Halo Infinite should be in a better state. 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.
“The layoffs at 343 shouldn’t have happened and Halo Infinite should be in a better state. 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,” he tweeted.
“The people I worked every day with were passionate about Halo and wanted to make something great for the fans. They helped push for a better Halo and got laid off for it,” Wren adds. “Devs still there are working hard on that dream. Look at Forge. Be kind to them during this awful time.”
Wren returned to the topic saying, “I do want to make sure that I call out how amazing the Multiplayer Leadership team was during development,” seemingly laying the blame at the door of senior management, Microsoft.”
Schreier later corroborated Wren’s tweet saying he’d heard complaints from other employees.
Don't forget the heavy reliance on contractors/vendors and that messed up system (though I know that's more MS). I would have loved to stay on the team if I could of and worked my way up. Still one of my favorite jobs I have been at.
Nicholas Bird, a former Halo Infinite developer, chimed in on the situation, “Don’t forget the heavy reliance on contractors/vendors and that messed up system (though I know that’s more MS),” says Bird.
Wren replied to Bird saying, “The contract stuff is a whole other can of worms that pisses me off. So many amazing people and talent that just disappeared.”
A lot of the team that worked on Halo Infinite’s campaign has been affected by the layoffs.