- Microsoft hits 343 Industries with many layoffs
- Rumors arise that the studio will be taken off of developing Halo
- The studio head denies these rumors
“Halo and Master Chief are here to stay,” wrote 343 Industries’ head of studio Pierre Hintze as a response to the rumors that the developer has been taken off the franchise.
343i Is In Trouble
It seems Halo’s troubles are never-ending. The franchise’s latest iteration, Halo Infinite, was received with mixed feelings as the game had been suffering from a lot of bugs upon its release in late 2021, as well as a severe lack of cosmetic content. Many fans have blamed its developer 343 Industries for mismanaging the franchise and leading it in unwanted directions.
Despite the overall mixed feelings towards 343i, many were caught off guard when a lot of the company’s employees have been laid off recently. This is part of Microsoft’s plans to release 10 000 employees by the end of March and 343i has already been hit hard.
“The layoffs at 343 shouldn’t have happened and Halo Infinite should be in a better state,” former Halo Infinite multiplayer designer, Patrick Wren, tweeted Wednesday night. “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.”
How was this received by the fandom?
The news came as a surprise to many and rumors that the studio will no longer develop Halo quickly arose. To dispel these rumors, 343i went on Twitter to explain that it will continue to develop the franchise. “Halo and Master Chief are here to stay,” reads a statement by Studio Head Pierre Hintze. “343 Industries will continue to develop Halo now and in the future, including epic stories, multiplayer, and more of what makes Halo great.”
The rumors that the studio would be taken out of developing the Halo franchise were fed by numerous reports that 343i will instead help third-party studios bring Halo to life in the form of new games. One leaker that goes by the moniker Bathrobe Spartan even reported that initial plans for story-based DLC for Halo Infinite have been canceled already, according to Metro.
Considering the large number of likes the post by the Halo Twitter account accumulated, it seems that fans are overall happy to see 343i is staying at the helm of Halo for now. That being said, there is no guarantee that third-party companies might not come to work on various Halo projects in the future.
Even Wren seemed glad that 343i will remain the chief developer of future Halo games. “Despite whatever issues had happened, I’m damned proud of the game we shipped together,” he Tweeted out.
Maybe this ordeal would be a wake-up call for 343 Industries and the studio will finally start leading the Halo franchise in a direction approved by the majority of fans.