Following rumors and speculation that 343 Industries has been booted from the Halo franchise, the developer has come out and issued a statement. They aren’t going anywhere.
“343 Industries will continue to develop Halo now and in the future, including epic stories, multiplayer, and more of what makes Halo great,” studio head Pierre Hintze said in a succinct statement on social media.
The statement follows news that Microsft had laid off 10,000 employees, some of which included Xbox Game Studios, The Coalition, 343 Industries and Bethesda. Rumors then started spreading that 343 Industries has been removed from active development on any Halo titles and would be relegated to simply maintaining the game’s engine and overseeing third-party studios that would develop any new titles.
There were also rumors that all story-based DLC for Halo Infinite has been canceled. While 343’s statement doesn’t address the future of Halo Infinite, it seems the developer will still be the developer of future Halo projects. That’s not to say outside third party studios won’t be involved, though.
343 Industries has been overseeing the Halo franchise since its formation 2007. The studio has previously worked with Bungie on Halo: Reach before Bungie split with Microsoft. 343 Industries released Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and Halo 4, the latter of which was the start of the studio’s “Reclaimer Saga” of the mainline games.
It’s been a tumultuous run for 343 Industries. And their development struggles came to a head with Halo Infinite, a game that was meant to be the tentpole title for the Xbox Series X|S but was delayed numerous times. Ultimately, Halo Infinite’s multiplayer ended up shipping separately from the campaign, which was released about a month after.
Despite mostly positive reviews, Halo Infinite’s bumpy ride was well documented, with the developer receiving backlash for its controversial E3 2020 demo, the unpopular original Battle Pass and progression system, and the cancellation of split-screen co-op. Ultimately, it come down to Halo no longer feeling like the must-play game on Xbox. That’s unacceptable for a franchise that was once regarded as one of the best series of all-time.