Mass Xbox layoffs impact 343 Industries as Halo Infinite’s future put in doubt
The Halo franchise has just taken another massive blow, with developer 343 hit by major layoffs from Microsoft, the development company losing some of its key players as the Halo fanbase worries for the future of the franchise.
Jason Schreier of Bloomberg first reported the news that Microsoft has chosen to lay off 10,000 staff on January 18. Many of the job cuts hit gaming studios Bethesda and 343 in particular, two of the company’s biggest game development teams.
“The scale is not yet clear, but Bloomberg has so far confirmed job cuts at Bethesda Game Studios (Starfield) and 343 Interactive (Halo). A Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment on how many employees of the gaming division were laid off.”
Schreier later reported that Joe Staten, a key figure who helped push Halo Infinite across the finish line, is leaving the studio to rejoin Xbox Publishing. The reporter also confirmed on Twitter that, “it sounds like 343’s Halo Infinite campaign team got hit hard. In an email to staff, studio head Pierre Hintze wrote that ‘we’ve made the difficult decision to restructure elements of our team, which means some roles are being eliminated.'”
Halo Infinite is already struggling as is. The game launched with many major features missing, many of which, such as Forge mode, were only added into the game in late 2022. Even worse, previously promised game modes such as split screen co-op were scrapped altogether, much to the disappointment of fans.
While the Halo franchise has been a staple of the Xbox brand since the original console, the series has struggled to reclaim the magic it once held under the development of Bungie. While 343 has done their best to develop and evolve the Halo franchise, this lack of support from Microsoft could spell disaster for Master Chief and the greater Halo franchise.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated on the extent of the 343 layoffs at Microsoft and what this changing of the guard will look like for the tech company moving forward.
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