After the lackluster gameplay demo and its release date being delayed, Microsoft might finally admit that there is a problem with Halo Infinite development. To help get it “back on track”, Microsoft has “recruited” ex-Bungie member Joseph Staten to 343 Industries, Bloomberg reports. Staten himself already confirmed the news, saying he will support the team as the campaign mode project lead. Microsoft is also moving another senior 343 Industries staff Pierre Hintze to focus as a project lead on Halo Infinite‘s free-to-play multiplayer development. 343 wrote in their Community Update blog post:
As the team focuses on hitting our new launch window for the game, two Halo veterans have offered their helping hands. Pierre Hintze, the Head of our Publishing Team (MCC), will be joining the Halo Infinite team as a project lead for our Free-To-Play experience. He and his team have demonstrated an amazing ability to deliver new content, an excellent flighting program, and substantive updates across MCC over the past year. We look forward to having his expertise directly on the Halo Infinite team as we look to deliver a quality Free-To-Play multiplayer experience for everyone.”
I'm thrilled to join @Halo to help them ship Halo Infinite. As the project lead for the Infinite Campaign, I will be supporting the team's existing, great leaders and empowering them to do their best work. https://t.co/pQiNPQVBZs
— Joseph Staten (@joestaten) August 27, 2020
The two new Halo Infinite project leads will work with 343 Industries studio head Chris Lee and report to Xbox Game Studios vice president and 343 Industries supervisor Bonnie Ross, according to Bloomberg’s report.
Huge Halo fans would’ve often see (and heard) Staten in several of Bungie’s behind-the-scene videos, such as Halo: CE and 2’s developer commentaries and making-of series. But in case you are not familiar with his name, back in the day, Joseph Staten was the lead writer and cinematics director for Halo: CE, Halo 2, and Halo 3: ODST. For Halo 3 though, Staten was only partially involved, co-writing it along with Luke Smith and Robert McLees.
In September 2013 in the middle of developing Destiny, Staten decided to step down as Bungie’s writer and creative director. Later in January 2014, Staten joined Microsoft Studios (now Xbox Game Studios) as a senior creative director. He then wrote ReCore and Crackdown 3. Outside of game development, Joseph Staten is also known as the author of Halo: Contact Harvest and Halo: Shadow of Intent spin-off novels.
Can whatever problems plaguing Halo Infinite be salvaged with Staten’s arrival? And considering his prior works, will 343 change parts of the game’s story? Tell us what you think in the comments.