343 Industries debunks rumours it will no longer develop ‘Halo’ following layoffs and resignations

343 Industries has taken to Twitter to hit back at rumours it will stop being the main studio for Halo development following a series of high-profile resignations and mass layoffs at the company.

Last week, Microsoft confirmed 10,000 members of staff would be let go, with a bulk of those coming from their video game divisions. 343 Industries, the studio behind Halo, was reportedly heavily affected by the layoffs.

It comes as studio head Bonnie Ross left 343 Industries last September, with Halo veteran Tom French following in December. Following the news of the layoffs, it was confirmed that another Halo veteran, Joseph Staten, would be moved out of 343 as the company “made the difficult decision to restructure elements of our team, which means some roles are being eliminated.”

In November, Halo Infinite’s long overdue Winter Update was released with 343 Industries thanking fans for their patience. “Thank you for your support over the past year. We know it certainly hasn’t been the smoothest or quickest ride,” said the company.

Halo Infinite. Credit: 343 Industries

The update arrived after Matt Booty, head of Microsoft Studios, admitted that the 2021 shooter “fell short” on delivering post-launch content, and described the game as “stumbling” at the finish line.

Following all that uncertainty, rumours started to spread last week that development on future Halo games was going to be headed up by outside studios, with 343 industries relegated to a supervisory role.

However, the studio has now taken to Twitter to hit back at those rumours with a short and to-the-point statement.

Halo and Master Chief are here to stay. 343 Industries will continue to develop Halo now and in the future, including epic stories, multiplayer, and more of what makes Halo great.”

“Wish everyone there the best for a bright future,” said former Halo Infinite multiplayer designer Patrick Wren. “Despite whatever issues had happened, I’m damned proud of the game we shipped together. Halo was an inspiration to getting me in this industry and it should continue to do so for others.”

Head of Halo support and player safety Susan Bunch added that she was “proud to be part of 343 Industries.”

However, one fan pointed out that “most successful studios don’t have to issue statements that they’re going to keep making games.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the layoffs represent “less than five per cent of our total employee base” and were a result of “severance costs, changes to our hardware portfolio, and the cost of lease consolidation as we create higher density across our workspaces”.

However, the company has been criticised for hosting an exclusive Sting concert for top executives the night before announcing the mass layoffs.

In other news, it seems like Martin Hollis, the director of Goldeneye 007 for the Nintendo 64, is looking to make a new first-person-shooter.

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