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Joseph Staten, one of the most influential creatives in the Halo franchise, is leaving Microsoft. The news, first reported by IGN, has sent shockwaves through the gaming community, leaving fans of the series wondering what it means for the future of the franchise. Staten had been serving as the creative head of Halo Infinite, the highly anticipated next entry in the series.
Microsoft confirmed the news, thanking Staten for his contributions to the company and wishing him well in his future endeavors. Staten also confirmed the news on Twitter, stating that he would be leaving Microsoft but would have more information to share soon.
Staten has a long and illustrious career in the gaming industry, having worked as a writer and director of cinematics for Bungie’s first three Halo games. He later served as co-creative director for Destiny before leaving Bungie in 2013. He then joined Microsoft in 2014 as a senior creative director on the Xbox Games Studios team.
In 2020, Staten moved over to 343 Industries to help the studio complete work on Halo Infinite, which has been in development for years. The departure of Staten from 343 Industries comes at a time of uncertainty for the studio and the future of the Halo franchise.
Earlier this year, 343 Industries reassigned Staten to its Xbox publishing division at the same time that it “cut at least” 95 jobs at the studio. This move caused concern among fans, who worried that it could signal trouble for the development of Halo Infinite. Later that same month, Bloomberg reported that the studio was “starting from scratch” on a new Halo game following its struggle to maintain interest in Halo Infinite.
Despite the challenges faced by 343 Industries, Microsoft remains committed to the Halo franchise. In December 2021, Microsoft announced that Halo Infinite had achieved the biggest launch in the history of the franchise, with more than 10 million players logging in within its first week of release.
The departure of Joseph Staten is undoubtedly a loss for Microsoft and the Halo franchise, but it is not necessarily a sign of trouble for the series. With Halo Infinite continuing to receive positive reviews and a strong player base, there is reason to believe that the franchise will continue to thrive, even without Staten’s guidance.