Yesterday we reported that the mass layoffs announced by Microsoft earlier this week would affect internal Xbox game development studios. Among those to see a staff reduction are The Coalition, Bethesda Game Studios and, perhaps most notably, Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries.
This latter will see at least 60 members of its staff let go, and this move has led many to question the studio’s future involvement with the Halo franchise, which has traditionally been the flagship series for the Xbox brand. The most recent installment, Halo Infinite, was intended to be a new beginning for the sci-fi FPS but has the subject of much criticism since its launch a little over a year ago.
Former developer on Halo Infinite Patrick Wren, who is now working on Star Wars Jedi: Survivor at Respawn, had this to say about the layoffs and the state of Halo Infinite.
The layoffs at 343 shouldn't have happened and Halo Infinite should be in a better state. The reason for both of those things is incompetent leadership up top during Halo Infinite development causing massive stress on those working hard to make Halo the best it can be.
— Patrick Wren (@Witdarkstar) January 19, 2023
Wren isn’t alone in placing blame at the top. Another former Halo developer took to Twitter to voice his disappointment with Microsoft’s management of its game studios, and specifically called out the tech giant for “setting Halo up for failure.”
I really don't care if I should be saying this or not anymore
— Tyler Owens (@heytred) January 18, 2023
In spite of the layoffs at 343 Industries and other Microsoft-owned studios, 2023 is shaping up to be a landmark year for the current-gen Xbox Series X|S console in terms of high-profile game releases, with Forza Motorsport, Redfall and Starfield among several other major titles set to release this year.