Halo studio reportedly heavily affected by Microsoft layoffs
Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries looks set to stay working on the Halo franchise. But a new report details some big internal shifts at the company, including layoffs and a change in engine. All the while, the studio seems to not be actively working on any new story content for Infinite itself.
Bloomberg reports that 343 Industries will continue to work on Halo. This is in line with a statement from studio head Pierre Hintze, which said 343 will develop Halo now and in the future.
But while the franchise is staying with the studio, Bloomberg’s article suggests that at least 95 people at 343 Industries lost their jobs as part of the recent Microsoft layoffs. This list, according to a spreadsheet seen by the outlet, contained names of staff veterans and contractors alike.
Internally, Bloomberg reports that the head of Xbox Game Studios Matt Booty assured 343 that, even as it works with partners and outsourcing houses, the studio will stay in charge. But shifts seem to be on the way for Halo, too, as the report suggests that 343 made the decision to pivot away from its Slipspace engine and towards Unreal Engine last year, after Hintze took over.
The engine switch will reportedly take hold with a game code named Tatanka, in development with Certain Affinity. This project apparently started as a battle royale but may evolve elsewhere, according to Bloomberg’s sources. 343 is also apparently not actively working on new story content.
The future of Halo
343 Industries was already reported to be among those Xbox studios affected by the Microsoft layoffs, alongside Bethesda and The Coalition, but seeing an actual number puts the situation in stark relief.
A switch to Unreal, as Bloomberg’s report indicates, raises hopes that development will be easier on future projects. Still, with several major shifts all happening, 343 Industries sounds like it’s starting back from square one. For Halo fans, hopefully, the studio rallies from it.