Former developer of Halo Infinite criticized management due to layoffs

Image: 343 industries / Microsoft

Of all the Microsoft teams that were in the blast radius yesterday announced mass layoffsit is possible Halo Infinite Manufacturer 343 Industries was among the hardest hit. The studio faced a wave of layoffs after Halo Infinite’multiplayer, and the new cuts have drawn criticism from those who managed to create this mess in the first place.

“Layoffs in 343 should not have happened and Halo Infinite should be in better condition”, former Halo Infinite multiplayer designer Patrick Wren, tweeted Wednesday evening. “The reason for both of these things is incompetent leadership during Halo Infinite development causes a lot of stress for those who work hard to make Halo the best it can be.”

At the moment, it is no secret to anyone that Halo Infinite faced a turbulent development cycle, from constantly ever-changing cast of directors to long delays after revealing the gameplay was condemned online for rough graphics. Former studio executives also previously hinted at periods of crunch on the project while Bloomberg report details on the developers’ struggles with the game engine and the issues Microsoft is relying on contract workers who constantly leave the studio rather than full-time employees. “Contract stuff is another can of worms that pisses me off,” Wren tweeted last night. “So many great people and talents that just disappeared.”

It’s extremely rare for game developers to be candid about issues they’ve encountered with past projects, let alone openly share their opinions about how a team or studio has been run. Ren, who left 343 Industries shortly before Halo Infinitelaunching in 2021, he praised his former colleagues and their efforts to fulfill all the promises of a multiplayer game.

“The people I worked with every day were passionate about Halo and wanted to do something great for the fans,” he tweeted. “Hey helped make it better Halo and was fired for it. The developers are still hard at work on this dream. Look at Forge. Be kind to them at this terrible time.”

The scathing criticism came after Microsoft announced it would cut 10,000 jobs across the tech giant’s operations, including games, despite the message “record resultslast year, including $83 billion in operating income. The night before the company top executives were reportedly busy serenade sting in personalized concert in the Swiss Alps.

Meanwhile, as reports from Kotaku and others have reported that Xbox studios from The Coalition to Bethesda have been embroiled in layoffs, it became clear throughout the day that 343 Industries was facing particularly brutal layoffs as many developers on Halo Infiniteincluding some very high profile individuals, have shared the news on social media that they have been affected.

Even before yesterday’s layoffs, 343 Industries was facing a wave of senior layoffs. Halo Infinite struggled to release new seasonal updates and features on time. Most notable was the departure of studio head Bonnie Ross. last september. Lately multiplayer director and longtime Halo veteran Tom French disclosed he left in December. And yesterday, in the midst of chaos, Bloomberg informed that Halo director and longtime writer Joseph Staten took over the publishing side of the Xbox business as the studio made a “difficult restructuring decision”.

Even more regrettable, this latest setback for the studio follows a rare bright spot in history. Halo InfiniteOnline service campaign after launch: forge maker mode. After split screen co-op was cancelled, many fans saw it as an opportunity save the game allowing players to create their own maps and modes. So are they with creations inspired by all from The Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim to Pokemon. these are some of the most positive Halo Infinite players have been feeling since launch, but similarly, the future of the game is once again uncertain.

When Halo Infinite was first unveiled in 2020, 343 Industries studio head Chris Lee called it “beginning of the next 10 years Halo“. After a few months, he left to join Amazon.

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