Microsoft recently laid off over 10,000 employees across all of its divisions, and many studios under the Xbox umbrella were also affected. Halo developed 343 Industries was one of them, and not long after the news broke, reports began to claim that the developer had been taken off of Halo development, with future instalments to be developed by external studios.
343 Industries quickly moved to refute those rumours, stating that it would continue to develop single player and multiplayer Halo games in the future, and now, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has doubled down in those comments. Speaking recently to IGN, he said that while development support from external studios – including the likes of Sperasoft, SkyBox Labs, and Certain Affinity – remains standard practice, 343 Industries will remain “critically important to the success” of the franchise.
“What we’re doing now is we want to make sure that leadership team is set up with the flexibility to build the plan that they need to go build,” Spencer said. “And Halo will remain critically important to what Xbox is doing, and 343 is critically important to the success of Halo.
“In terms of support studios and other things, that’s just part of development and having other partners help us. But the heart and soul of Halo is with 343 and the team that’s there, and I have the utmost confidence in the team that’s there and leading and the plan that they have going forward.”
Speaking specifically about Halo Infinite, Spencer said 343 Industries – which is now under the leadership of Pierre Hintze – has “a very good plan” for the game and its support going forward.
“When we launched that game, we know we needed to make some commitments to people about the content updates and our timing on those and the quality, and we didn’t hit our own bar for doing that,” he said. “I believe in the team that’s there, Pierre and the leadership team, and the plan that they have. Obviously, he’s the studio head now, has been on Halo for a long time. He’s worked on [Halo: The Master Chief Collection], he’s done some great work there. The team has a very good plan.”
Earlier this month, 343 Industries confirmed that it was on track to release planned content for Halo Infinite through June- read more on that through here.
Read More: “The Heart and Soul of Halo is with 343 Industries,” Says Xbox Boss Phil Spencer