Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries took to Twitter on Saturday to share a brief message about the franchise’s future. “Halo and Master Chief are here to stay,” 343 said in a statement attributed to studio head Pierre Hintze.
“343 Industries will continue to develop Halo now and in the future, including epic stories, multiplayer, and more of what makes Halo great.” The announcement comes after Microsoft announced that it would lay off 10,000 workers by the end of March.
According to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, the restructuring “hit 343 Industries hard,” and the studio lost Halo veteran and creative director Joe Staten – who joined the studio in 2020 to help bring Infinite to completion – to Microsoft’s publishing division.
Staten’s departure comes after a string of high-profile departures, including Slipspace Engine lead developer David Berger and 343 co-founder Bonnie Ross.
— Halo (@Halo) January 21, 2023
Schreier couldn’t put a number to the cuts at 343, but he said Infinite’s campaign team was particularly affected by the cuts.
Prior to the layoffs, the studio also had a “long-running” hiring freeze in place and had lost a lot of contractors in recent weeks and months. One former 343 staff member blamed the layoffs on “incompetent leadership up top.”
Microsoft released Halo Infinite to generally positive reviews in 2021, but the game has struggled to maintain a consistent player base since then.
Infinite, for example, is currently averaging around 4,000 players per day on Steam, a significant decrease from the 100,000 players it was averaging at launch.
Microsoft has yet to announce new campaign content for Infinite more than a year after the game’s release. Halo fans have reason to be concerned about the franchise’s future.