Another lead employee has left Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries. Announced as a Xbox Scarlett launch title at E3 2019, the newest entry in the long-running first-person shooter series also lost its creative director a few months ago, leading some fans to worry about just what exactly is going on behind the scenes with Master Chief's latest installment.
Halo Infinite has remained somewhat of a secretive production since it's unveiling, with not much being revealed about the title's core gameplay except that it will once again feature four-play split-screen compatibility, something which, along with LAN functionality, was one of the reasons the Halo series became so popular in the first place. The developers have also stated Halo Infinite will not have a Battle Royale mode, unlike so many other shooter games who are seeking to capitalize on the popularity of titles like PUBG and Fortnite. However, much of Halo Infinite remains under wraps, save for reports of a dog supplying the game's sound effects.
According to WCCFtech, Mary Olsen, who up until recently was the lead producer on Halo Infinite, left the studio to join another fellow Halo series alum at Midwinter Entertainment, creators of the survival shooter Scavengers. Olsen's job, according to John Junyszek, 343 Industries' community manager, was to "help drive the game to its completion for our holiday 2020 release date."
Junyszek went on to try an assuage fears of something bad happening at 343 Industries. "There's no writing on the walls," he said, and although fans have still not seen any actual gameplay of Halo Infinite yet, Junyszek assured players "There's no creative dilemma inside the studio." While that may be true, so many project leads leaving the company in such a short period of time is sure to slow production down one way or another, and since Halo Infinite is both a next-gen launch title and working off of a brand-new game engine, complications like a change in leadership have the ability to cripple such a game's development if they are not handled properly.
Hopefully the team at 343 Industries is taking care to ensure managerial transitions are happening as smoothly and efficiently as possible in order to minimize the impact on Halo Infinite's development. Since the majority of later Halo titles were not as memorable as the first three in the franchise, 343 Industries knows they need to deliver something iconic on Microsoft's new console in order to bring the series back to its former glory, and they'll need to add more than secret Cortana messages to do it. Right now, all players can do is cross their fingers and hope no other project leads leave before Halo Infinite comes out next year.