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343 Industries founder leaves company due to family medical issue

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Bonnie Ross, the head of Halo developer 343 Industries, announced her departure (opens in new tab) from the company she founded via Twitter today. "While I had hoped to stay with Halo until we released the Winter Update," Ross wrote, "I am letting you know I will be leaving 343 and attending to a family medical issue."

Prior to 343, Ross worked on the Microsoft Game Studios (now Xbox Game Studios) side of such projects as Zoo Tycoon, Mass Effect, and Gears of War. Ross reportedly pitched the idea of an internal team to continue Halo's development after Bungie bought its independence from Microsoft, and the company she founded under Microsoft took control of the series following Halo Reach.

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Ross' departure doesn't appear to be related to the performance of  Halo Infinite, which saw several high-profile departures throughout its development, and was notably delayed a full year after a divisive initial showing in 2020. 343 managed to release a respectable shooter campaign with a pretty fun free to play multiplayer last fall, but has since had difficulty appeasing its player base while also delaying promised features like the co-op campaign and axing others, like split-screen multiplayer.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer took to Twitter (opens in new tab) to congratulate Ross on her work with the company and wish her well. The company hasn't announced who, if anyone, will fill Ross' former position as head of 343 Industries. 

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Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.