After a wave of layoffs, 343 studio head declares 'Halo and the Master Chief are here to stay'

Halo Infinite campaign co-op art
(Image credit: 343 Industries)

343 Industries studio head Pierre Hintze issued a public statement on Twitter declaring that the developer would continue to work on Halo. This statement comes just a few days after 343 was impacted by the 10,000-person round of layoffs at Microsoft.

"Halo and Master Chief are here to stay," The statement begins."343 Industries will continue to develop Halo now and in the future, including epic stories, multiplayer, and more of what makes Halo great."

It is unclear how many of those 10,000 workers Microsoft laid off were 343 developers. The statement seems to be in response to a story originating with French Halo influencer, Bathrobe Spartan, who had previously leaked stories like the plans for a Halo Infinite battle royale mode

Bathrobe Spartan alleged that 343 saw a major restructuring of its role on the franchise, outlined here on ResetEra in English. Bathrobe Spartan specifically claims that 343 lost one third of its workforce including contractors, Halo Infinite missed its sales targets, and that 343 will step back into a "coordinating role" on the franchise as opposed to actively developing new Halo games.

One of the leaker's claims, that planned Halo Infinite single player DLC was canceled and that this contributed to the departure of creative director Joseph staten, has been at least partially debunked by Windows Central managing editor Jez Corden: "There was never any campaign DLC in active development," Corden tweeted, "I don't know how you scrap something that doesn't exist."

The same day as the layoffs, former 343 developer Patric Wren and contractor Nicholas Bird criticized 343 leadership for its direction on Halo Infinite and treatment of contracted workers, who were limited by Microsoft to 18-month stints at the company with mandatory six-month breaks in employment.

After a troubled development and seemingly successful launch, Halo Infinite unfortunately had a rough 2022, with a slow pace of multiplayer updates and significant delays on features like Forge and campaign co-op. Even with Hintze's public assurance, Halo was already in a bad place before 343 took this hit, to say nothing of the human cost of so many workers having their lives upended.

Associate Editor

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.