New evidence of turmoil behind the scenes at Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries has emerged, as the game has reportedly lost yet another director. Following lukewarm response to its big gameplay reveal, Microsoft made the surprise decision to delay Halo Infinite to 2021, and it seems they may have shook up the game’s leadership as well. According to a report from Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, now-former 343 Industries Studio Head and Halo Infinite director Chris Lee is no longer involved in the project. Here’s what Lee had to say about the move.
I have stepped back from Infinite and I am looking at future opportunities. I believe in the team and am confident they will deliver a great game and now is a good time for me to step away.
Microsoft also confirmed that Lee is no longer manning the helm…
Chris Lee remains a Microsoft employee and while he has stepped back from Halo: Infinite right now, we appreciate all he has done for the project to date.
Chris Lee replaced previous Halo Infinite creative director Chris Longo, who left the project back in August 2019. It isn’t entirely clear who’s replacing Lee, but Schreier implies it’s Joe Staten, who has served as a writer and creative director for games like Halo 3, Halo: Reach, and Destiny, and more recently served as the creative director of Xbox Game Studios, overseeing games like Crackdown 3. Staten will specifically be focusing on Infinite’s campaign, while 343 producer Pierre Hintze will oversee multiplayer.
While Chris Lee leaving Halo Infinite certainly doesn’t feel like a good sign, if the project wasn’t coming together as it should, perhaps a management shakeup is a good thing. Joe Staten has some good games on his resume, and with Crackdown 3, he showed the ability to take a troubled project and get it out the door in a respectable state. Hopefully, this is the last Halo Infinite management shakeup we hear about.
Halo Infinite hits PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S sometime in 2021 (likely toward the end of they year).