Bungie Studios design director and Halo and Destiny universe co-creator Joseph Staten has left the company after 15 years, the studio announced today on its website.
"At Bungie, we consider ourselves lucky. Every day, we get to do what we love in an amazing place, alongside people we respect and admire. No one embodies that more than Joseph Staten," Bungie said in a statement.
"Few have contributed as much to our success. To that end, it is with no small degree of sadness that we say 'Godspeed' to more than just a Grizzled Ancient, but an old, dear friend. And it is with no small degree of delight and intrigue that we imagine what worlds he might take us to next."
In a statement of his own, Staten explained that he is leaving Bungie to "tackle new creative challenges," though these were not specified.
"After 15 great years at Bungie, from the battlefields of Myth to the mysteries of Halo and beyond, I'm leaving to tackle new creative challenges," Staten said. "While this may come as a surprise, fear not. It's been my pleasure building Destiny these past four years, and after the big reveal this summer, our hugely talented team is on track for greatness. I'll be cheering all of them, with all of you, when the game launches next year. Thank you for your support of me, and your continued support of Bungie. We couldn't have done it without you."
Staten is a prolific Halo writer, having written for every game in the series developed by Bungie. He also served as creative director for Peter Jackson's Halo film (which would later fall apart) and authored the New York Times bestseller Halo: Contact Harvest.
Destiny launches in 2014 for current- and next-generation consoles.