Microsoft has made no secret that it will make several more Halo games. Last October, 343 Industries creative Frank O'Connor said the sci-fi series will continue through 2015--at the very least. Since its formation in summer 2009, Microsoft's Halo-dedicated label has been busy extending the franchise into anime, comic books, and new novels while steadily hiring developers for an unknown project.
Now, it appears the internal studio has picked up the pace. GameSpot sister site CNET noticed that in the past three weeks, 343 Industries has posted listings for 13 new open positions on its jobs page. [UPDATE] As of July 1, Microsoft's hiring page has added 24 Halo-related positions during the same timeframe.
The open slots include many high-level positions, including lead environment artist, senior concept artist, senior producer, and two senior software development engineers. Other open slots are for roles vital to the early stages of a game's development, such as matte painter/SkyBox artist and storyboard artist. (343 is also hiring a business manager to expand the game's branding.)
Whatever the next Halo title is, it is still a long way off. The next installment in the series, Halo: Reach, doesn't ship until September 14. It will be the last game developed by formerly Microsoft-owned Bungie, the studio that created the series and has developed every game in it save Halo Wars and the $90 million stillborn Halo massively multiplayer project. (Gearbox ported the original Halo: Combat evolved to the PC as well.) Last month, Bungie signed an exclusivity deal with Activision that will see the latter publish multiple installments in an all-new property through 2020.