Another Halo Infinite Director Leaves The Project

Director Chris Lee has "stepped back" from Halo Infinite and is "looking at future opportunities."

72 Comments

Bloomberg reports that game director Chris Lee has left the Halo Infinite project. This comes not long after Infinite was delayed past the Xbox Series X/S launch and into some unspecified date in 2021.

Lee confirmed the news with Bloomberg, saying he has "stepped back" from his role on Halo Infinite. Despite there being no new release date, Lee said he is confident the team will deliver on a great game next year. Notably, he's the second director to leave the game in the last two years.

"I have stepped back from Infinite and I am looking at future opportunities," Lee said. "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 commented on Chris Lee taking a step back from his role as director on Halo Infinite, saying Lee remains a Microsoft employee.

"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," Microsoft said in a statement to GameSpot.

According to his LinkedIn, Lee has been with 343 Industries since 2008, where he served as a lead producer on the Halo franchise. In 2016, Lee was promoted to Partner Studio Head, in which he spearheaded the "spiritual reboot" to the Halo series, likely referring to Halo 5.

Halo Infinite was slated to arrive alongside the Xbox Series S and Series X as a launch title. But the game was delayed in August due to multiple factors, including the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In fact, the game has seen some turbulence since development. Creative director Tim Longo left 343 Industries in August 2019, with executive producer Mary Olson following suit in October. And earlier this year, 343 confirmed that three different studios are assisting with Halo Infinite's development. The team even brought back veteran writer Joseph Staten.

A new date has not been announced, but Halo Infinite launches sometime in 2021. Halo's community director quelled release date rumors by reiterating that the game doesn't have a locked-in date yet.

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Pupchu

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another irrefutable victory for sony. xbox is about to leave the market.

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Thanatos2k

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Development has fallen apart.

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Smckenzie070590

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Def more going on in 343 studios than what they’re saying. Bad work environment or leader at the top most likely.

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EmmanuelGuerrero

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Not related to this game but certainly related to Xbox brand.

DMC 5: Special Edition on the Series S runs at 900p resolution. Yes... you read that correctly 900p; that’s below 1080p. Next gen? Not so much. Buy series X.

What else... well it turns out Digital Foundry from youtube tested the blu-ray drive on the series X and it would seem it does not actually support Dolby Vision hardware acceleration. Instead it will do software accelerated Dolby Vision, which is inferior.

I expect the same from PS5 really. But I thought it’s important for people to know what they are buying.

Good luck.

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Wahsobe

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@emmanuelguerrero: Sure hardware is always prefered to softwware however in this case it doesn't seem to much of a big deal. A software version of Dolby Vision came out 3 years ago and back then they said it wouldn't make a significant impact on processors and they were talking mostly about TV's, Blu-Ray players and smart streaming devices. The Xbox Series X and PS5 aren't even going to notice it.

I think all but the hoitiest of toity equipment will choose to settle for the software.

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Slannmage

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Edited By Slannmage

@wahsobe:

It was originally widely assumed that Dolby Vision hardware (screens and Blu-Ray Players) needed to carry a dedicated chip. However, it is now possible to add Dolby Vision support via a firmware update to devices with sufficiently powerful processors.

The industry standard HDR10 format is free for manufacturers to use, but Dolby Vision requires the payment of a licence fee.

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Wahsobe

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Edited By Wahsobe

@Slannmage: I'm not sure why you pointed me out for this but I guess I'll reply.

Originally it did require a dedicated chip and then they also added hybrid (non dedicated but enhanced chip support) and software support. As with most things Dolby it of course requires licensing.

"However, it is now possible to add Dolby Vision support via a firmware update to devices with sufficiently powerful processors."

I would like to point out that the sufficiently powerful processors they are referring to are not actually powerful processors, they are just sufficient for the task at hand.

HDR10 is a bit of a mess but it'll get the job done in lieu of something better.

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Arani337

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@Slannmage: The HDR10 standard is so laughably stupid, its gonna end "industry standards" as a whole.

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illegal_peanut

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Well, that's promising...

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Pyrosa

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Meh... It comes out when it comes out. If the MP modes suck, I'll keep playing WZ and WZFF. Runs great on Android.

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TheCupidStunts

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Edited By TheCupidStunts

How hard can it be to deliver a good Halo game in 2020? The formula is already there, and the fan base is already baked in.

They don't need to reinvent the wheel here. If it just isn't feeling as good or tight as some of the previous titles, then stop trying to shoehorn in a bunch of stuff that isn't needed, and just stick with what has worked over the years.

I'm keeping the faith here 👻

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PernicioEnigma

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@thecupidstunts: They don't want to make a Halo game, though. All signs point to them making a Destiny clone, because that style of game is more profitable. They've already said Halo Infinite is going to be a platform they will continue to build on for years to come (IF it's a success, obviously. If not, tough luck...).

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TheCupidStunts

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Edited By TheCupidStunts

@PernicioEnigma: My point exactly. They're trying to make Halo something it's never been, and something it never needs to be.

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cboye18

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@thecupidstunts: Not hard, just that the old format can't achieve mass amount of profit. For that, you need microtransactions and/or lootboxes in your game. And in order to include those, significant gameplay and content changes has to be made to an otherwise perfect formula.

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hiphipjorge9

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I feel like the moniker of “Infinite” has become a jinx, much like Duke Nukem “Forever”.

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Pyrosa

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@hiphipjorge9: Bioshock Infinite was divisive for sure, but it's a masterpiece of game design even of you hated the characters/story/ending/2nd ending. ...and it wasn't delayed as badly.

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PernicioEnigma

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@Pyrosa said:

@hiphipjorge9: Bioshock Infinite was divisive for sure, but it's a masterpiece of game design even of you hated the characters/story/ending/2nd ending. ...and it wasn't delayed as badly.

How was Bioshock Infinite a masterpiece of game design? Maybe the early plans for the game could've been considered that, but the game that shipped? No way.

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doubtless1

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@Pyrosa: Masterpiece of game design?? Uh the game play was pretty half assed and rushed. Padded out by long CoD style hide behind cover until your shields recharge game play neither of its predecessors were known for.

Masterpiece of story telling? Perhaps

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DrazicZach

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As an Xbox fan and completely unbiased, 343i is run and employ's complete muppets. All their management team is inept and the development team is no better. Next-gen Halo title and the graphics are barely 360 era. "But it has to run on Xbox One as well", ok then why does Halo 5 look much much MUCH better than Halo: Infinite.

As much good as Microsoft and Phil are doing for Xbox, they have completely and I mean completely botched their biggest title.

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cboye18

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@draziczach: To make matters worse, MS is doubling down on those filthy F2P features in their fully priced AAA game. Just look how aggregious the monetization in Gears 5 is. It's only a short matter of time before they're being included into Sony's exclusives as well, especially with that douchebag Jim Ryan at the reigns.

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DrazicZach

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@cboye18: I will agree something very strange is going on with MS and Xbox. You’d think they’d have all hands on deck especially for the launch of next gen if anything to show they are on point after Xbox1 but instead the most important game Halo looks like garbage when they show it and it then gets delayed. Also I keep asking why do series X games need to get patched for Ray Tracing after it launches? I mean yeah it’ll be in the game but why aren’t these games launching out the box with these features unless they are Xbox 1X games being upgraded to Series X games?

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bababooey12

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Ah, take your time no rush...lol all the people talking about how it must be a disaster are probably Sony fans hoping it will fail....

The game has been delayed who cares, with what's going on this year it should be expected... I guess all these games will be disasters too, due to delaying.

Cyberpunk

Deathloop

Dying Light

Kena: Bridge Of Spirits

No More Heroes 3

Outriders

Psychonauts 2

Rainbow 6 Quarantine

Skull and Bones

Vampire:The Masquerade-Bloodlines 2

WoW

Destruction AllStars

Just because some people leave studios, doesn't necessarily mean they left due to thinking the game is going to suck lol. People leave for all sorts of reasons, this is how it works in the real world.

Outside of that the only other negative issue is the demo they showed...the only gripe was really about graphics..funny because I thought gameplay is what's important...if you honestly think a demo done on a pc, with supposedly the same specs and streamed at 1080p means the game will look like that on EVERY single person's setup(PC, Xbox with 4K tvs etc), well how's the saying go..."You can't fix stupid"

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DrazicZach

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@bababooey12: THOSE GAMES DIDNT LOOK LIKE TRASH..

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doubtless1

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@draziczach: Ya know, ironically, all those games look pretty shite tbh. Besides cyberpunk of course, I'm not an animal.

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DrazicZach

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@doubtless1: Flagship game that is Halo looked worse..

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Bamda

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Bamda  Online

Well, that bodes well for the flagship game on the Xbox Series X! NOT!

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SabreDJ

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Edited By SabreDJ

As someone that has lauded Microsoft/Xbox plenty of late and well deserved, this has been an unmitigated disaster so far. If they don't feel confident that they can deliver a great Halo experience in 2021 within the next couple of months, then maybe it's time to bring in one of the many studios they've acquired (and you know who they are) to assist or take over the project.

It's either that or maybe partner/acquire Bungie after all, and come full circle on a flagship franchise for your brand. I'm not even a Halo player but if they need to delay it 2 years, do it, Halo fans deserve a great game.

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bababooey12

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@sabredj: lol I've been playing Halo 5 lately, better than I thought. At first I didn't really give it a chance, decided to just now get into it.

On a different note not sure how its a disaster lol....you had a bunch of people complaining about an 8 min video over graphics...while it was played on a PC and at 1080...lol outside of that the only other issue has been delaying the game....how is that a disaster with how this year has been it should be completely understandable...you've had games on both sides being delayed...hell, Cyberpunk was just delayed again...does that equal a disaster for the delayed Sony games or Cyberpunk?

As for the three people who have left...doesn't mean anything people come and go..how the world works...and out of them leaving, 343 brought a Veteran director back. Point is just because someone leaves doesn't mean its necessarily because he or she thinks the game is a disaster etc. People leave for many reasons...

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SabreDJ

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@bababooey12: I hope you're right, I would love for that to be the case. The rumors haven't been kind behind the scenes, and when you add that to what's happened, it causes concern.

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MaxxDiamond

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@bababooey12: I agree with your assessment. I would add in that this latest departure is more of a removal. 343 was supposed to have this game ready for launch, and they dropped the ball, and people that haven’t been doing their jobs are now being replaced.

From what I have read and seen of the game, the gameplay doesn’t seem to be an issue. It was just that people feel it needs to look better.

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BeefoTheBold

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@sabredj:

I kind of jumped ship from the franchise after Halo 3. It just didn't really interest me all that much. I'm not much of a multiplayer gamer myself, which means that a very mediocre and forgettable single player narrative loses me.

But I will say that I think bringing Bungie back into the fold would be the best move for Microsoft. 343 from everything I've read has just been at best "meh" with turning out Halo games, which is a glaring indictment when that's your signature franchise.

"Meh" Mario or Zelda releases wouldn't cut it for Nintendo. "Meh" Last of Us 2 DEFINITELY didn't cut it for me personally.

Basically if your core franchises ain't getting it done, if they just kinda "okay" vs. "excelsior" then it's time for a change.

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Fud_Sang

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Delays + People abandoning ship = CAUSE FOR ALARM...always.

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bababooey12

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Edited By bababooey12

@fud_sang: lol would've agree with you if it wasn't for the fact that many companies have been delaying games...I guess on the Sony side there should be cause for alarm too...or Cyberpunk 2077....its justifiable with what's been going on this year, unless you've been living under a rock.

As for people leaving they have mentioned three..hardly does cause alarm. In the working world people leave jobs for all sorts of reasons...doesn't mean ship is sinking...

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Lord_Sesshy

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Judging that they brought new people on to help fix the game I'm gonna assume this is because of creative differences. I mean they even brought back one of the original creatures of Halo to help.

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robertbyronz

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Edited By robertbyronz

this is nothing new for game studios in general. this won't affect development, and I remain super excited for Halo Infinite. There are alot of people working on this game. Hopefully, he quit because everyone is working hard for a surprise Christmas launch.. doubt it.. but it would be nice. I remain super excited for Halo Infinite! I think it'll be awesome.. especially after all this, once it launches. I might sound crazy.. but after all the criticism.. I think 343 is determined to deliver an awesome game, and I think they need to, and are being pushed to.

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GamerBum

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Edited By GamerBum

@robertbyronz:

Yes I tend to agree. Not only that Microsoft and 343I realise that this Halo game above all other 343i Halo games needs to be a banger. I’m pretty sure Microsoft will do whatever it takes, spend as much cash as needed and get rid of or hire whoever it takes to make this game great.

I’m still super excited for this game. It’s still my most anticipated. Open world Halo at 4K 60/120FPS? Yes please.

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robertbyronz

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@gamerbum: thank you thank you thank you. whole heartedly agree. Once they get things together, complete the game, and add polish.. I have no doubt it's going to be as you say, a "banger." can't wait!

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