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Halo Co-Creator Doesn't Have 'Anything Positive To Say' About EA After It Shuttered His Studio

EA closed Ridgeline Games as part of its recent mass layoffs.


Marcus Lehto, who until recently was the studio head of Ridgeline Games working on a new single-player focused entry in the Battlefield franchise, isn't happy about how EA treated his former studio.

Lehto, one of the co-creators of Halo, parted ways with Ridgeline and EA back in February just days ahead of mass layoffs at the publisher. Those layoffs saw the studio he helped build in 2022, Ridgeline Games, shuttered. It is estimated around 670 employees lost their jobs as part of EA's 5% workforce reduction. Many of the developers working at Ridgeline on a new Battlefield game were let go, though some were allowed to transfer to another Battlefield studio, Ripple Effect, according to IGN.

The former Ridgeline studio head has largely been quiet following his departure back in February, and stated he would be stepping away from game development to see "what, if anything" he wants to do next and that he was "gut-punched" by EA laying off his former team. Lehto, however, recently broke his silence in the wake of EA's layoffs in a post on X.

"Not been saying much here since I don't have anything positive to say about EA, my recent departure, and how so many, including my team, are suffering due to the industry sweeping layoffs," Lehto said.

Lehto previously said he left EA and Ridgeline "of his own accord," calling it "a very tough decision" to make. He has not since elaborated on the circumstances surrounding his departure.

Details on Ridgeline's narrative-driven Battlefield game were few, but it was part of a wider effort at EA to create what it called "a connected Battlefield universe," one that would take players "on incredible adventures that are only possible in the Battlefield universe." Last year, it was announced the Sweden-based DICE, who has traditionally been the main developer behind the franchise, would assist Ridgeline as a co-developer on its single-player Battlefield entry.

"Our vision coupled with [DICE's] experience with the franchise is going to see us build a single-player campaign that will engage players in new ways while also remaining true to the classic elements of what makes Battlefield truly unique!" Lehto said at the time.

Despite a rocky launch and mixed reviews, EA has continued to support Battlefield 2042, which will soon receive its seventh multiplayer season. The next multiplayer Battlefield game, developed by Ripple Effect, will reportedly feature a free-to-play battle royale and is slated for a 2025 release. Meanwhile, industry layoffs are leaving both developers and fans asking "How did we get here?" and wondering what comes next.

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