Halo Infinite And Halo 5: Guardians Creative Director Departs 343 Industries In Leadership Shakeup
The departure seems to be voluntary.
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Halo Infinite and Halo 5: Guardians creative director Tim Longo has left 343 Industries. As first reported by Kotaku, Longo was a part of a 343 Industries leadership shakeup, having previously been moved out of the creative director role to another position a few weeks ago. Following this change in position, Longo left 343 Industries voluntarily.
In a statement, Microsoft wrote, "Roles and responsibilities of various team members regularly evolve to meet the needs of a game, throughout development. We have recently had two changes to the Halo Infinite development team. Our Executive Producer, Mary Olson will now take charge of the Campaign team on Halo Infinite as the Lead Producer, utilizing her many years of experience at 343 to help craft a great campaign for fans." The other change is Longo. Microsoft added that "creative vision and production of the game remains led by [Halo Infinite studio head] Chris Lee" and that no ill will is felt over Longo's departure.
Prior to working at 343, Longo was the creative director at LucasArts where he worked on an unannounced Star Wars first-person shooter. After being canceled, the game was revealed to be similar to 2005's Battlefront II and codenamed First Assault. Before that, Longo held a few positions at Crystal Dynamics and worked on the Tomb Raider franchise.
Though this can be viewed as a troublesome omen for Halo Infinite, it's important to remember that leadership changes like this do occasionally happen in the gaming industry. Just because Longo has left, it doesn't necessarily mean Halo Infinite's creative direction is going to completely change. For context, Cyberpunk 2077 creative director Sebastian Stępień (who previously worked on all three The Witcher games) left CD Projekt Red for a role at Blizzard back in January 2019--as reported by Variety--and that game still looked very impressive at E3 2019.
Halo Infinite is the sixth mainline game in the Halo franchise, scheduled to release for Xbox One and PC in Fall 2020. The game will also be a launch title for the next-generation Xbox, codenamed Scarlett. 343 Studios boss Bonnie Ross describes Halo Infinite as a "spiritual reboot" for Halo though further details have remained sparse. As of right now, we've only gotten cinematic trailers and previews of Halo Infinite, no actual gameplay.
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