Halo Infinite Designer Leaves To Join Darksiders Studio After Contract Ends

Kolbe Payne has left 343 Industries to take a position at Texas-based studio Gunfire Games.

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Halo Infinite developer Kolbe Payne has officially left the studio. January 7 was his last day working for 343 Industries, and he's now taken a position at Darksiders studio Gunfire Games.

Payne was a campaign level/gameplay designer on Halo Infinite from April 2019 to January 2021. His LinkedIn page says he worked for 343 on a contract basis, so his leaving is no surprise and does not signal anything about the status of Halo Infinite. Contract work is common in gaming, with developers moving on to new projects when their existing contracts end. "My contract was ending so I found a new job," Payne said on Twitter.

Payne is now working at Austin, Texas-based developer Gunfire Games as a junior level designer, though it's not immediately clear what project he's contributing to. The studio created Darksiders 3, which received mixed reviews when it launched in 2018. It also developed the Souls-like Remnant: From the Ashes the next year, which took From Software's formula and turned it into a snappy third-person shooter. The last Darksiders game was Darksiders Genesis, a spinoff prequel featuring Strife and War. It was developed by Airship Syndicate rather than Gunfire Games.

Payne snapped a nice photo of himself leaving the 343 office, complete with Master Chief standing in the background and a Halo-branded cushion on a chair.

"I'll see you later this year Chief," Payne said in his farewell tweet, referencing Halo Infinite's planned release in Fall 2021.

Halo Infinite has gone through a fair amount of staff turnover in recent years, but Xbox boss Phil Spencer says that is nothing out of the ordinary.

Halo Infinite was originally slated to release as a launch title for the Xbox Series X|S in November, but Microsoft elected to push the game to 2021 due in part to complications related to COVID-19 and working from home. Recently, 343 boss Bonnie Ross said the wait will be worth it.

The game is shaking things up for the franchise, as it runs on a completely new engine and the multiplayer element of Halo Infinite will be free-to-play with microtransactions.

When Halo Infinite is released, it will be free for Xbox Game Pass subscribers and available on Xbox One, PC, and Xbox Series X|S.

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