Halo Infinite Loses Another Top Dev But Studio Says Not To Worry
"There is no creative dilemma inside the studio, and there's no writing on the walls."
The Halo Infinite development team has lost another person in a leadership role, but 343 Industries is urging fans not to worry. Mary Olson, who was the lead producer of Halo Infinite's campaign, has departed 343 Industries to join the nearby Seattle studio Midwinter Entertainment.
Olson's departure from the Halo Infinite team caused some fans to worry that the Xbox One and PC game might be in trouble. However, 343 community manager John 'Unyshek' Junyszek said in a Reddit post that there is "no creative dilemma" at the studio, and that Olson's departure is not out of the ordinary for a game closing in on its release date.
Fans were worried, it seems, because Olson was just the latest high-level developer to leave the Halo Infinite team. Creative director Tim Longo left in August, and at the time, Olson was named as his replacement of sorts to help oversee Halo Infinite's campaign.
Unyshek wrote on Reddit that Olson's position as lead producer for the campaign was to "help drive the game to its completion" before the Holiday 2020 release date. Longo, meanwhile, was creative director for the entire game--spanning multiplayer and campaign.
Unyshek spoke out on Reddit to clarify this and assure fans that 343 is still "working hard to make sure we can execute on [Halo Infinite's] vision."
"Unfortunately the thread's title saying, 'He was replaced with Mary Olson and she also left,' is far from accurate," Unyshek said. "It implies that Mary took over creative control of the entire game, didn't like what she saw, and then decided to leave. If that's what actually happened, I could totally understand getting worried--but that isn't the case, as she was a Lead Producer and not a new Creative Director. There is no creative dilemma inside the studio, and there's no writing on the walls."
It is not clear who, if anyone, will take over for Olson in overseeing Halo Infinite's campaign from now until release next year.
The campaign in Halo 5: Guardians was regarded by some to be weak; even 343 boss Bonnie Ross acknowledged that Halo 5's story missed the mark in some ways. This is no doubt contributing to fans' worries about Halo Infinite's story.
Whatever the case, Unyshek said it is foolish to presume that Halo Infinite's story will be bad because two major developers left. "There will undoubtedly be things you like and dislike about every game," he said. "There will be times this happens because of people leave and times when this happens because people stay. That said, preparing to pin the blame on people leaving/staying a year out from launch probably isn't the best take.
"No game is perfect, but we'll certainly do our best."
Halo Infinite releases in Holiday 2020 as a launch title for Project Scarlett. The game will also be available on PC and Xbox One.
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