Former 343 Industries staff blast “incompetent leadership” following layoffs
by Danny Craig ·
After the recent layoffs at Halo developer 343 Industries, former employees have criticized the management at the studio and higher-ups at Microsoft.
- Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries has recently been impacted by the video game industry's wave of layoffs, with its parent company Microsoft cutting around 10,000 jobs across its divisions.
- Respawn Entertainment’s Patrick Wren, who was previously the senior multiplayer designer for Halo Infinite, took to Twitter to slam the "incompetent leadership" at Microsoft for the layoffs and overall condition of Halo Infinite. In his tweet, Wren stated that the layoffs at 343 "shouldn't have happened" and that Halo Infinite "should be in a better state." He went on to claim that the development of the long-awaited entry has caused "massive stress" for the development team. In a follow-up tweet, he went on to say that those who were laid off helped "push for a better Halo" out of their passion for the franchise and that the devs who kept their jobs are "working hard on that dream."
- Former developer Nicholas Bird also jumped in to add that 343 was heavily reliant on short-term contract workers, which was a policy that allegedly came from the top at Microsoft.
- According to Jason Schreier, this is not the first time he’s heard about these issues at 343—another notable problem stemmed from poor development tools.
Who else has left 343 Industries in the past year?
- Joseph Staten has now left the studio to rejoin Xbox Publishing. Staten had previously worked at Bungie on the original run of Halo games and was brought back as the campaign lead in order to get its development "back on track."
- Design lead Jerry Hook departed from 343 back in May to found and sit as the CEO of Jar of Sparks under NetEase Games in July 2022. Hook had previously worked on Xbox Live, including its marketplace, during the Xbox 360 era.
- Founder and studio head Bonnie Ross left in June 2022 after 15 years, citing family health issues.
- The most recent developer to leave the company was multiplayer creative director Tom French in December, after working on Halo for more than 11 years. French has since joined ProbablyMonsters as a design director.