According to a breaking report from Kotaku, the Creative Director of the upcoming Halo Infinite left developer 343 Industries this week. This is supposed to be part of a "leadership shakeup" as the game approaches its late stage of development. Halo Infinite is due for release by Fall 2020.
Tim Longo is a veteran of the games industry, and also worked on Halo 5: Guardians as the Creative Director. Kotaku's sources also report that Longo had already moved to a different role a few weeks ago, before he left the company altogether this week.
Kotaku reached out to Microsoft, who confirmed Longo's departure from 343 Industries with the following statement:
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.
Additionally, Tim Longo has recently departed our team and we are truly thankful for his many contributions to our games, our studio and the Halo universe. We wish Tim nothing but the best in his future endeavors.
The overall creative vision and production of the game remains led by Chris Lee, Studio Head of Halo Infinite.
We have a word-class team building Halo Infinite and the overwhelming positive response by fans has us energized, more than ever, to create the best Halo game to date, alongside Project Scarlett in holiday 2020. These changes have no impact to the release date for Halo Infinite.
Halo Infinite will release on PC, Xbox One, and Microsoft's upcoming next-generation Xbox, which is still known only as Project Scarlett. The game represents a "spiritual reboot" for the series, in the words of 343 studio head Bonnie Ross. So far, all we've seen of Halo Infinite is the cinematic trailer below from E3 2019, which features Master Chief being rescued in outer space, then revived and deployed into the fray of combat. It promises to have a "much more human" story in contrast with Halo 5: Guardians.
What do you think of Tim Longo's departure from 343 Industries? Is it a sign of internal troubles, or just the natural cycle as the game enters its final stage of development? Let us know in the comments below!