Given that Microsoft fired 10,000 employees to prune down its workforce last week, a given number of that figure came from 343 Industries – the gaming studio producing Halo games. Although Microsoft generated $198 billion in revenue and $83 billion in operating income in 2022, the computer company joined the leagues of big tech companies retrenching workers in droves in recent weeks.
The massive layoff in 343 combined with the key departures of top executives has not left the gaming studio in good shape, but the company denied that anything happening to it in recent times is affecting its productivity in any way. In September, studio head Bonnie Ross left 343 Industries, and multiplayer director Tom French announced he would leave in December. Halo director and writer Joseph Staten also left and switched to Xbox Publishing, amidst other key departures.
A former Halo Infinite multiplayer designer, Patrick Wren, blamed the key departures on bad leadership last week, little knowing at the time that Microsoft would still lay off a massive number of employees from 343 rank and files.
“The layoffs at 343 shouldn’t have happened and Halo Infinite should be in a better state,” Wren stated. “The reason for both of those things is incompetent leadership up top during Halo Infinite development, causing massive stress on those working hard to make Halo the best it can be.”
The news of the departures and layoffs incited rumors that 343 Industries would not be able to continue producing epic Halo games, and that it will outsource the game development to other studios while it takes on supervisory roles. But studio head Pierre Hintze took to Twitter to announce that Halo and Master Chief games will continue to roll out – without addressing the rumors of outsourcing to third-party studios, among other things.
“Hallo and Master Chief are here to stay,” Hintze tweeted. “343 Industries will continue to develop Halo now and in the future, including epic stories, multiplayer, and more of what makes Halo great.”
The 10,000 workers laid off by Microsoft cuts across Microsoft, 343 Industries, Xbox Game Studios, The Coalition, and Bethesda among others.