Yesterday, 343 Industries released a statement, dispelling recent rumours that it would be moved away from the majority of the Halo series' ongoing development. In a short message, the studio said that "Halo and Master Chief are here to stay", and that 343 will "continue to develop Halo now and in the future".
While intended to reassure the playerbase, this appears to have done the exact opposite for some. In response to the update, some fans are either unconvinced that everything is going smoothly at 343, or are frustrated that Halo isn't being moved to another developer. It suggests that 343 will have an uphill battle in winning back the trust of many players, especially in the wake of recent layoffs within the company.
Over on the Halo subreddit, this update has inspired very little confidence in the series' future. Instead, fans have found themselves arguing about whether 343 Industries should be the studio in charge of Halo going forward, feeling that Halo Infinite's first year has proven otherwise.
In fact, some aren't even convinced that this statement disproves recent rumours at all, still believing that 343 may be deprioritised as a Halo developer.
"If 343 have taught me anything, it's that the devil is in the details," says Reddit user ZehDon. "No mention of single player, new games, or new experiences tells me the statement isn't a direct rebuttal to the rumours because there is some truth in them; 343 is still playing word games."
Another user, ThatKiwiBloke, agrees: "This is a classic 'say something so you don't look guilty' PR message. The fact they didn't address what you mentioned above tells me the rumours are true and Halo is going to be dead for a long time."
Opinions are much more split over on Twitter, with some remaining confident that individuals within 343, particularly studio head Pierre Hintze, are up to the task.
"If anyone can hopefully fix this, it’s Pierre. That dude brought [Master Chief Collection] out of the depths of hell," says YouTuber Suzi Hunter.
Some who defend 343's handling of development instead aim their criticism at Microsoft, especially after the recent layoffs. Across all Microsoft studios, 10,000 workers will lose their jobs by March, making up about 4.5 percent of the entire workforce.
The company says this is in aid of Microsoft's long-term growth, although this didn't stop the executives from taking home particularly generous bonuses in 2022. As we reported yesterday, CEO Satya Nadella even enjoyed a ten percent pay rise last year, just a few months before these layoffs were revealed. This meant that Nadella made, on average, 289 times more than most employees, likely including a few of the developers working on Halo Infinite, even if they were lucky enough to keep their job.
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