More news coming out of the troubling development cycle of Halo Infinite at 343 Industries. Originally slated to be a launch title for the upcoming Xbox Series X|S on November 10th, production shortcomings, reported behind the scenes issues, and the matter of the coronavirus making matters more difficult, the project was pushed back to an as of yet 2021 release date. Now, director Chris Lee, who had been overseeing the project for the last two years, has announced that he will depart from the heading Halo Infinite.
“I have stepped back from Infinite and I am looking at future opportunities,” Lee said. “I believe in the team and am confident they will deliver a great game and now is a good time for me to step away.”
“Chris Lee remains a Microsoft employee and while he has stepped back from Halo: Infinite right now, we appreciate all he has done for the project to date,” Microsoft said in an emailed statement. This is the second staffer to leave the project in a matter of months, and one of several to leave in the last year. Creative director Tim Longo and executive producer Mary Olson departed in 2019, the latter joining Midwinter Entertainment.
Mixed to negative fan reception to the quality of the official gameplay trailer back on July 23rd very likely played a hand in the shift of focus that lead the extended delays. Joseph Staten, who worked on the Halo series as a head writer and cinematic director back during its Bungie days, joined the team August 20th. And Pierre Hintze, who previously aided in publishing Halo: The Master Chief Collection, will be tasked with heading development of the free multiplayer modes.
The development carousel continues for 343, whether they can right the ship for a 2021 release. Fans would love to believe, but good news seems scarce for the time being.