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Microsoft Denies Rumor About New Halo Games

Recently, fans discovered that Microsoft laid off 10,000 employees (via The New York Times). The mass layoff was felt around the company, including the developing studios under Microsoft. In a bizarre turn of Twitter-related events, this led to rumors that 343 Industries wouldn't be making future "Halo" games. 343 Industries eventually addressed the rumor mill, confirming that it would continue being in charge of development for the series.


Bloomberg's Jason Schreier broke the news that 343 Industries was hit hard by layoffs, with later numbers from him citing at least 95 layoffs at the development studio alone. The news, along with other "leaks" that came after Schreier's reporting, spawned numerous rumors that 343 Industries wouldn't be involved in the development of future "Halo" games. Even IGN discussed the possibility that the layoffs, and tips from anonymous sources, pointed toward 343 Industries becoming more of a publisher than a developer (or not the sole developer of the games at the very least).

This went on for a few days before the Microsoft-owned studio finally stepped in and attempted to shut the rumors down. In a statement on Twitter, 343 Industries Studio Head, Pierre Hintze, wrote that "343 Industries will continue to develop 'Halo' now and in the future, including epic stories, multiplayer, and more of what makes 'Halo' great." Still, some restructuring might be on the way for the company.


Restructuring 343 Industries

Despite the confirmation that 343 Industries would continue developing "Halo," workers on the inside have people questioning how true that statement is. A Bloomberg article explained that insiders said that there wasn't any new story content being developed for "Halo," despite the big unanswered questions left in the campaign of "Infinite." In fact, according to those sources, developers were busy using the Unreal Engine to pitch ideas for future "Halo" titles instead.


Head of Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios told Bloomberg that 343 Industries would be working with third parties, but would remain the head honcho of the franchise. The layoffs were more geared toward restructuring the company as it switches to the Unreal Engine and changes how it develops games. Fans had mixed feelings about the layoffs and 343 Industries' continued involvement in the franchise. Some were hopeful to see what another studio could do to make the games better while others were relieved that Pierre Hintze was still in charge.

These layoffs from Microsoft came while the company is being sued by the FTC and other groups around the world while trying to purchase Activision Blizzard.