Reports about Microsoft’s latest layoffs are emerging; the tech giant has laid off 5% of its workforce, approximately 10,000 employees. With that, Microsoft is focusing on its internal restructuring to overcome the deprivation that comes with layoffs.
This restructuring among gaming divisions at Microsoft has affected a number of studios. Bethesda reportedly lost some hard-working employees while the studio is busy making Starfield.
The latest reports are about 343 Studios. The studio has been “hit hard” by the latest layoffs as internal reorganizing has gotten Halo Infinite‘s Creative Director to depart from the team joining Xbox Publishing instead.
According to the latest report by Bloomberg, the layoffs have been intensely tough on 343 Studios. Joseph Staten, a Halo veteran, will be transferred from his Halo Infinite creative director role to Xbox’s publishing division. Based on the remarks of studio head Pierre Hintze, they probably have lost a sizeable sum of employees.
Bloomberg also received an email from Pierre Hintze where he seems very upset over the team’s loss.
We’ve made the difficult decision to restructure elements of our team, which means some roles are being eliminated.”
It sounds like 343's Halo Infinite campaign team got hit hard. In an email to staff, studio head Pierre Hintze wrote that "we've made the difficult decision to restructure elements of our team, which means some roles are being eliminated." https://t.co/GhjZLz6m7V
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) January 18, 2023
Joseph Staten leaving 343 Industries looks like a massive loss as he has known Halo since its establishment in 1998. Staten started working with Bungie Studios in the same year and has been the cinematic director on Combat Evolved, Halo 2, and Halo 3.
He also served as lead writer on Bungie’s sci-fi shooter, Destiny. Staten later departed from Bungie to join Microsoft in 2014.
Staten was added to the team in 2020 to help bring Halo Infinite toward the finish line. A number of delays and leadership changes occurred over the years preceding and after the December 2021 release of Halo Infinite.
343 Industries had already been losing several influential figures, which has damaged the condition of Halo Infinite. Previously, Halo Infinite Lead Designer Andrew Witts left the company, and Bonnie Ross, the former head of 343 Industries, also left the studio.
Microsoft has been receiving a lot of criticism over its latest decision to lay off employees. Former senior multiplayer designer on Halo Infinite, Patrick Wren took to Twitter yesterday to express his disappointment. According to Wren, the layoffs should not have happened at 343 Industries.
The people I worked every day with were passionate about Halo and wanted to make something great for the fans. They helped push for a better Halo and got laid off for it.
Devs still there are working hard on that dream. Look at Forge. Be kind to them during this awful time.
— Patrick Wren (@Witdarkstar) January 19, 2023
Former Halo 5: Guardians developer and current Apex Legends developer at Respawn, Tyler Owens, also conveyed his disdain on Twitter. The developer noted his tiredness regarding Microsoft’s business practices and policies that are “abused.”
As a Halo fan I'm really tired of Microsoft business practices & policies slowly killing the thing I love
between the contracting policies they abuse for tax incentives & layoffs in the face of gigantic profits/executive bonuses… they set Halo up for failure
— Tyler Owens (@heytred) January 18, 2023
Microsoft is yet to officially address this wave of criticism and we could potentially see Microsoft taking a dip due to it, especially the Halo franchise.
What are your thoughts about the developers criticizing Microsoft for this huge layoff? Do you think the layoff will benefit Microsoft in any way? Do let us know your opinions in the comments below.
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