After a big round of layoffs at Microsoft, which reportedly included 95 people at Halo developer 343 Industries, things are changing at the company. The studio is switching to Unreal Engine. They have no plans to add more story content to Halo Infinite, which will come out in 2021, and they are still trying to figure out what to do with a supposed Halo spin-off that is still in development.
According to a report from Bloomberg that came out today, 343 is starting over with Halo. People who know what the studio is up to say that they aren’t working on any new campaign DLC or updates for Halo Infinite. Instead of making new content for Infinite, developers at 343 were said to be making prototypes for new Halo games and projects in Unreal before the layoffs. And the report says that many of those developers have since been fired.
It is also said that the studio has finally decided to switch to Unreal after almost a decade of talking about it. Even though there were worries about how future Halo games made with Unreal would play, the current technology, called Slipstream, is hard to work with and uses code from the 1980s. Even though Extraction and Assault, two multiplayer modes for Halo Infinite, are almost done, they haven’t been added yet because of problems with the old Slipstream tools and tech.
This switch to Unreal will start with a new Halo game called “Tatanka” behind the scenes. This game is reportedly being made by 343 and the Texas-based studio Certain Affinity, which has a long history of working on Halo games. Tatanka seems to have started as a battle royale, but it could “develop in different ways.”
Halo Infinite was meant to be a big game for Xbox and 343 that would last for
Ten years. And while it got great reviews when it first came out, Halo fans now use it as a punching bag because it doesn’t get enough updates and has too few plans for the future. It looks like those long-term plans centered on Infinite aren’t quite the future anymore. According to an email that Bloomberg says new 343 studio boss Pierre Hintze sent to staff, the current plan for the Halo studio is to support “a robust live offering” for Halo Infinite and its Forge mode while also “greenlighting our new tech stack” for future Halo projects.
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