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Another development lead is leaving 343i. David Burger, veteran since Halo 4.

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
https://www.windowscentral.com/gami...leadership-team-is-leaving-xbox-and-microsoft
David Berger, who led development of the Slipspace Engine used by Halo Infinite, is also leaving 343i. The report comes originally from outlet Lords of Gaming, but we can confirm via our own sources that it seems to be accurate. Berger has led technical development at 343i for several years, working on Halo 4, 5, and Halo Infinite. Berger is also a veteran Microsoft director who worked on classic titles like Mechwarrior, Shadowrun, and Too Human, before taking up the reins at 343i's engineering department.


What you need to know​

  • This week, 343i director Bonnie Ross departed Microsoft after 27 years, 15 years of which were spent leading Halo's direction.
  • Halo is Microsoft's iconic flagship Xbox IP, that has struggled to maintain mindshare in a competitive landscape.
  • Halo Infinite launched to critical acclaim, but the slow pace of development on its live service has left it struggling to compete with matured free to play shooters like Fortnite, Valorant, Warzone, and others.
  • A report from gaming outlet Lords of Gaming which we can corroborate independently indicates that David Berger, who led development on Halo Infinite's Slipspace Engine, is also leaving 343i.

With Peter Hintz replacing Bonnie immediately as the new studio head, and several other positions were changed at the same time, the fact we now have more people leaving not only shows that the reason given by Bonnie for leaving Microsoft and 343i is likely false and is a cover for Phil and possibly Matt Booty under influence from Phil giving them the boot, but we are also seeing pre 343i gaming developers in leadership positions.

But this shows promise, 343i has had it's executives and top staff positions changes or altered in just the last week. I assume there will be some lower position changes, whether or not there will be news reports on that remains to be seen, but what I'm seeing is a possible positive outcome. With everything changed up it may be possible that the 343i name and halo can be turned around.

While it's not guarantee, I think it's clear the old leadership and their choices have not been effective the last 11 years, and this change was needed.
 
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Jennings

Member
the fact we now have more people leaving not only shows that the reason given by Bonnie for leaving Microsoft and 343i is likely false and is a cover
No, this doesn't suggest her family's health issues are false. She already admitted she was leaving in a few months anyway, high level departures tend to occur in groups and hers would very much have influenced those that followed.
 

SenjutsuSage

Halo TV Series Promoter - Live from: Reach
So Bonnie is lying about her family emergency according to you? Oh boy.

No Way Wow GIF by BrownSugarApp


The silliest part is this whole thing is that when 343i is producing better content solely as a result of them just having more time to do so people will act as if a small handful of people leaving is why, like all of it wasn't well into motion months and years in advance. The body of work 343i is about to showcase beginning with the Winter Update this November and come end of calendar year 2023 will all be work that was well underway. Not much will change on their campaign side either. I'm certain those plans are already locked in. The difference the pressure for launch time has been removed. 343i simply were under pressure to make launch and needed more time, but they were also too important to Series X|S launch and Game Pass to just be delayed any further past 2021. Even then they delivered an unbelievable campaign and mp package.

After all, it's not like they won multiple GOTY awards or the game was a critical hit or anything. 343i hasn't shipped a single bad or okay game their entire time on Halo. Every game made with them as the primary development studio was a great game. They've also improved Halo's gameplay drastically with each and every iteration. Halo Infinite is no different. It's just significantly more ambitious in its gameplay ideas than all the others.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
Since halo 4..

Nothing of value is lost. if anything this is positive news.

This is also solidify the news that bonnie didn't really leave for family medical reasons but more of saving face.

Phil and co must have let her use that excuse as a courtesy, otherwise they would have said something. Who knows, maybe it was Phils idea for the excuse.

Unless the 5-6 staff that have changed so far ate all having family emergencies. That's very unlikely
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
So Bonnie is lying about her family emergency according to you? Oh boy.

So you believe she LEFT MICROSOFT because of a family emergency and think that makes more sense instead of taking leave because?

Or that several staff since then have also left out the blue next to each other, you think that's a coincidence? You are easy to fool my friend.

The difference the pressure for launch time has been removed. 343i simply were under pressure to make launch and needed more time,

I don't know why the defenders keep saying this, with the delay they had 7 years, they didn't need more time. they were also the studio with the most staff and the most tools than other Xbox studios, so unlike other studios, even Crackdown (which was partially third party) there was no justification for more time. They even got an extra year.
 

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
the fact we now have more people leaving not only shows that the reason given by Bonnie for leaving Microsoft and 343i is likely false and is a cover for Phil and possibly Matt Booty under influence from Phil giving them the boot. The only family emergency is when Phil sends his boys to your family to get you to leave.

simon cowell facepalm GIF



I can't believe a human actually typed this out.
 
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SlimySnake

Member
While I wont comment on any conspiracy theories, it's good to see a major shakeup at the studio. You simply cannot take that long and then fail to deliver on the original promise, and expect to keep your job.

This shows accountability to your consumer and to other leads. You cant simply coast along and deliver underwhelming products after product. This shows that MS doesnt think everything is ok.

Hope Matt Booty is next. Changes have to be made and if they are firing leads over at 343i then surely the xbox first party head for the last 9 years needs to go as well. Bring in new blood and try something else. 2 years without next gen games is ridiculous. Still have no idea how they didnt show up with Fable, Everwild, Perfect Dark, Avowed and State of decay this E3 after revealing them two E3s ago. They cant fire every studio head and engine lead at every single one of their studios so replace the man at the top. Bootys gotta be given the boot.
 

onesvenus

Member
the reason given by Bonnie for leaving Microsoft and 343i is likely false and is a cover for Phil and possibly Matt Booty under influence from Phil giving them the boot

Phil and co must have let her use that excuse as a courtesy, otherwise they would have said something. Who knows, maybe it was Phils idea for the excuse.
I don't know why you are wasting your time on a gaming forum when you could be writing a movie for Hollywood
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
Hope Matt Booty is next. Changes have to be made and if they are firing leads over at 343i then surely the xbox first party head for the last 9 years needs to go as well. Bring in new blood and try something else. 2 years without next gen games is ridiculous. Still have no idea how they didnt show up with Fable, Everwild, Perfect Dark, Avowed and State of decay this E3 after revealing them two E3s ago. They cant fire every studio head and engine lead at every single one of their studios so replace the man at the top. Bootys gotta be given the boot.

I doubt Matt Booty is going ti be fired, because much of the issue is Microsofts hands off approach which was mostly under Phil anyway. Matt may not have the best PR, but you can't really point to him for the problem with studios underdelivering, delays, and internal studio problems like at Rare with Everwild or 343.
 

SlimySnake

Member
I doubt Matt Booty is going ti be fired, because much of the issue is Microsofts hands off approach which was mostly under Phil anyway. Matt may not have the best PR, but you can't really point to him for the problem with studios underdelivering, delays, and internal studio problems like at Rare with Everwild or 343.
Nah Phil became the defacto Xbox CEO after Don Matrick left in June or July of 2013. Matt Booty took over from Phil, and quite frankly the buck stops with him. 9 years at the helm and underdelivering year after year? I say Matt Booty and Phil both have to shoulder the blame especially if heads of studios are falling on their sword.

Phil probably gets a pass because of gamepass, x1x specs, xsx specs, buying all these studios then buying entire publishers, and topping Sony in the U.S in sales, but someone's gotta go, and Id start with replacing the head of first party development. If you cant fix in 9 years, i dont care if its your fault or not, you wont be able to fix it, period. Bring new blood and start fresh.
 

SafeOrAlone

Member
Wait, why are people having a hard time believing that Bonnie Ross and friends are actually being fired, and not just leaving for family health reasons, or whatever?

It seems like this is a "hot take" around the internet and I do not understand why. There is every reason to believe these people are being fired and it's common practice to give someone an excuse, or allow themselves to "step down", when, uh, "letting them go".
 
Statement from Ross - "While I had hoped to stay with Halo until we released the Winter Update, I am letting you know I will be leaving 343 and attending a family medical issue".

Sounds to me like she was scheduled to depart later in the year but that was moved up due to a family emergency.

With the departure of David Burger it seems likely to me that there is a clear out in progress.

In my opinion 343 should never have been handed the Halo IP until they had a proven track record. The damage that has been done to the Halo brand under their stewardship is almost absolute. Key decisions have obviously been decided via a committee of suits which has left the franchise a pale and passionless reflection of its former glory. On the technology side things are far worse which is damning considering the time and investment vested in the studio.

In my opinion Halo needs a reboot. A chance to wipe the slate clean and start again. Infinite shat the bed. Start with Reach or Contact Harvest and go from there. Stick to the established plot from the excellent novels. No more retcons of key lore i.e. Yes, Humans are (devolved) Forerunners you fucks!!! That's why Humans can interact and interface with Forerunner tech and instinctively know how to use it (Halo: The Flood). That's why the Prophets started the war in the first place (Halo: Contact Harvest). 343 retconned that little detail cause they wanted a new shitty enemy to face to go along with their COD wannabe bullshit multiplayer in Halo 4. In fact, just burn 343 down and let Halo die. It deserves better than this.

The Simpsons GIF
 

SomeGit

Member
While I appreciate OPs conspiracy theory level of schizophrenia, what difference does it make if it a family health issue or not? She leaving, you don’t need to go into every thread screaming “coverup”.

No one cares, you just look crazy.
 

SenjutsuSage

Halo TV Series Promoter - Live from: Reach
So you believe she LEFT MICROSOFT because of a family emergency and think that makes more sense instead of taking leave because?

Or that several staff since then have also left out the blue next to each other, you think that's a coincidence? You are easy to fool my friend.



I don't know why the defenders keep saying this, with the delay they had 7 years, they didn't need more time. they were also the studio with the most staff and the most tools than other Xbox studios, so unlike other studios, even Crackdown (which was partially third party) there was no justification for more time. They even got an extra year.

People, even top people, leave studios all the time. It means nothing. It happened after Halo 4, after Halo 5, after Halo Infinite. And they still attract back top tier talent always.

As to the needing more time, they were hit with a pandemic. You don't know how that affected their production schedule while building the first ever Halo game across multiple consoles and PC simultaneously. That was a new effort for 343i to do so. All prior Halo games were built on one single xbox platform when they newly launched. They also built a brand new engine during that time and they totally reinvented Halo to include an open world format with many new gameplay features.

So they took longer because they literally made the longest Halo game ever with the most content and new gameplay additions ever. Plus they created a very impressive onboarding process to Halo MP that has never been there before. These are all fantastic additions to Halo. Now they'll take their time to get all else together, and I'm confident they will do that because it's what they've always done. Look at what they did with MCC? Same studio. And they didn't always have a season plan in place. 343i is one of the best game development studios in the entire business. Nothing I've seen thus far convinces me otherwise. Some decisions that were made simply put the studio in a bad position, and they are just heads down and working on delivering on their promises for Halo Infinite.
 

//DEVIL//

Member
Phil and co must have let her use that excuse as a courtesy, otherwise they would have said something. Who knows, maybe it was Phils idea for the excuse.

Unless the 5-6 staff that have changed so far ate all having family emergencies. That's very unlikely
And I bet you many other staffs are being switched to different places within MS. And the only reason they didn't quite is because they know they are shit and they won't get a decent job anywhere else. So they probably ok to be switched to different places in MS. Maybe couple of them works as janitors now .
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
In my opinion 343 should never have been handed the Halo IP until they had a proven track record.

That's what the Halo 1 remake was. Then Halo 4 came out evening the score, it's really MCC where staff should have been changed but we still got Halo 5 and Infinite and I think they had something to do with the Windows Phone games.

However, the guy who helped finally get MCC fixed is in Bonnies place now, so that may be a good sign.

As to the needing more time, they were hit with a pandemic. You don't know how that affected their production schedule while building the first ever Halo game across multiple consoles and PC simultaneously

No this doesn't fly, the Halo that was going to release in 2020 was what was shown at the showcase in 2020. Halo Infinite was already developed over 5 years prior to the pandemic starting. They then got an extra year way after the pandemic panic was gone and way after the lockdowns and the gradual opening period.

Halo 4
Veteran
Pick one

lol.

Wait, why are people having a hard time believing that Bonnie Ross and friends are actually being fired, and not just leaving for family health reasons, or whatever?

It seems like this is a "hot take" around the internet and I do not understand why. There is every reason to believe these people are being fired and it's common practice to give someone an excuse, or allow themselves to "step down", when, uh, "letting them go".

It's even been discussed here previously, for other reasons iirc, but I guess 343i and Halo are touchy subjects. it's just plan corporate business going all the way back decades. It's actually one of the methods some people want to change about corporate culture because it's so common.
 

Sosokrates

Report me if I continue to console war
Wait, why are people having a hard time believing that Bonnie Ross and friends are actually being fired, and not just leaving for family health reasons, or whatever?

It seems like this is a "hot take" around the internet and I do not understand why. There is every reason to believe these people are being fired and it's common practice to give someone an excuse, or allow themselves to "step down", when, uh, "letting them go".
Its Classic whataboutism with the intent to smear.
 

schaft0620

Member
Hope Matt Booty is next. Changes have to be made and if they are firing leads over at 343i then surely the xbox first party head for the last 9 years needs to go as well. Bring in new blood and try something else. 2 years without next gen games is ridiculous. Still have no idea how they didnt show up with Fable, Everwild, Perfect Dark, Avowed and State of decay this E3 after revealing them two E3s ago. They cant fire every studio head and engine lead at every single one of their studios so replace the man at the top. Bootys gotta be given the boot.

They just promoted Matt Booty.
 

Sosokrates

Report me if I continue to console war
I don't think it's whataboutism to imply she was fired, given the state of the game. It's just looking at the evidence, the timeline of events, and drawing a reasonable conclusion.
There is no evidence and theres no way in investigating it unless you're going to spy on bonnie Ross. So its a pointless thing to bring up.

I mean what is the point in implying it, whats your goal here?
 
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SlimySnake

Member
Wait, why are people having a hard time believing that Bonnie Ross and friends are actually being fired, and not just leaving for family health reasons, or whatever?

It seems like this is a "hot take" around the internet and I do not understand why. There is every reason to believe these people are being fired and it's common practice to give someone an excuse, or allow themselves to "step down", when, uh, "letting them go".
Because it doesnt really matter. Bonnie could really have a family emergency. We are not in high school skipping school making up excuses like my grandmother died. This could be something serious with someone very close to her. Why even bring this up?

Shes gone. Be happy. Take the Win and move on instead of speculating about the reasons. Its just poor manners.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
They just promoted Matt Booty.

Yep, In January when Satya created the new positions of "CEO" of Xbox gaming in January this year, Matt took on the responsibilities Phil had that were left b behind, and then not even 2 weeks ago Aaron Greenberg was promoted to. None of these guys are leaving.
 

SafeOrAlone

Member
Because it doesnt really matter. Bonnie could really have a family emergency. We are not in high school skipping school making up excuses like my grandmother died. This could be something serious with someone very close to her. Why even bring this up?

Shes gone. Be happy. Take the Win and move on instead of speculating about the reasons. Its just poor manners.
Actually it does matter, when discussing the state of 343 and Halo. It is completely relevant whether or not Microsoft saw fit to change heads of the studio.

Whether or not it is rude to discuss whether she was truly fired or not? Idk man, it's just business. We are on a forum dedicated to videogames and trying to hush anyone who wants to acknowledge that the head of the studio was fired, when the game is in such a controversial state, seems pretty odd to me.

Like, can we discuss what's really happening here, or should we play pretend?

It's not about me taking a "win". Idk about you, but it's not that personal for me. I'm interested in discussing the game and the state of the studio. That involves whether or not Bonnie Ross was fired.

There is no evidence and theres no way in investigating it unless you're going to spy on bonnie Ross. So its a pointless thing to bring up.

I mean what is the point in implying it, whats your goal here?

See above.

My goal was to ask why there is a general silencing around the acknowledgement that Bonnie Ross seems to have been fired. I think it's strange that people are trying to silence that idea, and my goal is to question that.

I think some of you are being a bit defensive and maybe assuming everyone here is a console warrior trying to spit in the face of Halo, or make an inflammatory post, or do something nefarious.

Bottom line: If the head of the studio leaves, it is worth discussing WHY.
And if your retort to that is "Microsoft told us why", then you don't seem to understand that coming up with a reason for someone stepping/being fired down is common practice.
 
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Sosokrates

Report me if I continue to console war
Actually it does matter, when discussing the state of 343 and Halo. It is completely relevant whether or not Microsoft saw fit to change heads of the studio.

Whether or not it is rude to discuss whether she was truly fired or not? Idk man, it's just business. We are on a forum dedicated to videogames and trying to hush anyone who wants to acknowledge that the head of the studio was fired, when the game is in such a controversial state, seems pretty odd to me.

Like, can we discuss what's really happening here, or should we play pretend?

It's not about me taking a "win". Idk about you, but it's not that personal for me. I'm interested in discussing the game and the state of the studio. That involves whether or not Bonnie Ross was fired.



See above.

My goal was to ask why there is a general silencing around the acknowledgement that Bonnie Ross seems to have been fired. I think it's strange that people are trying to silence that idea, and my goal is to question that.

I think some of you are being a bit defensive and maybe assuming everyone here is a console warrior trying to spit in the face of Halo, or make an inflammatory post, or do something nefarious.
Silencing? There is a thread about it all over the internet. There is just not really much to discuss. The conversions are just "what ifs" that verge on the negetive side.

I think there nothing wrong in discussing who the new leaders of 343 but that has nothing to do with formulating bonnie ross conspiracy theories.
 

SafeOrAlone

Member
Silencing? There is a thread about it all over the internet. There is just not really much to discuss. The conversions are just "what ifs" that verge on the negetive side.

I think there nothing wrong in discussing who the new leaders of 343 but that has nothing to do with formulating bonnie ross conspiracy theories.
Yes, silencing. As in, telling people not to discuss whether the reason Bonnie Ross was fired was actually due to incompetence, rather than her needing to leave for family issues.

There is not much to discuss? So you don't think it's worth discussing whether or not Microsoft was pleased with the head of the studio that just left the company? You don't think it's worth discussing whether they ultimately approved of the former head of the studio, or whether they came to the conclusion that things need to change?

Because if you're going to discuss those things, you need to acknowledge whether Bonnie Ross was fired, or whether she left of her own volition. And that means asking whether she truly left for a family member's health reasons.

I'm sorry it's a sensitive topic. And I'm sorry about Bonnie Ross's situation, but I think it's worth discussing whether or not she was fired, and will continue to be relevant to the discussion in further conversations about the state of Halo.

Some of you guys want to frame this as high school gossip, which I don't understand at all.
No, it's just relevant to the state of the studio and the future of Halo.

I'll leave you with this: When Zack Snyder "stepped down" from Justice League, due to a terrible tragedy in his family, was that really the reason WB was having him step down?
We know in hindsight that the answer is a big, fat "No". They wanted to change course. If we had all just went off of the assumption that Zack wanted to step down, it'd paint a very different picture.

(Snyder's work on DC films is just a good example, whether or not you love or hate the work itself.)
 
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SlimySnake

Member
Actually it does matter, when discussing the state of 343 and Halo. It is completely relevant whether or not Microsoft saw fit to change heads of the studio.

Whether or not it is rude to discuss whether she was truly fired or not? Idk man, it's just business. We are on a forum dedicated to videogames and trying to hush anyone who wants to acknowledge that the head of the studio was fired, when the game is in such a controversial state, seems pretty odd to me.

Like, can we discuss what's really happening here, or should we play pretend?

It's not about me taking a "win". Idk about you, but it's not that personal for me. I'm interested in discussing the game and the state of the studio. That involves whether or not Bonnie Ross was fired.
My apologies. Didnt mean to hush you. Feel free to discuss as you will.
 
How did the last Halo game do?

Doesn't seem like the IP is top tier at Xbox anymore.

Halo Infinite's player retention is sharply declining, but why?

The game is no longer in Xbox's top five most played games list (it sits at sixth place under Roblox at the time of writing), and on Steam, it typically hovers between 10-20k concurrent players — a small fraction of what the player count looked like a couple months ago.
 
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Sosokrates

Report me if I continue to console war
discuss whether the reason Bonnie Ross was fired was actually due to incompetence, rather than her needing to leave for family issues.

Well if there was some evidence then sure.
But there isn't any.. just biased conjecture, and in that case people can steer the conversation in any way they want..
 
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