- May 18, 2020
Turbulence continues on Microsoft Corp.’s Halo Infinite video game with the departure of the project’s director.
“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.”
The highly anticipated next Halo installment was originally slated to come out alongside Microsoft’s launch of its next-generation Xbox Series X console in November. The game was delayed in early August, however, following poor fan reception to an early public version. Lee’s role was sidelined a few weeks later, as Microsoft brought in Halo veteran Joe Staten to lead the single-player campaign and another senior executive, Pierre Hintze, to run multiplayer.
Second director to leave and one of countless leads to have left development partway through. Almost every lead role at 343 has been a revolving door since dev on Halo 4 began. Very little continuity.
My take as a long time Halo fan:
This one actually strikes me as a loss for Halo fans. Chris always struck me as one of the more passionate people at 343, a big fan of the series. It is a wonder to me that he is leaving but other longtime 343 leaders have stayed in their roles for such a long time. I think the problems at the studio are larger than the problems on this game. The game is just shining a light on the underlying issues at the studio. There is a serious leadership problem and a lack of a cohesive vision for the franchise as a whole.
In my opinion Chris was placed in a no win situation. When the inevitable happened he was the only one left standing when the music stopped. Maybe I am wrong, but just my take as someone who has watched the circus around Halo since Bungie left this franchise in Microsoft's hands.