A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to PC Gamer that Halo’s franchise director, Frank O’Connor, has left Microsoft, telling us, “We thank Frank for his quite a few contributions to the Halo franchise and want him properly going ahead.” O’Connor’s departure was first reported over the weekend by Home windows Central, who observed that his LinkedIn had been up to date to indicate him leaving Microsoft for a brand new function at an unspecified firm.
O’Connor started engaged on Halo at Bungie in 2004, where he wrote the “Bungie Weekly Update,” a predecessor to the still-running Future bulletin “This Week at Bungie.” O’Connor left the corporate for Microsoft correct in 2008, after the discharge of Halo 3, where he held the senior function of franchise inventive director, overseeing 343 Industries in addition to different studios engaged on varied multimedia tasks within the setting. O’Connor can be credited as an govt producer for the Halo TV collection.
O’Connor is the newest in a stream of senior builders and executives engaged on Halo to depart Microsoft and 343. Simply two weeks in the past, Halo inventive lead and fellow Bungie vet Joseph Staten left Microsoft after 9 years with the corporate. 343’s founder, Bonnie Ross, stepped down from her place as head of the developer in September, whereas 2022 additionally noticed the departure of Halo Infinite’s lead multiplayer designer, lead narrative designer, and multiplayer inventive director.
Moreover, the game’s inventive and challenge administrators left 343 throughout Infinite’s improvement, which by all accounts was a taxing course of even earlier than the game was delayed an additional yr following a poorly-received first displaying in 2020. Worse nonetheless, a major variety of salaried and contracted builders at 343 appear to have been included within the wave of 10,000 staff laid off by Microsoft in January.
One of many final large names at 343 via late 2022, Kiki Wolfkill, can be now not a part of the Halo braintrust. Wolfkill left the studio for a task as “head of Xbox IP enlargement and leisure” in November. The large conferences with Pierre Hientz, who took over for Bonnie Ross as studio head, should look nearly fully completely different than they did a yr in the past. Although O’Connor’s alternative, Corrinne Robinson, has been engaged on Halo since 2009, and served as a “franchise supervisor” for the final 9 years.
Issues appeared to be wanting up for Infinite instantly after launch, however its first yr stay was tough, marred by delays of recent multiplayer content material and anticipated options like marketing campaign co-op and no phrase of additional single participant additions. With the studio hit by all these layoffs and senior-level departures, I discover myself questioning who’s even going to be left to work on Halo. Infinite was imagined to be a recent starting for Halo, however it looks like no matter comes subsequent will actually be the beginning of a brand new period.