Halo Infinite has been delayed to a 2021 release being left out of the Xbox Series X’s launch lineup, developer 343 Industries is bringing in a veteran to help guide the game to its new 2021 release.
343 announced late Wednesday that Joseph Staten, one of the developers that were responsible for the original Halo trilogy’s characters, story, and cutscenes, is making a return to the franchise as project lead on the Halo Infinite campaign.
Bloomberg was the one who originally broke the news on Wednesday night that Staten is returning to the franchise. 343 made an official announcement less than an hour later on Halo Waypoint.
Pierre Hintze of Halo: The Master Chief Collection has also joined Joseph Staten to help finish Halo Infinite. He will be the project lead for the multiplayer component of the game which will be free-to-play.
343 Industries cited in its Halo Infinite delay announcement earlier this month that the global pandemic and working-from-home conditions as factors in delaying Halo Infinite. The announcement came three weeks after Halo Infinite’s first clip of gameplay which did not go well with longtime fans.
Staten making a return suggests that 343 is aiming to do more than just improve its work-from-home conditions from now until launch. Staten will lead the campaign team for the final year of development.
Rod Fergusson’s played a similar role as the “closer” for BioShock Infinite in its final crunch before release. It also certainly does not hurt that Staten is beloved by the Halo community. Fans trust him because of his association with Bungie’s trilogy. this is exactly what 343 needs at the moment.
Staten worked with Bungie and the Halo team for years. He left the studio a year before the launch of Destiny in 2014. Staten then joined Microsoft’s publishing group one year after his departure. working on internal projects like Tell Me Why. This is Staten’s first Halo work since 343 took over and released Halo 4 in 2012.
After Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians, Halo Infinite is 343 Industries’ third major Halo game. Halo Infinite follows Master Chief battling against The Banished on yet another Halo Ring. The gameplay looked like classic Halo but had Master Chief wielding some major upgrades, like a new grappling hook.