The 343 Industries Studio, which has picked up the development of games in the Halo franchise after Bungie, is not going through the best of times. Mass job cuts in Microsoft, as reported by Bloomberg, also affected the Halo Infinite developer.
Although Microsoft does not provide specific figures, at least 95 people lost their jobs at 343 Industries, according to Bloomberg, among them dozens of veterans, managers, and contractors the studio strongly relied on. This has even led to rumors that Microsoft can transfer the development of future Halo units to other companies. However, Matt Booty, the head of Xbox Game Studios, assured that “343 will continue as the internal developer for Halo and as the home of Halo.”
But serious changes in the work of the studio will probably happen. First of all, this concerns the abandonment of an outdated driver of its own development – Slipspace. Based largely on old code from the 1990s and early 2000s, it’s buggy and difficult to use and has been the source of headaches for some developers on Halo Infinite. It is enough to say that multiplayer modes such as Extraction and Assault, both popular in previous Halo games, have yet to be released in part because of issues involving the engine.
So, then 343 Industries will switch to Unreal Engine: the first project of the studio in the new driver will be a game called Tatanka. It is being developed in conjunction with the Texas Studio of Certain Affinity, initially planned as a game in the Battle Royale genre, but can further develop in other areas.
It was the planning of the transition to Unreal Engine, according to Bloomberg, that caused bad support for Halo Infinite after release: while players expected the studio to work on new content and network regimes, in fact, the developer was engaged in creating prototypes on a new engine and generating ideas for new games.