343 Industries Founder Departs As Halo Studio Restructures Leadership
The most recent adventure to occupy Microsoft’s flagship Halo franchise debuted for current and next-gen Xboxes nearly a year ago, with ensuing months also yielding more Master Chief content in the form of a particularly revealing Halo TV series on Paramount Plus. With that much more speculated to be on the horizon, it appears 343 Industries, the current studio in charge of the iconic franchise, will soon see one of its most integral personnel depart the developer.
Bonnie Ross, founder and head of 343 Industries, announced her decision to step down from her position after 15 years, citing personal reasons “attending to a family medical issue.” In a message posted on Twitter, Ross thanked her colleagues at 343i and the Halo community at large for supporting her as “part of a universe that I love” and assuring the “future is bright” for the franchise. Ross has been part of Halo since 2007, notably helping form 343 and leading the studio through the development of Halo 4, The Master Chief Collection, Halo 5: Guardians, and Halo Infinite.
While it’s surely unfortunate to see such an important figure exit under such personal circumstances, Microsoft appears ready to assemble a new team to take on Ross’ former duties in an apparent leadership restructuring. As per a statement to Windows Central, 343i head of production Pierre Hintze is set to lead ongoing development on all current and future Halo games, with Bryan Koski acting as franchise GM and Elizabeth Van Wyck overseeing general business and operations.
As the Halo franchise continues to expand across new ventures and mediums, splitting boss duties into three distinct positions definitely seems to be the right call, especially as fans have often criticized the lack of content being rolled out to live service entry Halo Infinite over the past year. Outrage arguably reached its apex this month when 343i officially axed Infinite’s long-delayed couch co-op feature (online co-op is still coming), opting to focus on the game’s approaching third Season, Winter Update, and Forge mode instead.
Though fans are disappointed with content lately, this leadership change perhaps has the potential to set Halo Infinite back on track. New 343i studio head Pierre Hintze is memorable for his previous work leading development on The Master Chief Collection following its infamously buggy 2014 launch. Under his watch, years of careful patches have effectively turned around the reception of the Halo experience, so it’s definitely possible for the same to happen with Infinite as well.
What do you think? Are you bummed about the unfortunate departure of 343i boss Bonnie Ross? Do you think these leadership changes are enough to keep Halo Infinite on track? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day!
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Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his biweekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.