Master Chief has always had a penchant for bumpy landings, but over the years he’s mostly kept that confined to events inside games. Halo Infinite, however, has weathered a last-minute delay and, now, the loss of two directors en route to putting down wheels.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Chris Lee, the 343 Industries studio head who oversaw production of Halo Infinite, is now off the project. “I have stepped back from Infinite and I am looking at future opportunities,” Lee told Bloomberg. This apparently follows a post-delay leadership changeup in which, per Bloomberg’s report, Lee’s role was “sidelined” after Microsoft handed the keys over to series veteran Joe Staten in August. In a statement, Microsoft said that Lee “remains a Microsoft employee,” but his time with Halo has come to an end.
Last year, Tim Longo, then-creative director of Infinite, also left the project as part of a leadership shakeup. After a demo earlier this year failed to make a splash, Microsoft delayed the game from its holiday 2020 release window to 2021. At the time, Lee attributed the delay to“multiple factors,” including covid, and said that the extra time “will let us finish the critical work necessary to deliver the most ambitious Halo game ever at the quality we know our fans expect.”
That, I imagine, is still the goal, but Lee is no longer the one making sure it happens, for better or worse.