The next Halo game could reportedly be developed by a studio other than 343 Industries, after it sustained significant losses in its workforce over the last few days due to the massive Microsoft layoffs. This is according to sources speaking with a French Halo podcaster named Bathrobe Spartan on Twitter, who has posted a long, in-depth thread of new information about the situation. In particular, it reports on how the Halo franchise, the Halo Infinite roadmap, and 343 Industries will move forward.
343 Industries workforce was apparently cut by “one-third”
After taking a day to verify information from its sources, Bathrobe Spartan estimates that 343 Industries has lost about “one-third” of its workforce, after factoring in transfers to other teams at Microsoft and “the non-renewal of external contractors.” As a result, the “game development” part of the studio will reportedly fade away as it plans to franchise the Halo license to other studios.
This isn’t too far out of place from what 343 Industries already does with Halo Infinite. It has SkyboxLabs working on Forge mode, Sperasoft making maps, and Certain Affinity developing various modes. By extension, 343 Industries (along with Xbox Game Studios) wants to reposition itself as a delegator for content production on the Halo franchise, similar to how it was a license manager for the Halo Legends film series.
The thread points out that Xbox Publishing had already approached other developers in 2020 to pitch new ideas for “new Halo experiences.” Following this strategy, they wish to give permission to other studios to build and support new Halo games at scale but at a lower budget.
In the end, the thread ends with a cautiously optimistic tone, believing that these changes will mean more games in the Halo franchise, though it also means a loss of narrative single-player content in Halo Infinite in favor of updates focused on multiplayer.