Former 343i developers criticize Halo Infinite’s direction following Microsoft layoffs

The controversy surrounding Microsoft’s 10,000 disgruntled employees seems to have no end in sight, as yesterday it was confirmed... Maria | 20. January 2023

The controversy surrounding Microsoft’s 10,000 disgruntled employees seems to have no end in sight, as yesterday it was confirmed that Bethesda, The Coalition, and 343 Industries had all suffered the effects of Microsoft’s cutbacks.

According to reports from Bloomberg, the last team is the most affected. In addition, some former Halo developers have criticized Microsoft because of the bad news about the various groups.

Criticism over layoffs

The controversy continues, and numerous senior members of Bungie’s staff have made job offers to those laid off from 343 Industries. Specifically, people working in the campaign mode are the people who suffer the most, says Lords of Gaming media.

Patrick Wren, Halo Infinite’s multiplayer mode lead designer who spent eight years at 343i, offered one of the harshest criticisms.

“The layoffs at 343 shouldn’t have happened, and Halo Infinite should be in a better state. The reason for both of those things is incompetent leadership up top during Halo Infinite development causing massive stress on those working hard to make Halo the best it can be.”

“The people I worked every day with were passionate about Halo and wanted to make something great for the fans. They helped push for a better Halo and got laid off for it. Devs still there are working hard on that dream. Look at Forge. Be kind to them during this awful time.”

Patrick Wren is currently at Respawn working on Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

On the other hand, the developer who was at 343i during the production of Halo 5, Tyler Owens, who now works on Apex Legends, did not hesitate to criticize Microsoft.

Tyler Owens, through his Twitter account, commented:

“As a Halo fan I’m really tired of Microsoft business practices & policies slowly killing the thing I love”

“Between the contracting policies they abuse for tax incentives & layoffs in the face of gigantic profits/executive bonuses… they set Halo up for failure”

Other comments

Nicholas Bird, a former developer working on Halo Infinite, also joins the wave of criticism; on his Twitter account, he commented:

“Don’t forget the heavy reliance on contractors/vendors and that messed up system (though I know that’s more MS). I would have loved to stay on the team if I could of and worked my way up. Still one of my favorite jobs I have been at.”

Zara Varin, the former consumer product and artist asset coordinator at 343 Industries, wrote:

“Having been wrung through that contractor cycle for nearly 6 years, it always felt like being gaslit to hear how much leadership cared about us & our opinions but seldom invited it where it felt like it would do the most good to make a difference & we’d get conciliatory inaction”

All indications are that Microsoft has laid off more than 60 people at 343 Industries, including key employees such as Bonnie Ross, the head of the studio who has worked there for more than 15 years, the director of engineering, and the creative director of multiplayer.

Header: 343 Industries