Lee, who joined 343 in 2008 and has been a studio head since 2016, says that he has "stepped back from Infinite and I am looking at future opportunities. I believe in the team and am confident that they will deliver a great game and now is a good time for me to step away." Lee will, however, remain a Microsoft employee, according to a statement from the company.
The departure marks another blow for Halo Infinite. Last summer, it lost its creative director and executive producer, at which point 343 said that Lee would continue to lead "the overall creative vision and production of the game." Earlier this year, the game, which was originally slated to release as an Xbox Series X launch game, was pushed back to 2021, and we still don't have a concrete Halo Infinite release date.
Bloomberg's report suggests that that could be a significant part of Lee's departure, stating that Lee's role was "sidelined" a few weeks after the decision to delay Infinite was made after the response to the game's reveal in July. His replacements are longtime Halo developer Joe Staten, who is currently leading the single-player campaign, and Microsoft senior executive Pierre Hintze, who is running the multiplayer side.
Halo Infinite might still not release as just one game, as multiplayer could arrive after the campaign has already shipped.