Halo Infinite studio reportedly hit hard by Microsoft's latest round of layoffs

Halo Infinite Season 2
(Image credit: 343 Industries)

It looks like the developer behind Halo Infinite, 343 Industries, has been hit particularly hard by Microsoft's far-reaching round of layoffs. 

Bloomberg (opens in new tab) reports that several employees – present and now unfortunately former – have confirmed that the studio's headcount has been sliced, which follows a long-running hiring freeze and contractor departures. Among the teams hit the hardest is reportedly the campaign team, with studio head Pierre Hintze telling staff in an email that "some" roles are being eliminated due to the decision to restructure elements of the group.

As part of the reshuffle, Halo veteran Joe Staten – who rejoined in 2020 to guide Infinite towards the finish line – is reportedly leaving the studio to rejoin Xbox Publishing. 

Following Bloomberg's report, several former and current employees took to social media to air frustrations or confirm if they were among those laid off. 

"The layoffs at 343 shouldn't have happened and Halo Infinite should be in a better state," one says (opens in new tab) on Twitter. "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 news follows on the heels of Microsoft revealing plans to chop 10,000 jobs, just one year after the tech behemoth announced it was acquiring Activision Blizzard for $69 billion, a company that itself employs 9,800 people according to its 2021 annual report. 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explained in a public statement (opens in new tab) to investors and employees that the layoffs represent "less than 5% of our total employee base", and that "US-benefit-eligible employees will receive a variety of benefits, including above-market severance pay, continuing healthcare coverage for six months, continued vesting of stock awards for six months, career transition services, and 60 days notice prior to termination, regardless of whether such notice is legally required. Benefits for employees outside the US will align with the employment laws in each country."

A key European trade union has given Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition a vote of support.

Deputy News Editor

Iain joins the GamesRadar team as Deputy News Editor following stints at PCGamesN and PocketGamer.Biz, with some freelance for Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, and VG24/7 thrown in for good measure. When not helping Ali run the news team, he can be found digging into communities for stories – the sillier the better. When he isn’t pillaging the depths of Final Fantasy 14 for a swanky new hat, you’ll find him amassing an army of Pokemon plushies.