Microsoft confirms departure of Halo franchise director Frank O'Connor

Halo Infinite
(Image credit: Microsoft/343 Industries)

Microsoft has confirmed that Halo veteran and franchise director Frank O'Connor has left the company.

Reports surfaced earlier today claiming O'Connor's LinkedIn profile suggested he had parted ways with 343 Industries, and now Microsoft has issued a brief statement (via Axios' Stephen Totilo) confirming the split

"We thank Frank for his numerous contributions to the Halo franchise and wish him well going forward," the statement reads.

O'Connor started with Bungie way back in 2003 as a writer and community manager,  moving to Microsoft proper in 2008 and then ultimately 343 Industries. His most recent role was as Halo franchise creative director and development director on Halo Infinite.

O'Connor's departure from 343 and Xbox follows closely behind that of Joseph Staten, another longtime Halo developer and a Microsoft executive. Staten left the company just last week and it was announced today that Netflix has scooped him up to work on a new and original AAA game. Multiplayer creative director Tom French likewise left Microsoft in December.

It's unclear why 343 seems to be bleeding talent so quickly, but we do know Microsoft's latest round of layoffs in January badly affected the Halo Infinite studio. That prompted rumors that 343 could soon cease active game development and franchise out the Halo name to other studios in the wake of Infinite's financial disappointment. 343, for its part, was quick to shoot down those rumors and say it "will continue to develop Halo now and in the future."

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Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.