Joseph Staten, one of the most crucial figures behind the early Halo games, has joined 343 Industries to help the company ship Halo Infinite.
The designer will lead Infinite’s campaign team during the final stretch of its troubled development. Halo Infinite was due to launch with the Xbox Series X in November, but was delayed into next year at the last minute. Microsoft made the decision after footage of the game met a muted reception in some corners.
“I’m thrilled to join Halo,” Staten announced on Twitter. “I will be supporting the team's existing, great leaders and empowering them to do their best work. Also [Frank O’Connor, Halo franchise development director] promised me unlimited food-nipple access, so how could I refuse?”
That’s a reference to the way Covenant grunts get their sustenance, for any horrified newcomers to the series, as Staten voiced the grunts across the first three Halo games.
More significantly, Staten also directed the cinematics of the original Halo trilogy, writing the fiction of the beloved universe alongside Frank O'Connor and others at Bungie. He went on to work on a critically acclaimed Halo novel, Contact Harvest, and collaborate with Peter Jackson on his doomed Halo movie.
Staten worked on Destiny for several years - but his team’s planned plot was ultimately scrapped, and he left Bungie before the game came out. More recently, he was lead writer on Microsoft Studios’ ReCore, which was praised for its story, if not its mechanics.
This week, 343 was forced to dispel rumours that Halo Infinite’s Xbox One version had been cancelled as the game’s release date retreated into the future.