Bungie’s Joe Staten returns to Microsoft amongst talent shifts at 343 Industries

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A New Year has brought a bunch of new changes to Microsoft Game Studios and Halo steward 343 Industries with writers, producers and directors all shifting around the organisations.


– Joe Staten (Image Source)

The most surprising addition to the Microsoft Game Studios team is that of Joseph Staten, previous lead writer and creative director at Bungie while working on (and helping to create) the Halo series, before wrapping up his work on Destiny and departing the studio in September 2013.

Xbox studio manager Mike Ybarra announced the news on Twitter:

Speaking to Polygon, Microsoft said that Staten’s new role at the company is senior creative director but will not be working directly on the next Halo, instead helping to create “the world’s best entertainment on Xbox, as well as help shape our franchise strategy for some Microsoft Studios titles.” Staten will additionally be involved as an ambassador to the Xbox game development community, “building on his many years of experience and relationships with developers and fans.”

That and More, Brother

While Staten’s return may be the most surprising shift at MGS, that’s not the least of it because following the departure of Corrinne Yu from 343 last year to join up at Naughty Dog, her husband Kenneth Scott will be transitioning out of his role as art director at the Halo studio to become a design consultant while living in Santa Monica, California. Taking his place will be concept artist titan, Nicolas “Sparth” Bouvier, who worked with Scott at id Software on RAGE and has contributed visions to other massive games like the Assassin’s Creed franchise, amongst others.

343 Industries producer Kiki Wolfkill, meanwhile, is on a new journey developing “exciting new stories, experiences and technologies that will transform the way that you experience Halo,” while industry veteran Tim Longo (formerly of LucasArts) joins on as creative director.

Business As Usual

Despite all of the leadership changes at MGS and 343 Industries, the Halo team is still very much on track to deliver a new Halo game on Xbox One in 2014 – writing on the Halo Waypoint blog, newly appointed executive producer Josh Holmes wrote:

“2014 is here and much is afoot in the Halo universe. This past year has been a time of great transition at 343 as we’ve moved our engine and team from Xbox 360 to Xbox One and begun building the next chapter in the Halo saga.

“We’re proud of what we accomplished with our first release in Halo 4 and now we’re focused on something much more transformative as we make the leap to the next generation of Xbox. We showed a hint of what we have in store at E3 last year and we’re excited to share more in the not-so-distant future. Please be patient – we can’t wait to show you what we have in store.”

Where is your excitement level for Halo at now with these changes in leadership? More, less or the same?

Source: Halo Waypoint

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