Microsoft and 343 Industries are working on Halo: Infinite, a game that will supposedly see a “much more human” story with the iconic Master Chief playing a more central role than in Halo 5: Guardians. While saving humanity is also a key point, it looks like former Creative Director at 343 Industries, Tim Longo, is gone as well as lead producer Mary Olson.
Back on August 19th, 2019, Longo announced to the public that he was no longer with 343 Industries and that his role as creative director is empty and he’s moving on to do other things:
Thanks for all the kind words from everyone! It was just time to move on & I’ll miss 343i dearly. A great team is still kicking butt on Halo Infinite & I have all the faith & trust in them. Not ready to reveal my next adventure but things are already brewing. Stay tuned & onward!
— Tim Longo (@timlongojr) August 19, 2019
Website Kotaku managed to get an email from 343 Industries around the same time as Longo announced his departure, which reads:
“Roles and responsibilities of various team members regularly evolve to meet the needs of a game, throughout development. We have recently had two changes to the Halo Infinite development team. Our Executive Producer, Mary Olson will now take charge of the Campaign team on Halo Infinite as the Lead Producer, utilizing her many years of experience at 343 Industries to help craft a great campaign for fans. Additionally, Tim Longo has recently departed our team and we are truly thankful for his many contributions to our games, our studio, and the Halo universe… The overall creative vision and production of the game… led by Chris Lee, Studio Head of Halo Infinite… These changes have no impact to the release date for Halo Infinite.”
With that said, 343 Industries executive producer Olson was to take charge of the campaign on Halo: Infinite as the lead producer to help “craft” a “great campaign” for fans, but that no longer seems to be the case.
Website windowscentral.com has a report out saying that Olson has left the company to join former 343 Industries creative director Josh Holmes and his project MidwinterGames.
Here’s an excerpt from the publication site explaining the situation at hand:
“Midwinter Entertainment is the team working on Scavengers. Interestingly enough, according to Olson’s [LinkedIn] profile, she never took over the role of Lead Producer on Halo Infinite. It’s possible she wasn’t in the role for a long time or internal discussions found someone to take the lead on finishing the campaign. It’s also important to note that the overall creative lead for the game remains Chris Lee, who is the Studio Head for Halo Infinite and all first-person shooter Halo titles developed by 343 Industries.”
In other words, Olson’s LinkedIn profile reveals that she never fulfilled the role of being the lead producer to help with Halo: Infinite’s campaign and if so, it was short-lived, and someone else has filled the role.
Despite top positions changing around at 343 Industries while working on the next Halo installment, the company told Kotaku that these changes have no impact on the “release date for Halo: Infinite.”
Given the underwhelming, low-spirited, and disappointing campaign that Halo 5: Guardians brought to gamers back in late 2015, I wouldn’t be shocked if Halo: Infinite treads the same course, but we’ll see.
Anyway, Halo: Infinite is scheduled to release sometime in 2020 as a launch title for the next Xbox console and PC.