Things have been tumultuous behind the scenes at Microsoft in general, with the company having laid off over 10,000 employees across all of its divisions. When it comes specifically to Xbox, Halo developer 343 Industries is one of several studios that has been affected, and now new details have emerged on what the situation is at the studio, courtesy of a report published by Bloomberg.
343 Industries recently refuted reports that it would no longer be developing future Halo games, while Xbox boss Phil Spencer has also provided assurances that the studio will remain in charge of the franchise, but as per Bloomberg’s report, it is “all but starting from scratch” following the layoffs, which has seen 95 people at 343 Industries losing their jobs.
As a result, the studio is bringing about significant changes in development going forward. Part of that is a change in engines. New internal engine Slipspace was introduced with Halo Infinite, but reports have repeatedly mentioned that the toolset was difficult to work with and caused numerous development issues. As per Bloomberg, 343 Industries has now dropped Slipspace and has shifted its entire development pipeline to Unreal Engine, which is something that has been claimed in some previous reports as well.
Reportedly, 343 Industries has considered switching to Unreal “at several points over the past decade”, but only made that decision with its leadership changes last year that saw studio head Bonnie Ross being replaced by Pierre Hintze. Future Halo titles – including Certain Affinity’s long-rumoured battle royale Halo Infinite mode, codenamed Tatanka – will seemingly be developed on Unreal Engine.
Meanwhile, in the wake of the layoffs, it also looks like 343 Industries currently has no immediate plans to develop more single player content for Halo Infinite or the series in general. Read more on that through here.
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