Halo Infinite’s Head Designer Says the Series Shouldn’t Chase Market Trends

Halo Infinite’s Head Designer Says the Series Shouldn’t Chase Market Trends

343 wants to preserve what makes Halo unique.

Halo Infinite, the first game in the mainline series since 2015's Halo 5: Guardians, is set to launch alongside the Xbox Series X later this year. We've seen very little of the game since it was announced and the team at 343 Industries haven't given away many details, but a new recruitment video for the studio gives some brief behind-the-scenes glimpses at its development and some new insights into 343's approach with the sequel.

"We Are 343 Industries," released on the studio's YouTube page today, isn't quite a documentary like the ones Bungie used to produce about its Halo games, but it does focus more on 343's ambitions for Infinite than on other arms of the franchise. Jerry Hook, Halo Infinite's head of design, has this to say about the studio's approach in the lead-up to Infinite:

We have to be able to respect that legacy that we've come from, to help make sure that Halo doesn't become an amalgamation of what the market is currently doing, but that what makes Halo unique remains unique for our players, our community, and for the industry.

Hook's comment tracks with franchise development director Frank O'Connor's response to rumors of a battle royale mode in Halo Infinite from last April: "Are we interested in big social modes with loads of organic shenanigans? Yes. Specifically A blimp full of survivors heading to an Island after a (metaphorical) lecture from Beat Takeshi? No."

Later in the video, Halo Infinite studio head Chris Lee also mentions "bringing in the community" to Infinite's development process. After Infinite's announcement in 2018, 343 promised that it would run early test "flighting" programs for the game as it did for Halo: The Master Chief Collection in the past and continues to do for the collection's PC ports.

E3 2019's trailer aside, the last year has been largely quiet on Halo Infinite news apart from shake ups inside 343. After Infinite's creative director Tim Longo left the studio in August, oversight of game's "creative vision and production" fell to Lee while Mary Olson, executive producer, became lead producer of Infinite's campaign team. Less than two months later, Olson left 343 to join Midwinter Entertainment.

343 head Bonnie Ross closes out the new video by saying that when she looks at 343's plans for Infinite, "it does feel like [they're] just getting started." For more on Infinite—which will release for the Xbox One, Series X, and PC in Holiday 2020—check out our interview with Ross from last year's DICE awards and our guide to everything we've learned about the sequel so far.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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