The Halo franchise might not be dead, but it appears support for Halo Infinite will be at least somewhat limited moving forward, with 343 Industries moving on to other projects related to the franchise.
According to a new report from Bloomberg, “at least” 95 jobs, including directors and key contractors, have been cut from the Halo developer. Further, the studio has reportedly switched to Epic’s Unreal Engine following issues with its proprietary ‘Slipspace’ engine for a new project codenamed “Tatanka” currently in development through a partnership with Certain Affinity, a developer with offices in Toronto and Austin, Texas.
Tatanka was initially rumoured to be a battle royale multiplayer title, but Bloomberg‘s report indicates it might “evolve” into something else. The report goes on to say that some developers at 343 Industries are concerned with how Unreal might affect how Halo plays but that Splipspace’s technical issues are too challenging to work through. For example, ‘Assault’ and ‘Extraction,’ two popular Halo multiplayer game types, have reportedly been finished for some time but can’t be added to Infinite because of technical limitations.
The report also mentions that several laid-off 343 Industries developers were working on Halo Unreal prototypes rather than new content for Halo Infinite. The decision to switch to Unreal was reportedly made after studio lead Bonnie Ross and engine head David Berger left 343 Industries in late 2022. Moreover, Pierre Hintze, the studio’s new head, wants the company to focus on “greenlighting,” while still expanding Infinite, though it’s unclear how much of a priority the latter is moving forward. It’s worth noting that several former 343 Industries developers have criticized the studio’s leadership on Twitter.
While Halo Infinite‘s core multiplayer mechanics remain extremely solid and the best the series has offered since arguably Halo 2/Halo 3, new content has been sparse, and the game still doesn’t even feature an overarching progression system. 343 Industries also has a history of botched releases, with Halo: The Master Chief Collection being the most notable example beyond Halo Infinite.
Image credit: Xbox