343 Industries, which has been in charge of the Halo franchise since Halo 4, has been shaken up after studio head Bonnie Ross announced she will be leaving her company after 15 years. Ross tweeted that she has left as a result of a “family medical issue”, thanking 343 Industries and the Halo community:
The cause for this monumental change is truly unfortunate. Despite the creative and business practices of 343 Industries, which myself and the majority of other lifelong fans have strongly disagreed with, Ross’ family deserves respect for real issues like family emergencies. Hopefully, the Halo community won’t make light of the root cause in today’s shift.
Now, despite the personal news, large shake-ups in 343 Industries may be ideal at this point. Many agree that 343 Industries has failed most Halo fans, rushing Infinite to launch without enough content, breaking trust by reversing split-screen promises, and dragging the story into unsatisfactory territory.
Many responses to today’s news consider a new future for Halo, but given the reason for Ross leaving, it seems unlikely that 343 Industries’ vision for the franchise will change. The team as a whole moved Halo where it is, and the studio is hiring from within for open leadership positions.
The sheer volume of change that would be necessary for Halo to assume a new trajectory seems nigh impossible at this point. The IP and its responsibilities are gargantuan.
Ideally, 343 Industries will begin to cater towards longtime fans again, and hire a full-time staff that recognizes the fundamentals of Halo that made it so successful. There’s plenty of time to learn. The fans still want to love Halo, as proven by the enormous positivity from that first week of Infinite’s multiplayer launch, when the game still had promise.
You can read more about Halo Infinite and other AAA shooters by checking out our news section!