Halo And Gears Of War Could Be In Big Trouble Following Microsoft Layoffs

Halo And Gears Of War Could Be In Big Trouble Following Microsoft Layoffs
Images via Xbox Game Studios

Written by 

Tarran Stockton


19th Jan 2023 13:18

The tech industry has seen massive waves of layoffs recently, and Microsoft has been the latest to join this terrible trend.

Although the writing was already on the wall, January 18 confirmed that 10,000 employees have been let go. This will affect all corners of Microsoft, including some of the gaming divisions. 

Microsoft Layoffs Affects Gaming Division 

Microsoft announced it was letting go of 10,000 employees across the entire company for internal restructuring, and as more news comes out about who has been affected, we're starting to learn gaming studios have been hit hard.

According to Microsoft, these cuts impact 5% of their total workforce and comes shortly after 1,000 were let go in October 2022. Back then, we also saw the Xbox division lose team members. 

Bloomberg's Jason Schreier reports that among those affected are 343 Industries as the developers of Halo, Gears of War studio The Coalition, and Bethesda Game Studios - which is currently all hands on deck with the upcoming Starfield

One of the most notable departures that Schreier highlighted was Joseph Staten, the director of Halo Infinite, and a veteran of the series going right back to his time as cinematics director for Halo Combat Evolved.

It seems he won't be going far though, as he's set to rejoin Microsoft under the Xbox publishing division. However, this all could spell big trouble for the Halo franchise.

It's no secret that Halo Infinite hasn't retained the playerbase Microsoft would have liked, and that 343 Industries has reportedly been hit the hardest of the gaming teams.

What Have People Said About The Microsoft Layoffs? 

There's been an outpouring of support for those affected by the layoffs online, with much criticism being pointed toward the Microsoft leadership. 

In a particular piece of pointed criticism, Patrick Wren, the Senior Encounter Designer on Star Wars Jedi: Survivor and 343 alumni, took to Twitter with a damning account about his time working on Halo.

"The layoffs at 343 shouldn't have happened and Halo Infinite should be in a better state. The reason for both of those things is incompetent leadership up top during Halo Infinite development causing massive stress on those working hard to make Halo the best it can be." 

He followed it up, stating, "The people I worked every day with were passionate about Halo and wanted to make something great for the fans… Be kind to them during this awful time." 

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