Sadly, Kazuma Jinnouchi, the composer behind Halo 4 & Halo 5: Guardians, is calling it quits. He announced that he’s leaving 343 Industries as their in-house composer today and that he’ll start doing freelancing work.
After an amazing 7-year ride, today is my last day at 343 Industries as an in-house composer. I'm becoming a freelancer and starting a new chapter of my adventure. HUGE thank you to @Halo and the community for letting me do what I love! I wouldn't be what I am without you.
— Kazuma Jinnouchi (@kazjin2612) July 13, 2018
A shame really, as he did go on to create some wonderful tracks for the Halo series. Especially this piece called “Trials”. Easily one of the best tracks in the Halo 5 soundtrack. And quite possibly in all of the Halo soundtracks. He’s also responsible for the recent Halo Infinite trailer that we heard during E3 2018.
So now that Kazuma is out, who will 343 Industries pick up to fill his spot? Well, there’s been a rumor floating around that Marty O’Donnell, the original composer from the Halo series is possibly a candidate. While Marty was previously attached to Bungie, he was fired prior to the release of Destiny. There was a battle waged in court, where Marty came out on top. Shortly afterward, he opened a development studio called Highway Games. He’s currently working on the soundtrack for their first title, Golem.
So how exactly will Marty be able to work on that project while taking up roots at 343 Industries? That’s anybody’s guess. However, keep in mind that while he was working with Bungie, he was only a contractor. He didn’t come on fully with the company until a short while before Microsoft acquired Bungie. So if he did end up working with 343, he could technically do the same thing. Of course, this is all a rumor. Even still, I’d love to see him working on Halo again.
However, this doesn’t mean that Kazuma is entirely out of the picture. While he is leaving 343 Industries, he only stopped being their in-house composer. There’s nothing saying he can’t be contracted, just like Marty O’Donnell was for Bungie. Maybe he wanted to work on more than one project and maybe felt it was time to work on something else.
Microsoft hasn’t made any mention of his departure as of yet. As for if this affects Halo Infinite, I doubt that it will. That title is still a good two, maybe three years away. We likely might not even see it until the next Xbox console. But after hearing that Halo Infinite trailer music, I really hope this isn’t the end of him working on the series. That track was amazing.
We’ll keep an eye on this and update once we know more of Kazuma’s future plans.