Over the weekend, the was some unsettling news regarding Xbox’s upcoming Halo Infinite and departure of key two personnel who worked on the game.
Those being Tim Longo, who served as the Creative Director and who had departed earlier this year. As well as Mary Olson, the former Lead Producer of Halo Infinite, who had recently departed to work at Midwinter Entertainment and its upcoming title, Scavengers. An upcoming PVPVE game that looks pretty interesting.
There were a couple of articles that seemed to insinuate that 343 Industries were going through some problems and that Halo Infinite may be in a bit of trouble. Of course, this also meant that those who aren’t fans of the Xbox brand took jabs at its fans, harassing them that Halo Infinite was dead.
Thankfully that doesn’t seem to be the case, as 343 Industries employee and Community Manager, John JUnyshek, took to Reddit, and explained what exactly is going on. In the reply, it clears up some confusion and paints a positive picture for those who were worried about Halo Infinite and 343 Industries.
Hey all – I wanted to jump in and clarify what Tim & Mary’s roles were at the studio, because there seems to be quite a bit of confusion here. Before that happens though, I’d like to reassure everyone that the entire Halo Infinite team is rallying behind the game and is working hard to make sure we can execute on its vision.
Tim’s role as Creative Director was to help make creative decisions around the design and direction of the game – whether it was campaign, multiplayer, etc. Mary’s role as an Executive Producer and then Lead Producer on Campaign was to help drive the game to its completion for our holiday 2020 release date – with the latter specifically focusing on campaign deliverables.
Unfortunately the thread’s title saying, “He was replace with Mary Olson and she also left,” is far from accurate. It implies that Mary took over creative control of the entire game, didn’t like what she saw, and then decided to leave. If that’s what actually happened, I could totally understand getting worried – but that isn’t the case, as she was a Lead Producer and not a new Creative Director.
Producers at our studio support designers, engineers, artists, etc. by helping each of them track and hit deliverables. They also ensure the people they support are not overwhelmed with too much work and have all the tools and information needed to hit their deadlines. To put it simply, producers are the ones tasked with making sure the studio is always moving forward – even our Community Team has a producer to ensure we’re tracking our deliverables; blogs, social media posts, flighting emails, and whatever pops up in between.
Since Tim and Mary were friends of mine, I’m sad that I don’t get to see them as often, but I’m happy to see both of them doing well. Mary joining Josh Holmes at Midwinter is nothing short of exciting news for me, because I’m eager to give Scavengers another go soon (I played it at E3 and thoroughly enjoyed it). And, funny enough, I actually just bumped into Tim the other night at the theater for opening night of the Joker :)
TL;DR: Title is super misleading, there is no creative dilemma inside the studio, and there’s no writing on the walls.
So there you have it. Things are going as well as they can and the development of the game is still underway. I do wish we knew who took over Tim’s role if anything to stop the speculation. Yet, I’m more than happy with the reply and am still looking forward to playing Halo Infinite when it releases next Holiday 2020 for Project Scarlett, Xbox One and Windows 10.