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Payne shared the news through his personal Twitter account, confirming that he has taken new a role at Gunfire Games, the developer of Darksiders 3 and Remnant: From The Ashes.
According to Payne’s LinkedIn page, he joined 343 Industries in April 2019 on a contract basis. It is currently unclear if the developer departed from 343 Industries because he had finished his work on Halo Infinite or if he left the studio earlier than expected.
Check out the tweet below.
It's time I updated this! Today is my last day on Halo Infinite. Excited for the future. 💚 pic.twitter.com/dGY7eoABzh
— Kolbe Payne ✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿 (@kolbepayne) January 7, 2021
Payne also shared two images of himself at the 343 Industries office alongside a life-sized statue of Master Chief. “I’ll see you later this year Chief,” he said, likely a reference to the planned Fall 2021 release of Halo Infinite.
I’ll see you later this year Chief. pic.twitter.com/3QxLLZumL0
— Kolbe Payne ✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿 (@kolbepayne) January 8, 2021
Payne is the latest developer to leave Halo Infinite in recent years. Other notable developers who have exited the project include creative director Tim Longo, executive producer Mary Olson and game director Chris Lee.
Lee stepped down from his role in October following the game’s delay. “I have stepped back from Infinite and I am looking at future opportunities. I believe in the team and am confident they will deliver a great game and now is a good time for me to step away,” he said.
In a more recent update, Microsoft confirmed that Halo Infinite will launch in Fall this year, while noting there is still “more to be done” in terms of its graphics. Studio head Bonnie Ross has also reassured fans that Halo Infinite will be “the Halo game you deserve”.