Tom French, the creative director for Halo Infinite’s multiplayer mode, has departed 343 Industries after 11 years at the company.
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French made the announcement via Twitter, where he revealed he was leaving for yet-unannounced “new adventures.”
“It’s been a massive honor to have been part of a game I loved so much as a player and admired so much as a developer,” said French. “I couldn’t be more proud of my time at 343.”
French was a familiar face to Halo fans, having appeared in development diaries and multiplayer features over the years.
French is not the only big name to leave 343 Industries this year. Back in September, the developer’s founder Bonnie Ross stepped down in order to attend to a “family medical issue,” and was shortly followed by the departure of Halo Infinite’s Slipspace Engine developer David Berger.
After over 11 1/2 years on Halo, I step out of my Spartan armor for the last time today to head off to new adventures. It's been a massive honor to have been part of a game I loved so much as a player and admired so much as a developer. I couldn't be more proud of my time at 343. pic.twitter.com/2CBD7kOPIj
— Tom French (@pardontomfrench) December 2, 2022
Going back a little further, the game’s lead multiplayer designer Andrew Witts left 343 Industries in March, while lead writer Aaron Linde left to join Riot Games back in January.
Halo Infinite itself has had something of a kicking from fans since its release last year. The game was critically well-received at launch, earning five stars in NME’s review, where we celebrated it as the “best AAA shooter of the year.”
Despite that though, the game quickly ran out of steam, particularly in terms of its multiplayer support, with fans criticising its underwhelming progression system and a “bumpy” launch for its second season.
Matt Booty, head of Microsoft Studios, admitted that the game has had something of a troubled journey, comparing Halo Infinite’s launch to “the classic runner’s mistake of tripping and stumbling as you come across the finish line.”
The developer has since thanked fans for their patience once long-awaited features like Forge Mode, Mission Replay and online co-op were added to the game in the Winter Update.
343 industries described that update as “a major step forward” for the game, but added that it was just the “first step” – promising that the game would turn the corner in 2023 with “shorter seasons, a more regular stream of content, and bigger things to come.”
In other gaming news, Cyberpunk 2077 will reportedly get a Game of the Year edition following the release of the Phantom Liberty DLC next year.