Even though Halo 4 is at least a year away from its release, Microsoft's next game in the popular Xbox 360 shooter series is already losing one of its major creative forces. Kotaku reports that Ryan Payton, one of the creative directors behind Halo 4, has revealed he has left Microsoft and its internal game studio 343 Industries. Payton said his decision to leave the company was due to the fact that he "wasn't creatively excited about the project anymore."
Payton is candid about his decision to leave the company and the development of Halo 4 from his perspective. While Halo 4 itself may turn out to be a great continuation of the series, it's clear that Payton had ideas that didn't mesh with what the rest of the team wanted to do. He states, "The Halo I wanted to build was fundamentally different and I don't think I had built enough credibility to see such a crazy endeavor through."
Payton came to Microsoft and 343 Industries from Japan in 2008. Previously he worked at Kojima Productions on developing the third person action game Metal Gear Solid 4. He has already announced his post-Microsoft plans; he has launched a new game development studio, Camouflaj. The studio is already at work on two games but details of those projects were not announced.
Halo 4 is the first game in the Halo shooter series that won't have any input from the game's original creators Bungie, who left the franchise behind with the release in 2010 of Halo: Reach. 343 Industries is scheduled to release Halo 4 for the Xbox 360 in late 2012.