One of the biggest people behind the success of the Halo game franchise, Joseph Staten, has stated that he is leaving Microsoft. IGN first announced his departure late tonight, and Staten himself confirmed the news in a Twitter post.
Hey folks, I am indeed leaving Microsoft. I'll have more info to share soon, but for now, I'd just like to thank all my @Xbox colleagues for all their understanding and support as I embark on a new adventure. https://t.co/oMR0LXOzZb— Joseph Staten (@joestaten) April 8, 2023
Staten didn't say why he decided to leave Microsoft, not what he would be doing next. He did take time to thank his former Xbox team members "for all their understanding and support as I embark on a new adventure." A Microsoft spokesperson told IGN, "We’re grateful for Joseph’s contributions to the Halo franchise and Xbox as a whole. We wish him all the best in his new adventure.”
Staten got his start at Halo's original developer Bungie, where he was the director of cinematics for the first three games in the sci-fi shooter series. In that role, he helped to shape the backstory and lore for the entire franchise. He also helped to write the story for Halo 3: ODST. He remained at Bungie after it broke away from Microsoft and served as the writer and design director for the first game in its Destiny series.
In 2013, Staten left Bungie and returned to Microsoft in 2014, acting as Xbox's senior creative director. In that position, he was the writer for Xbox first-party games like ReCore and Crackdown 3. In 2020, he returned to the Halo franchise at Microsoft's 343 Industries, serving as the project lead for Halo Infinite's single player campaign. In January 2023, it was revealed that Staten had left 343 Industries to work again at Xbox Publishing until today's news.