Bonnie Ross, founder and head of Halo developer 343 Industries is stepping down. Ross, who worked with the Halo franchise for 15 years, cited a family medical issue as the reason for her departure. In a statement to Windows Central, publisher Microsoft said that the vacant position will be effectively taken over by Pierre Hintze, the current head of production at 343 Industries. The development comes in the wake of Halo Infinite delaying all its upcoming content, including the long-requested co-op mode to November.
“I am incredibly proud of the work everyone at 343 Industries has done with Halo Infinite, The Master Chief Collection, the Halo television series and so much more. It has been an honour to serve alongside the team for the last 15 years and to be a part of a universe that I love,” Ross said on Twitter. With this announcement, 343 Industries’ leadership team will suffer a heavy restructuring, starting with the aforementioned Hintze, assuming the role of studio head. Going forward, he will lead the ongoing development of Halo Infinite and The Master Chief Collection, in addition to other future projects.
Microsoft also told Windows Central that the studio’s senior leadership team will be expanded into new roles. Bryan Koski, who previously took care of marketing for Halo, will become GM of the franchise, while Elizabeth Van Wyck heads business and operations. Earlier this month, 343 Industries unveiled a new roadmap for Halo Infinite, listing a fresh round of delays for new content. As for whether this studio shake-up will cause even more shifts in launch dates, remains to be seen.
To the dismay of fans, 343 Industries first revealed that the much-anticipated co-op mode had been pushed over to a November 8 release date. The game mode was originally targeting an August launch, and even underwent a beta testing event in July. The studio also delayed Halo Infinite’s Forge mode — a map editing and creation tool — to the November date, just in time for the massive Winter Update, which adds a free battle pass to the mix.
As part of the Halo Infinite roadmap reveal, 343 Industries outright cancelled the promised split-screen mode — a staple feature in classic Halo games. Season 3 multiplayer has also been postponed to March 7, 2023, bringing new maps, weapons, and Shroud Screen, which is equipment that puts out an opaque dome-shaped shield to protect your squad.