Halo Infinite is the biggest game on the Xbox Series X’s horizon, but its development is looking increasingly troubled. After the game was delayed to 2021 from its originally scheduled launch in November, Bloomberg reports Halo Infinite lost its director, Chris Lee.
Lee, a senior employee of Halo Infinite development studio 343 Industries, stepped back from his role as director earlier in the year, following a deflated fan response to an August showcase of the upcoming game. Fans were particularly disappointed by its graphics, criticizing Halo Infinite as not looking like a next-generation AAA title.
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“I have stepped back from Infinite and I am looking at future opportunities,” Lee said to Bloomberg. “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.”
Microsoft has confirmed the move. “Chris Lee remains a Microsoft employee and while he has stepped back from Halo Infinite right now, we appreciate all he has done for the project to date,” a spokesperson said.
Perhaps most concerning is that Lee is the third key staff member Halo Infinite has lost. Creative director Tim Longo departed 343 Studios last August, and executive producer Mary Olson followed in October.
Halo Infinite is a game of great importance for Microsoft. It’s key to selling not just the upcoming Xbox Series S and X consoles, but also the Xbox Game Pass service, in which users pay $10 per month for access to over 100 games, upon which Microsoft’s next-gen future equally relies.
As it stands, the Xbox Series S and X will instead launch alongside AAA-but-multiplatform games Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs: Legion and Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War.