Joseph Staten, a veteran of the Halo series, has returned to the franchise and will work on the campaign for the upcoming Halo Infinite. The news was first reported by Bloomberg, and Staten confirmed the move on Twitter.
“I’m thrilled to join @Halo to help them ship Halo Infinite,” Staten says. “As the project lead for the Infinite Campaign, I will be supporting the team’s existing, great leaders and empowering them to do their best work.”
Halo Infinite was planned to launch alongside the Xbox Series X in November, but was delayed into next year following an underwhelming demonstration during Microsoft’s Xbox games showcase. “We have made the difficult decision to shift our release to 2021 to ensure the team has adequate time to deliver a Halo game experience that meets our vision,” studio head Chris Lee said at the time.
Staten’s appointment, just a few months before the game was originally supposed to ship, suggests that changes to Halo Infinite may be significant. At Bungie, he wrote the scripts and directed the cutscenes for the first three Halo games, as well as writing a well-received novel based on the franchise. He was later a writer and creative director on Destiny before leaving Bungie in 2013.
In short, Staten is the person you would want on board if your goal was to make Halo Infinite feel like a return to classic Halo form. The question, then, is just how much work needs to be done, and how long the delay will turn out to be.