Joseph Staten leaving left exit Xbox Microsoft 343 Industries Halo Infinite

Joseph Staten Is Leaving Xbox and Microsoft Altogether

Joseph Staten is leaving Xbox and Microsoft, according to IGN reporting. Joseph Staten was the creative director on Halo Infinite and was cinematic director of the three original Halo games. He had yo-yoed across Microsoft in recent years, at first supporting general franchise strategy at Microsoft Studios before swooping in to course-correct the challenged development of Halo Infinite at 343 Industries back in 2020. This January, it was reported that Staten had departed 343 Industries to return to Xbox Publishing. But now, Staten is gone at Microsoft altogether.

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“We’re grateful for Joseph’s contributions to the Halo franchise and Xbox as a whole,” said a Microsoft spokesperson to IGN. “We wish him all the best in his new adventure.”

Why Joseph Staten is leaving Microsoft and Xbox now after a lengthy career is unknown, but his legacy is firmly established regardless. He directed cinematics and wrote on not just the early Halo games but even wrote the well-received novel, Halo: Contact Harvest. Meanwhile, the legacy of Halo Infinite is less assured. 343 Industries has reportedly scrapped all of its original plans for using the game as a platform upon which to build the future of Halo, and instead it is reportedly starting over and experimenting with Unreal Engine.

Real or imagined, it’s starting to feel like every day is a troubled day for Microsoft Studios. Its output has been somewhat sluggish, its most critically well-received games lately have been smaller-scale titles like Pentiment and Hi-Fi Rush, and it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of enthusiasm for Redfall. Suffice to say, a lot is riding on Starfield this fall.

Update: Staten tweeted to acknowledge his departure, thanking his Xbox colleagues for “all their understanding and support” as he embarks on a “new adventure.”

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John Friscia
Former Managing Editor at The Escapist. I have been writing about video games since 2018 and editing writing on IT, project management, and video games for around a decade. I have an English degree, but Google was a more valuable learning resource. I taught English in South Korea for a year in 2018, and it was exponentially more fun than living in Pennsylvania. My major passions in life are SNES, Japanese RPGs, Berserk, and K-pop. I'm currently developing the game Boss Saga with my brother, which is guaranteed to change your life and you should buy it.