Only a month after Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty spoke on Halo Infinite’s lackluster live service updates and of restructuring coming to developer 343 Industries, another senior figure has departed the company.
Today, Tom French announced that he would be stepping away as multiplayer creative director on Halo Infinite, pulling the curtains on a career developing Halo titles that spanned more than 11 years.
“After over 11 1/2 years on Halo, I step out of my Spartan armor for the last time today to head off to new adventures,” he said in the tweet. “It’s been a massive honor to have been part of a game I loved so much as a player and admired so much as a developer. I couldn’t be more proud of my time at 343.”
His impressive tenure with the developer saw him first serve as a mission designer for Halo 4, but it was his time as the User-Generated Content Lead for Halo 5: Guardians that really brought him into the community spotlight. Credited with establishing the vision for Halo 5‘s take on the franchise’s Forge mode, he quickly became a beloved public figure after the changes and improvements to Forge in the title received glowing praise universally.
Halo Infinite‘s development saw him take on yet another new task, building the vision for Halo Infinite‘s new “free-to-win” multiplayer experiences as the multiplayer creative lead. It’s a role he held since December of 2016.
Tom French joins a number of other major names leaving 343 Industries in 2022, a trend that started with multiplayer lead Andrew Witts’s departure in March and peaked with the announcement that the company’s founder Bonnie Ross was also stepping away in September. Replacing the old guard like this can often be a concerning sight for fans, and Halo Infinite‘s development struggles and heavily delayed seasonal releases haven’t assuaged those fears.
Yet Matt Booty, in the same interview that he discussed plans for changes at 343 Industries, suggested the game still has a promising future ahead.
“We’ve got some changes in how the team is set up, we’ve got some changes in leadership and we’ve got to really get re-focused around that sustained content plan and making sure we’re bringing regular updates to the players,” he explained, talking to the Friends Per Second podcast. “That is our focus right now: quality of life for the game and getting on a regular cadence of content. We know there’s way more demand and so much more we could be delivering.”