343 Industries founder and studio head Bonnie Ross has announced that she’s leaving the Halo: Infinite studio. Ross said her departure was due to a “family medical issue” in a statement shared on her Twitter account. She’d been at the company since it was established in 2007.
Ross said that she had hoped to stay at 343 until the release of Halo: Infinite’s winter update, which is due to arrive for the game in 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,” Ross said. “It has been an honor to serve alongside the team for the last 15 years and to be a part of a universe that I love.” She continued by thanking the Halo community, and said the future of the series was “bright”.
343’s leadership team is being restructured as Ross leaves the company, Microsoft have announced in a statement to Windows Central. Head of production Pierre Hintze will take over from Ross with immediate effect, taking charge of ongoing development for Halo: Infinite and the Master Chief Collection. Some new roles have also been created within 343’s management. Head of marketing Bryan Koski will take over as general manager of the Halo franchise, and Elizabeth Van Wyck has been appointed business and operations lead.
Ross and 343 have come under fire from the Halo community over the company’s handling of Infinite. 343 recently confirmed that they were dropping the goal of including splitscreen couch co-op from the game, something that Ross had previously committed to including in every Halo game after the feature’s omission from Halo 5: Guardians. Some among the Halo community weren’t happy, and held Ross to her words from 2017’s DICE summit. Infinite’s long-awaited campaign co-op was also pushed back, along with the arrival of Forge mode and season 3 of the game’s multiplayer.