Halo Infinite has now seen two major leadership departures within two months. Lead producer Mary Olson, who was promoted upon the exit of creative director Tim Longo in August, is leaving 343 to join Midwinter Entertainment. While that’s a bit concerning for a title set to launch Holiday 2020 alongside Microsoft’s new Project Scarlett console, a representative for 343 is assuring players that the departures don’t spell trouble for Infinite.
In response to a post on the r/Halo subreddit about Olson’s departure, 343 Industries community manager John Junyszek gives a lengthy statement clarifying what Olson and Longo’s roles were on Halo Infinite. In short, Junyszek emphasizes that Olson’s promotion from executive producer to lead producer (with a focus on Halo Infinite’s campaign) was not a matter of Olson taking over creative responsibility from Longo—that role was passed to 343 studio head Chris Lee.
“Tim’s role as Creative Director was to help make creative decisions around the design and direction of the game—whether it was campaign, multiplayer, etc,” writes Junyszek. “Mary’s role as an Executive Producer and then Lead Producer on Campaign was to help drive the game to its completion for our holiday 2020 release date—with the latter specifically focusing on campaign deliverables.”
Junyszek’s statement further elaborates on role producers play within game development before wrapping up. “There is no creative dilemma inside the studio, and there’s no writing on the walls,” Junyszek concludes.
We’ve seen very little of Halo Infinite beyond its brief E3 2018 and 2019 appearances. Speaking with USgamer in February, head of 343 Industries Bonnie Ross said the studio is giving itself “more time to be agile” and working to avoid crunch in Infinite’s development.
It’s possible that we’ll see more of Halo Infinite at Microsoft’s X019 event in London, England. While it’s not unheard of to hold back footage of new console launch titles (we’ve seen more of Infinite than we have of any confirmed PS5 titles), 343 evidently knows the exits of Olson and Longo have fans worried in the absence of other news. For a recap of everything we have learned about Halo Infinite so far, read over USG’s comprehensive Halo Infinite guide.