The troubled development for Halo: Infinite continues as Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier has reported that the project’s director, Chris Lee, is no longer on the development team. Lee confirmed this with Bloomberg directly stating “I have stepped back from Infinite and I am looking at future opportunities. I believe in the team and am confident they will deliver a great game and now is a good time for me to step away.” As for Lee’s future endeavors, Microsoft made their own statement with Bloomberg saying that Lee will stay with Microsoft “Chris Lee remains a Microsoft employee and while he has stepped back from Halo: Infinite right now, we appreciate all he has done for the project to date.”
Bloomberg scoop: Halo Infinite director and longtime 343 executive Chris Lee has left the project. This is the second Halo Infinite director to depart in two years, and another sign of the game’s turbulent development. https://t.co/JmuSDQK87x
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) October 28, 2020
Beyond his statement with Bloomberg, Lee did not elaborate further on why he left the Halo: Infinite development team. Lee is also the third major lead developer to depart the project, following Creative Director Tim Longo and Executive Producer Mary Olsen in August 2019. These unfortunate turn of events for both 343 Industries and Microsoft is just the newest in a long line of setbacks. The biggest and most divisive one is arguably when the company decided to push the game back from its initial launch date of November 10, which would’ve made it a launch title for the upcoming Xbox Series X and Series S.
The delay has a much bigger backlash than anticipated, with rumors immediately swirling around the internet that the game’s date would be pushed back even more into 2022. 343 Industries denied this, stating that the game is planned for a 2021 release. Still, losing three of the biggest developers on arguably the biggest Microsoft IP is not a good sign. Despite losing a high-profile launch title, Microsoft rebounded with the industry-breaking purchase of Zenimax Media, the parent company of Bethesda, for $7.5 billion just before their new hardware releases to the public.