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343 layoffs affected 95, including top directors

Halo studio switched from Slipspace to Unreal Engine late last year, report says

A report from Bloomberg shed light yesterday on the issues facing 343 Industries, which was significantly hit by layoffs and reportedly switched engines last year.

At least 95 staff from 343 Industries were made redundant as part of the recent Microsoft layoffs, according to internal documents reviewed by Bloomberg. Contractors were only given a few days' warning before the end of their contract, the publication added, while a dozen veterans were also let go.

This follows the departure last year of head of 343 Industries Bonnie Ross, and soon after of director of engineer David Berger. Pierre Hintze became studio head in September 2022.

The change in leadership led the studio to switch development from its proprietary engine, known as Slipspace, to Unreal Engine late last year, Bloomberg revealed.

343 is reportedly currently working on an unannounced project known internally as "Tatanka" using Unreal, and co-developed with Certain Affinity. It started off as a battle royale but sources told Bloomberg that it may move in other directions.

Unreal is also used to prototype new Halo titles, the publication added. Concerning Halo Infinite, the studio reportedly isn't working on new content as many of its developers were among those laid off.

Microsoft laid off 10,000 staff two weeks ago, impacting Bethesda Game Studios and 343 Industries among others. At the time, Hintze told Bloomberg that the firm "made the difficult decision to restructure elements of [its] team, which means some roles are being eliminated."

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Marie Dealessandri avatar

Marie Dealessandri

Deputy Editor

Marie Dealessandri joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016 at B2B magazine MCV. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack.