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Creative director quits 343 Industries

Ryan Payton leaves Halo 4 developer feeling "drained"

Ryan Payton, one of 343 Industries' creative directors working on Halo 4, has left the studio, citing creative ennui and a desire to move on to new projects.

Payton, who worked on Metal Gear Solid 4 at Konami before moving back to the US to care for his mother, had lost enthusiasm for the project but held no regrets about his time at Microsoft, Kotaku reports.

"I had a great run at Microsoft," said Payton. "I don't regret one day of it. But after a few years, there came a point where I wasn't creatively excited about the project anymore.

"The Halo I wanted to build was fundamentally different and I don't think I had built enough credibility to see such a crazy endeavour through."

Payton still has faith in Halo 4 and the team behind it, but felt that the game's development has ceased to speak to him. Having being diagnosed with depression earlier this year, Payton needed a change - inspired in part by watching friend Jake Kazdal's progress on his indie title Skulls of the Shogun.

"For somebody who loves this industry as much as I do and know how lucky I've been, I never thought I'd get to a point where I was so drained," Payton told Kotaku. "That was when I knew I had to do something else."

That something else is Payton's new studio, Camoflaj, where he's already working on two new titles.

"I think time is the most valuable thing we have," concludes Payton, "and I've decided that I'm not going to waste one more day working on something that doesn't speak to my values."

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Dan Pearson