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Dan Ayoub is moving on from Halo's 343i team to work on Mixed Reality

Dan Ayoub has been involved with the Halo franchise since Halo Reach, in charge of overseeing external development on titles like Halo: Spartan Strike and Halo Wars 2 as 343i's Executive Producer.

Ayoub will henceforth be working on Windows Mixed Reality programs and features aimed at classrooms.

Today we're sad to be saying bon voyage to one of our own, as Dan Ayoub – who's worked on Halo games since Halo: Reach all the way back in 2009, bids us, and the gaming industry, a fond adieu. Dan is set to begin a new adventure within Microsoft in Mixed Reality, where he'll be pursuing one of his passions…the empowerment of education through technology. Although Dan will be staying in the Microsoft family, and won't be heading too far, our 343 family will miss his wit, wisdom and effort throughout the years. But Halo Wars 2 and its forthcoming DLC are in the safe hands of Dan's team, with some wonderful DLC and other surprises still to come.Over the years, Dan has helped us work with amazing studios and partners from literally every corner of the globe. They, like us are going to miss him, and Dan wanted us to express his thanks to both those partners, and to all the Halo fans and community who've been the fuel and fire that have ignited his passion and ambition, throughout the years.So long Dan, and don't be a stranger! 

On a personal note, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dan Ayoub on Halo Wars 2 back in October, 2016, and found his passion for development to be both infectious and inspiring. He also did an amazing job dodging my questions about the Halo movie. Kudos, Dan.

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Thankfully, Halo Wars 2's development will continue unabated, both with content drops for Blitz mode and a planned story expansion. We're also trying to lock down and confirm rumors of a version for Steam, following the success of Halo Wars Definitive Edition's launch on the platform.

Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Halo Wars 2 is quite easily the best real-time strategy game available on Xbox One, and well worth a look for both RTS veterans and curious newcomers.

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

9 Comments
  • "Ayoub will henceforth be working on Windows Mixed Reality programs and features aimed at classrooms." Ah, that's a shame. I mean, education is important and all, but I was hoping he'd be working on gaming-related stuff for HoloLens, particularly Halo stuff. "also trying to lock down and confirm rumors of a version for Steam" Halo Wars 2 is great--probably the best RTS game in console history. Releasing it on Steam, though, would be a myopic move that would pretty much be the nail in the coffin in the Windows Store. They've undermined it enough already as is. Either they care about short-terms revenue from games (in which case, they should port their titles to PS4 too), or they care about the long-term gains of a successful Store and the much larger potential revenue such a thing brings about. Gifting away their exclusive content to their competitors will preclude the latter.
  • Play anywhere is a bigger deal than you think. I know several PC gamers who would always choose Windows store play anywhere over Steam. It's already gaining alot of downloads. Steam doesn't actually have that many downloads and sales. I mean even Skyrim was low. Like 1.6 million compared to 4 million just on the Xbox.
  • lol PC gamer having a XB1? That seems pointless to me...  Do you have a link to sales on steam or are you lying once again?
  • Ecosystem is MS's 1st priority. Stream didn't take over console market when it was young, when it was receiving huge media attentions, what makes you think it will? Would your wife / gf / bf / parents / roomy like you to PC gaming in the living room? Is gifting kids steam code and PC (incl. parts) a phenomenon? -----------------
    * Backwards / forwards comp
    I value my collections and prefer to have'em in one bucket * Active-free-unlimited-cloud-sync
    if you value your data, this is important * XPA
    I carry New Xbox Wireless Controller and Surface Pro 4 (sometimes Alienware) with me all the time * Instant-On
    On Xbox: power on -> press A -> back to exactly where you left your game session 3 days ago.
    On PC: many minutes and might not be where you left it days ago. * Hot swap regions
    I'm now living in Japan, self explanatory. * No billions of hardware, software, driver, user-installed-background-service combinations. Simpler OS in comparison. Both HW/OS are supported by 1st party. Easier for consumers, easier for devs, easier for platform provider. * No need to fumble around graphic settings before gaming. * No, I'm not leaving my "personal" computer in the public space (e.g. living room). Those are why I gave up (buying movie from) Google's PlayStore, gave up on Steam and PS store.
    I don't build PC anymore, prefer to spend time on better things.
    Also, UWP is sandboxed.
    Would you prefer messy registry or clean install, clean uninstall?
  • * Backwards / forwards comp
    I hope you're not comparing XB1's BC to PC.  * Active-free-unlimited-cloud-sync
    Not too sure what you mean by that but isn't cloud storage reserved to gold memebers? So not exactly "free". * XPA
    For that to be of any use a PC gamer would need to have a XB1. Why would he when they can play all XB1 games on PC? Also there are opinions to stream PC games on TV, tablets, phones...  * Instant-On
    Minutes? Just have a ssd, the OS loads in few seconds. Or simply keep your PC on sleep mode even though I rather shut down everything to avoid power consumption. * Hot swap regions
    Not sure what this is about. * Simpler OS in comparison. 
    I'll give you that it's simpler to use, but you are a lot more restricted. On a PC you can constantly improve your hardware if you choose to. There are so many more options, possibility and that's not even talking about modding... * No need to fumble around graphic settings before gaming.
    There is no need to fumble around on PC. Just play default setting if you want. The graphic settings is an added OPTION. * No, I'm not leaving my "personal" computer in the public space (e.g. living room).
    Again, look at the various options available to stream or output PC to a TV. * I don't build PC anymore, prefer to spend time on better things.
    You really don't "need" to build a PC.  Also, UWP is sandboxed.
    Would you prefer messy registry or clean install, clean uninstall?
    What? Steam doesn't have "messy registry". I don't know what you mean by clean install or uninstall. Anyway you really got to look at the options available to stream or output PC to a TV. These options are much cheaper than buying a new console in your living room.
  • > Anyway you really got to look at the options available to
    > stream or output PC to a TV. These options are much cheaper
    > than buying a new console in your living room.
    Money is never my concern...
    I'm not just talking about PC or just PS4, I'm simply saying XB's ecosystem has mix of everything and I'm sold to their service. > I hope you're not comparing XB1's BC to PC.
    Was not. Was talking about game services in general (but this one is more towards PS4).
    And in fact, old PC games might fail running on newer system. > Not too sure what you mean by that but isn't cloud storage
    > reserved to gold memebers? So not exactly "free".
    Free for everyone. Need no gold member ship. > > * XPA
    > For that to be of any use a PC gamer would need to have a XB1.
    > Why would he when they can play all XB1 games on PC? Also there
    > are opinions to stream PC games on TV, tablets, phones... 
    I'm a console gamer who happened to have a 2500usd desktop, Surface Pros and Alienwares and carry Bluetooth XB1 Controller with me all the time.
    PC gaming for me is secondary, mainly for XPA and indie pc exclusives.
    I don't do steaming, which requires extra steps.
    If you are a PC gamer then you are in a wrong thread. I'm not convincing a PC gamer to witch to consoles gaming. I know it's different market and console gamers don't care about PC gaming, vice versa. > Minutes? Just have a ssd, the OS loads in few seconds. Or simply
    > keep your PC on sleep mode even though I rather shut down
    > everything to avoid power consumption.
    Xbox: Turn on XB -> press A -> exactly where you left it days ago.
    PC: Turn on PC -> move your mouse -> click on game icon -> steam boost up -> steam sync -> game boost up -> dev logo, middleware logo, etc -> opening -> menu -> move mouse or key press -> choose save -> -> more mouse moving and clicking -> load save -> load res -> unpack res -> not where you left it days ago.
    Can you tell me how many seconds or minutes does it take just to get back "exactly where you left your game session, days ago"?
    Sure you CAN leave your game session as it is and put your PC to sleep, but people seldom do that. I'd rather shut down my PC too. > > * Hot swap regions
    > Not sure what this is about.
    It is very important. Some games might not be available in the Japan store, it might be $19 in the US store, $9 in the Brazil store.
    Movie releases in Japan is dead slow compare to the rest of the world, sometimes even slower than DVD/BD releases in other countries.
    And I hate multiple accounts for different regions, I want all games (any digital purchases) in one account. And it's why I gave up PSStore, PlayStore and Steam. > > * Simpler OS in comparison. 
    > I'll give you that it's simpler to use, but you are a lot more
    > restricted. On a PC you can constantly improve your hardware if
    > you choose to. There are so many more options, possibility and
    > that's not even talking about modding...
    I don't really care about game mods. I don't stick with a game very long anyway, don't care if it's finished.
    I don't care about pc upgrading either. That's why I buy branded desktop and notebooks. I want someone do the testing before pushing me any updates / upgrades.
    e.g. I didn't got the Win10-Update-Nagging from MS because Alienware team had blocked it. I request a update manually but didn't work either. Eventually I USB updated it and loved it.
    Have you ever need to google around a solution to manually modify a file to fix game crashing? Never encounter any problem in PC gaming? > > * No need to fumble around graphic settings before gaming.
    > There is no need to fumble around on PC. Just play default setting
    > if you want. The graphic settings is an added OPTION.
    As like... 80% pc gamer in the world don't do that?
    A PCMR youtuber said that he finally bought his 1st console, the XB1s. And while he's enjoying Forza Horizon 3, his friends were still busy enjoying raphic settings. > > * No, I'm not leaving my "personal" computer in the public
    > > space (e.g. living room).
    > Again, look at the various options available to stream or
    > output PC to a TV.
    I have my consoles for the job. And I plan to bring my old XB1 to my office when I get my Scorpio. > * I don't build PC anymore, prefer to spend time on better things.
    > > You really don't "need" to build a PC. 
    Ture, I have my branded ones and prefer someone do my testing and QA and so I can play game, or do my new game programming tech / concept experiments.
  • I was going to reply point by point but I see that a lot of what you said remains personal preference and convience. I mean, if you want to talk about MS's ecosystem why make a statement like "Would your wife / gf / bf / parents / roomy like you to PC gaming in the living room?"?
    Looks like you were taking shots at PC for no good reason. I mean, yes, PC has problems but not that.  Why bring out PS4 when the original discussion was about bringing Halo Wars 2 to steam?
    Yes, XB1 has it plus points over the PS4. 
    BC: Even if it's only like 25-30% and mostly arcade game they still better than the PS4. 
    Hot swap regions: where you need to have a PSN account of one region to buy it's content. But these aren't problems related to steam. Next you'll try to bring the convenience of PC vs console gaming.
    Like I said yes, it's easier to plug and play and it's easier for casuals gamers who game for limited period of time. Some of the points really don't make sense though.
    Time to start a game?
    ALL device have sleep mode where you can start off where you have left the game. It's not something specific to XB1. If people use it or not is irrelevant because the option is there. I shut down ALL my devices, because I rather wait few more seconds than to waste power. Same thing with graphic settings. A silly joke from a youtuber doesn't mean much because this is an OPTION. You can choose to use it or not. TOTALLY UP TO YOU. It's actually something positive for PC over consoles. Again, options of having all sorts of controller, mouse and kb, options, hardware upgrade and modding are there on PC. If you don't care for these then it's you and this can be considered subjectif. The fact is that these options exists just because you don't care about it, it doesn't mean they don't exist and they aren't a plus for PC gaming. And finally about play anywhere.
    It's quite strange to see people who are downplaying PC gaming hype the ability to play console games on PC.  The whole point is getting Halo Wars 2 on steam. Personally I wouldn't mind it as it would open the game to many users who prefer steam... And while you prefer MS's ecosystem, there are others who don't like it and prefers other systems...
  • Sometimes people need/want a change. Great work on Halo. Loved Halo Reach, 4, 5 and Halo Wars 2. All fantastic games in an amazing franchise. Good luck with the future.
  • Thanks for this news, WC! ;-)
    So Dan Ayoub was instrumental to crafting the Halo Universe. Excited to see what his expertise brings to Mixed Reality, maybe even get him to do presentations some time not too far in the future.
    Best of luck, Mr. Ayoub!