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Halo Infinite Lead Producer Mary Olson departs 343 Industries and joins Midwinter Entertainment

Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Halo Infinite is currently scheduled to be a launch title for Project Scarlett.
  • After the Creative Director departed a few weeks ago, Executive Producer Mary Olson was stated as taking over the role of Lead Producer for the campaign.
  • It now appears that Olson has departed 343 Industries and now works at Midwinter Entertainment.
  • Like all Xbox Game Studios titles, it'll be a part of Xbox Game Pass (opens in new tab).

Halo Infinite has seen a couple of executive shifts lately, with Creative Director Tim Longo departing a few weeks ago. At the time, a statement was sent to Kotaku, explaining that Executive Producer Mary Olson had taken over the campaign team as Lead Producer. It appears that has changed, since according to Olson's LinkedIn profile (opens in new tab), she has departed 343 Industries and is now working at Midwinter Entertainment.

Update

John Junyszek, Community Manager at 343 Industries, has provided an update on the situation via a post on Reddit. In it, he explains that Olson did not take over Longo's role, as instead she was working to "help drive the game to its completion for our holiday 2020 release date" and was not involved with creative decision making. He further explains that the idea of Olson replacing Longo "...implies that Mary took over creative control of the entire game, didn't like what she saw, and then decided to leave. If that's what actually happened, I could totally understand getting worried – but that isn't the case, as she was a Lead Producer and not a new Creative Director."

Original story continues below

Midwinter Entertainment is the team working on Scavengers. Interestingly enough, according to Olson's profile, she never took over the role of Lead Producer on Halo Infinite. It's possible she wasn't in the role for a long time or internal discussions found someone to take the lead on the finishing the campaign. It's also important to note that the overall creative lead for the game remains Chris Lee, who is the Studio Head for Halo Infinite and all first-person shooter Halo titles developed by 343 Industries.

After mixed reception of elements in Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians,343 Industries is heavily focused on bringing back the Halo that players loved. Bonnie Ross, Head of 343 Industries, has previously stated that the studio's intent is for Halo Infinite to be a 'spiritual reboot' of the franchise.

For more information on Halo Infinite, you can check out an interesting teaser that a fan spotted. Halo Infinite is currently aimed for release in 2020 as a launch title for Project Scarlett, Microsoft's next-generation Xbox console. The game will also release on Xbox One and PC and will be included in Xbox Game Pass.

Halo Infinite sounds include recordings from Gyoza the pug

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Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

11 Comments
  • Please don't delay the game
  • Delay it all they need to as long as it's done right...
  • We are already looking at already 5 years without a major Halo title I don't think the Microsoft gaming ecosystem can survive one more year with all the competition.
  • Trying to be optimistic but these departures and seemingly developmental issues and / or conflicting directions on visions isn't making it easy.
  • Or just a good job opportunity
  • That's a lot of good job oportunities
  • Not really, not when we are talking about high profile jobs... At that level you get scouted constantly....
  • I think this will be fine it happens in any game industry Man game. Most likely they already had most of the game direction down anyway. And they will bring in a better project manager to oversee the project. I am pretty confident what they can do
  • If Halo Infinite disappoints, MS needs to let Bonnie Ross go as Studio Head. Just gonna go ahead and put it out there. Series is already trying to claw its way back to mainstream popularity.
  • I still need to sit down and finish Halo 5. Unfortunately real life work issues have kept me from doing so. I did play Halo 4 in its entirety and I actually thought it was the best Halo that I played. I may be in the minority but in the end it's really a matter of personal perspective. And that will be me maybe playing devil's advocate and maybe not. And by entirety I meant by campaign and all multiplayer modes.
  • While playing Halo 4 I enjoyed it. The Halo 5 gameplay is the best ever made, but the way the scenario is delivered is really "modern" in comparison to all other Halo games.