Wednesday, January 29, 2020

What 5 Ex-Halo Developers Are Up to Now

Many talented developers have worked and continue to work on the Halo franchise over its 19-year history. In that time we’ve had six mainline Halo games, one side story, a pair of real-time strategy spin-offs, and a couple of top-down arcade shooters too. It’s inevitable that some of the scores of developers who’ve worked on Halo have since moved on to other projects, so here’s a quick look at five games out or in development from senior ex-Halo creators.

Game: Disintegration

Creator: Marcus Lehto [ignvideo url=""] Marcus Lehto was the art director on the first three numbered mainline Halo games before becoming the project director on Bungie’s beloved series farewell, Halo Reach. Now he’s started V1 Interactive and announced the shooter/strategy hybrid Disintegration, which we’ve been exclusively covering all month long as part of our IGN First editorial program. A closed technical multiplayer beta is running now and ends tonight. Disintegration is due to be released this year.

Game: Rocket Arena

Creator: Kevin Franklin [ignvideo url=""] Halo 4 multiplayer lead Kevin Franklin left 343 Industries during Halo 5 to found Final Strike Games. The studio’s first project is Rocket Arena, a super-fun 3v3 first-person shooter that’s got a bit of Super Smash Bros. in its DNA. IGN exclusively announced it back in May 2019, and development on it continues in 2020.

Game: Scavengers

Creator: Josh Holmes [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=scavengers-e3-2019-screenshots&captions=true"] Josh Holmes, who’d previously worked on the Turok reboot and the fondly remembered Def Jam games, was one of the first employees at 343 Industries when Microsoft first built the studio. He directed Halo 4 and was the studio head for the Halo 5 team before leaving to found Midwinter Entertainment in 2016. The team’s first project is Scavengers, a third-person multiplayer shooter that incorporates both PvP and PvE gameplay. The team calls it “coopetition,” but whatever you label it, we were incredibly impressed when we played it at E3 last year.

Game: Golem

Creators: Jaime Griesemer and Marty O’Donnell The creator of Halo’s “30 seconds of fun” combat mantra (Griesemer) and its legendary composer (O’Donnell) started Highwire Games together in 2014. Their first project was Golem, an ambitious single-player, narrative-driven game built exclusively for PSVR. We got an incredibly early look at it in early 2016 (before the PSVR even launched!) as part of IGN First. Now we wait to hear what Highwire is up to next.

Game: Destiny 2

Creator: Jason Jones [ignvideo url=""] Of course, a number of the original Halo developers remained at Bungie, including co-founder and Halo visionary Jason Jones as well as multiplayer designer Lars Bakken, among others. Bungie has, obviously, gone on to great success with the Destiny franchise, in spite (or perhaps in part because) of the dissolution of their partnership with Activision. Jones doesn’t talk much at all – only giving interviews once a decade or so – but he talked plenty of Halo with me when I sat down with him in 2014. After Halo 2, Jones famously ducked away and began brainstorming Bungie’s next big thing, which turned out to be Destiny. So what’s he up to now? That is the million-dollar question... [poilib element="accentDivider"] Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s Executive Editor of Previews. Follow him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan, catch him on Unlocked, and drop-ship him Taylor Ham sandwiches from New Jersey whenever possible.


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