As Halo celebrates its 15th anniversary, another announcement comes from the studio shepherding the long-running franchise. Josh Holmes, who served as the creative director of Halo 4 and Studio Head of FPS game development at 343 Industries since then, is leaving the studio to pursue independent game development. He was one of the early leaders at 343 and has spent seven years working on Halo.
In a blog post on Halo Waypoint, founder and head of 343 Industries, Bonnie Ross, made the announcement:
Josh has been an instrumental leader for the Halo franchise, helping to build 343 Industries, and delivering multiple AAA games, as well as the ground-breaking sustain efforts for Halo 5: Guardians. After seven years of service to 343 Industries and the Halo universe, Josh Holmes will be leaving to work on his dream to develop independent games. I wanted to thank him for everything he has done for us and the Halo franchise, and I wish him the best of luck on his next adventure.
Holmes says he has “loved every moment” working on Halo, but that he felt it was time to move on to something new. Holmes has yet to announce where he will be going next, whether he will join an existing independent game studio or create his own.
Taking his place as studio head of the FPS team at 343 will be Chris Lee, who served as Lead Producer on Halo 4 and Executive Producer on Halo 5: Guardians. Holmes said the franchise is in good hands with Lee:
As the head of production on Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians, Chris has played a key role in the studio since our inception. He is a tremendous leader and Halo is in great hands with him.
As for Halo, it is celebrating its 15th anniversary with a special REQ pack and playlist in Halo 5. The developer has also teased the next DLC pack for Halo 5, and Chris Lee said soon 343 will be talking more about a free content update coming to Halo 5: Guardians and its Forge mode.
Virtually nothing is known about Halo 6, but the studio has confirmed that the next entry in the franchise is in development. The next game to come out in the Halo franchise is the real-time strategy game Halo Wars 2, slated to release in February 2017.
Halo 5: Guardians is available now, exclusively on Xbox One.