The departure of Ryan Payton, the creative director of 343 Industries, Microsoft's very own studio dedicated to all things related to the Halo franchise, hasn't affected the work it's been doing on the upcoming Halo 4 title, at least according to franchise development director Frank O'Connor.
Halo fans were a bit surprised to see that Ryan Payton, the creative director of Microsoft's new Halo studio, 343 Industries, departed right in the middle of the development of Halo 4, earlier this year. Payton, who previously worked as a producer on Metal Gear Solid 4, motivated his decision to leave because he wasn't "creatively excited" about the project anymore.
Fans shouldn't worry, according to Frank O'Connor, the franchise development director of 343 Industries, as he assured CVG that Payton had already delegated core game design duties to other members of the Halo 4 team, and that he was now in charge of less important aspects of the new first person shooter.
"I'm not really going to get into that conversation because Ryan's a friend of mine and he's nearby, but Ryan hasn't been the creative director on Halo for more than fifteen months and he was doing something different in the game when we left," O'Conner explained.
"He was working on the narrative design on the game. I absolutely get that in some ways he was making a game with cinematics and for want of a better term - fairly conventional storytelling.
O'Connor highlighted that Payton's previous work in Japanese games like Metal Gear Solid 4 clashed with the Western philosophies used by 343 in Halo 4, so that might have been a crucial factor in his decision to leave the U.S.-based studio.
The 343 Industries director also said that Payton was no longer a playing a crucial role in the overall development, so his departure hasn't really affected the rest of the team all that much.
Halo 4 is scheduled to appear next year, exclusively for the Xbox 360, and kicks off a new 'Redeemer Trilogy', once again focusing on the protagonist of the most games in the series, Master Chief.