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Joe Staten, one of the most seasoned game veterans from the team that brought us Halo and is now working on Destiny, has left Bungie after 15 years at the game studio.
Bungie announced the departure in a blog post Tuesday. Staten’s contributions helped make Halo into a blockbuster franchises that has sold scores of millions of games for Microsoft and generated billions of dollars in overall revenue.
The post said, “Few have contributed as much to our success. To that end, it is with no small degree of sadness that we say ‘Godspeed’ to more than just a Grizzled Ancient, but an old, dear friend. And it is with no small degree of delight and intrigue that we imagine what worlds he might take us to next.”
Staten said in a statement, “After 15 great years at Bungie, from the battlefields of Myth to the mysteries of Halo and beyond, I’m leaving to tackle new creative challenges. While this may come as a surprise, fear not. It’s been my pleasure building Destiny these past four years, and after the big reveal this summer, our hugely talented team is on track for greatness. I’ll be cheering all of them, with all of you, when the game launches next year. Thank you for your support of me, and your continued support of Bungie. We couldn’t have done it without you.”
Staten wasn’t a founder of Bungie, but he joined in 1998 after playing in online Myth matches with the founders. He was director of cinematics — the storytelling part of the games — on the Halo series and he wrote much of the narrative in the games. He also wrote the fifth Halo novel, Halo: Contact Harvest, which became a New York Times bestseller.
Staten didn’t say where he was going next. Bungie has been staffed up in a big way since launching the Destiny game series four years ago. The first game in the online sci-fi shooter series hasn’t shipped yet.