Halo has a new big boss.
343 Industries studio head of FPS development Joshua Holmes has stepped down from his position as director of the Halo developer, the company announced today. Holmes is leaving behind the blockbuster publishing industry to make games on his own as an independent developer. Most recently, Holmes oversaw the launch of Halo 5: Guardians for Xbox One in 2015. Going forward, former 343 Industries head of production Chris Lee will take over Holmes’ role as director.
“Like many of you, I fell madly in love with Halo 15 years ago,” Holmes said in a statement on the Halo blog. “The first time I played Halo it left an indelible mark. It transported me to a world filled with mystery and wonder, and introduced me to a hero I would come to know most intimately, the Master Chief. More than anything, it inspired me to want to make more games like it.”
Holmes helped found 343 Industries in 2007. He worked as creative director on Halo 4 before taking on the job as studio lead. He didn’t specify exactly what he plans to do going forward beyond his indie ambitions.
“I have loved every moment here on Halo, but I find myself drawn to new horizons,” he explained. “This month, I’m leaving 343 Industries and excited for my next adventure to pursue independent game development.”
For 343, Lee will step into the role after working at the studio since it was founded.
“As a long-time Halo fan, it is a tremendous honor to now lead such an amazing FPS development team,” said Lee. “Josh has been a great friend and leader during the last 7-plus years, and we wish him all the best in his indie efforts. Our team is fortunate to have a strong leadership core that has worked together on Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians, spending countless days, nights, and weekends dedicated to making games that pay homage to Halo’s legacy, while continuing to move it forward.”
Microsoft and 343 Industries have not announced a Halo 6. 343 boss Bonnie Ross did say that she wants the franchise to last 30 more years, while it is celebrating its 15-year anniversary in 2016.
On February 21, Microsoft will release Halo Wars 2 — a strategy spinoff of the original shooter — for Xbox One and PC.