The most recent departure, Frank O’Connor, has worked on the Halo franchise since 2004.
A Microsoft spokesperson has confirmed that Halo franchise director Frank O’Connor has left Microsoft. “We thank Frank for his numerous contributions to the Halo franchise and wish him well going forward,” they said in a statement. O’Connor’s departure was first reported by Windows Central over the weekend. It was noticed that he had updated his LinkedIn, which showed that he was leaving Microsoft for a new role at an unnamed company.
O’Connor started working at Bungie in 2004, where he wrote the “Bungie Weekly Update”, the predecessor to the Destiny release “This Week at Bungie”, which is still running.
O’Connor left the company for Microsoft in 2008 after the release of Halo 3. There he held the role of Chief Creative Officer for the franchise, overseeing 343 Industries as well as other studios working on various multimedia projects in the environment. O’Connor was also the executive producer of the dubiously successful TV series.
Frank O’Connor is the latest in a long line of senior developers to leave Microsoft and 343. Just two weeks ago, Halo creative director and Bungie collaborator Joseph Staten left the Redmond company after nine years of service.
Also, in recent news, Staten, the former creative director of Halo: Infinite and one of the fathers of the space action shooter series, has been hired by Netflix.
And apparently, to work on a big-budget video game! Staten made the announcement in a Twitter post, apparently quite enthusiastically.
343’s founder Bonnie Ross stepped down as head of development in September. Before the end of 2022, Infinite’s lead multiplayer designer, lead narrative designer and multiplayer creative director also stepped down, among others.
In addition, the game’s creative and project directors also left 343 during Infinite’s development. All of this reportedly dealt a massive blow to the project even before the game was delayed another year following its poorly received initial launch in 2020. Worse still, it appears that a significant number of paid and contract developers working at 343 have been included in the wave of 10,000 employees laid off by Microsoft in January.
So today, I'm thrilled to announce that I've joined @Netflix Games as Creative Director for a brand-new AAA multiplatform game and original IP. Let's go! 2/2
— Joseph Staten (@joestaten) April 17, 2023