Yesterday, we reported on the departure of one of Halo 4's creative team, Ryan Payton, from Microsoft's Halo studio 343 Industries. Payton cited creative differences and a degree of self-doubt as the reasons for his departure, and has formed his own studio which is already working on two new titles.
A Microsoft spokesperson got in touch with us late yesterday with the following statement in response to Payton's departure:
343 Industries has assembled an all-star cast of talent working on Halo 4 under the design leadership of Studio and Halo 4 Creative Director, Josh Holmes. We're excited to tell the next story in the Halo universe with Halo 4 as the first game in the Reclaimer Trilogy. Ryan Payton, who left earlier this summer, served as Narrative Designer on Halo 4 for 15 months. Armando Troisi was hired as the Halo 4 Narrative Director in March, having formerly served as the Lead Cinematic Designer on Mass Effect 2. Ryan has been a great friend and colleague during his tenure at 343 Industries and we appreciate his contributions to the team. We wish Ryan the best in his new game development venture.
It looks like there's no bad blood between Payton and Microsoft, judging by statements from both sides. And to have Mass Effect 2's lead cinematic designer on board with the Halo 4 project bodes well for the narrative of Master Chief's next adventure.