Halo 4 won’t be out until late next year, but the upcoming game from 343 Studios has already taken a serious staff knock, when Creative Director Ryan Payton recently announced that he was leaving the project, over issues of him not being "creatively excited" anymore.
Payton, who achieved widespread acclaim in the gaming industry after his work as an assistant director on Metal Gear Solid 4, has also announced that the formation of his own game studio, Camoflaj, and has begun work on new games already.
Speaking to Kotaku, Payton explained how his leaving 343 Studios would not signal that Halo 4 was going to be a terrible game, but a different one from the idea he had in mind for the new trilogy.
"I had a great run at Microsoft", Payton explained. "I don’t regret one day of it. But after a few years, there came a point where I wasn’t creatively excited about the project anymore. The Halo I wanted to build was fundamentally different and I don’t think I had built enough credibility to see such a crazy endeavour through."
Due to a non-disclosure agreement, Payton can’t reveal any real details about what exactly he was doing behind the scenes for Halo 4, but he did explain that he was focusing on story heavily, working with Halo franchise director Frank O’Conner and his team to further expand and develop the stories behind the Halo universe.
Payton also hired one of his collaborators from his work on MGS4, audio director Sotaro Tojima, for Halo 4. "There’s no doubt that his Japanese sensibilities will bring a lot to the new game and I’m confident the game is going to sound epic," Payton said.
While its sad to see an influential post being vacated so early during the development of a game, it might turn out to be for the better for all the fans who are becoming emotionally invested in the game.
While one mans vision may not gel with what the project entails, its also refreshing to see a developer admit to being in over his head, and instead focus on designing games that can fully translate his ideas, instead of irreparably damaging a beloved franchise.
Last Updated: September 8, 2011