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Halo's franchise director, Frank O'Connor, looks to have left Microsoft

UPDATE: Microsoft confirms departure.

UPDATE 17/4/23: Following recent reports of Halo franchise director Frank O'Connor's departure from Microsoft after nearly two decades working on the iconic series, the company has made it official. In a statement provided to Axios' Stephen Totilo, Microsoft said, "We thank Frank for his numerous contributions to the Halo franchise and wish him well going forward."

There's still no word on where O'Connor is heading next, but his updated LinkedIn profile points to a new franchise creative director role at a currently undisclosed Seattle company, where he'll be "creating rich, story-driven entertainment experiences across multiple media."

ORIGINAL STORY 16/4/23: It looks as though Halo's franchise director, Frank O'Connor, has left Microsoft.

According to Windows Central, O'Connor's LinkedIn page was recently updated with an end date to his 20-year tenure with Microsoft.

Let's Play Halo Infinite Campaign Co-op Beta Gameplay - MASTER CHUMPS!Watch on YouTube

Furthermore, O'Connor now lists his franchise creator director position with Microsoft is now listed as having ended in April 2023, although there's been no formal word from O'Connor nor Microsoft that they've parted ways.

If true, O'Connor's departure from Microsoft follows a string of high-profile exits from 343 Industries, including Halo Infinite's multiplayer creative director Tom French and former Halo director, Joseph Staten.

Veteran of Halo development at both Bungie and 343 Industries, Staten left Microsoft's blockbuster space shooter franchise in January 2023, but it was reported at the time that he would remain at Microsoft.

Other recent departures include David Berger, who served as lead developer on Infinite's ambitious Slipspace Engine technology, and 343's boss Bonnie Ross, who announced her own exit from the company after 15 years.

Microsoft also cut "at least 95 people" from Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries. The list of those now left without a job includes "dozens of veterans, including top directors and contractors, upon which the studio heavily relies". Temporary staff members were also affected, with their contracts reportedly terminated with "just a few days" of warning.

343 Industries then issued a brief statement in a bid to quell concerns about Microsoft's flagship franchise, Halo, stating that Halo and Master Chief were "here to stay" and that the 343i team would "continue to develop Halo now and in the future".