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Phil Spencer says Halo remains "critically important to what Xbox is doing"

"I expect we'll continue to support Halo for as long as the Xbox is a platform for people to play."

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has reaffirmed the company's commitment to the Halo franchise, insisting that the series remains "critically important to what Xbox is doing".

In an interview with IGN, Spencer stressed that the series will "always be iconic for Xbox" despite the "missteps that [they] made as a team".

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"What we're doing now is we want to make sure that leadership team is set up with the flexibility to build the plan that they need to go build," Spencer explained. "And Halo will remain critically important to what Xbox is doing, and 343 is critically important to the success of Halo.

"In terms of support studios and other things, that's just part of development and having other partners help us. But the heart and soul of Halo is with 343 and the team that's there, and I have the utmost confidence in the team that's there and leading and the plan that they have going forward.

"We know we needed to make some commitments to people about the content updates and our timing on those and the quality, and we didn't hit our own bar for doing that," Spencer added. "I believe in the team that's there [...] the team has a very good plan."

Spencer wouldn't be led on an update on Halo Infinite's long-promised "10-year support plan", though, stating that he's "going to let 343 talk about the plans that they have right now".

"I expect that we'll be continuing to support and grow Halo for as long as the Xbox is a platform for people to play. So I think the timeline goes on and on in line with Xbox, and I want to make sure the team's set up to succeed with that," he added.

Last week - days after follows Microsoft's enormous round of 10,000 layoffs that impacted several Xbox studios, including Halo studio, 343 Industries - Spencer reached out to Xbox staff across the company, acknowledging that it has been "a difficult week" and that while that "week's actions were painful choices", it "set [Xbox] up for the long-term success of our products and business".

343 Industries also issued a brief statement in a bid to quell concerns about Microsoft's flagship franchise, 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".