It's been a difficult period for Microsoft - with the company announcing 10,000 layoffs earlier this month. Unfortunately, the Xbox division has also been impacted by this, including the Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries. It's raised questions about the future of Master Chief, and now Xbox Head Phil Spencer has chimed in.
In Friday's IGN interview, Phil mentioned how 343 remains "critically important" to the success of the Halo series, and also how the Halo franchise will always be a major part of Xbox. He believes in the team at 343 and says the team "has a very good plan" going forward.
"What we're doing now is we want to make sure that [the] leadership team is set up with the flexibility to build the plan that they need to go build. And Halo will remain critically important to what Xbox is doing, and 343 is critically important to the success of Halo."
"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."
In terms of reports about support studios coming in to help with the series, Phil explained that it's just a standard part of the development process, and the "heart and soul of Halo" remains with 343 and the team that's there. As for the plan going forward, Phil says 343 has a mix of new content in the pipeline for Halo Infinite - including the next season and some other things ("some rumoured, some announced") that they'll be working on.