If the Xbox One is to be the success that Microsoft hopes it will be, it needs to hit the ground running. Thus far, Microsoft has done an admirable job in that regard, moving more than 3 million units since the console’s launch in November, but there is still plenty more work to be done both on the hardware and the software side.
As far as the software is concerned, Microsoft has netted their first big fish of 2014 in the form Joe Staten. The former Bungie Design Director worked on nearly every Halo game and was also part of the Destiny team, but he will now serve as Senior Creative Director for Microsoft Game Studios.
Staten’s departure from Bungie isn’t too much of a shock as he announced his intent to leave the developer late last year. What is a little shocking is that Staten ended up back at Microsoft, the same publisher that Bungie split off from back in 2007.
Although we know Staten will take on the Senior Creative Director role we don’t know much beyond that. Microsoft suggests he will be instrumental in building the company’s brand for the next-gen, but they would not cite specific projects. An obvious choice would be 343 Industries‘ next Halo game, which is still targeting a 2014 release date, but 343’s Frank O’Connor and Microsoft claim Staten is not involved with Halo, at least not directly.
“Joseph is not working directly on the next Halo title. As a senior creative director, he will help create the world’s best entertainment on Xbox, as well as help shape our franchise strategy for some Microsoft Studios titles. He’ll also be one of our leading ambassadors to the game development community, building on his many years of experience and relationships with developers and fans. We’re excited to share more about Joseph’s role in the future.”
In addition to a creative figurehead, Staten will also help Microsoft snag new talent, presumably in the triple-A and the indie space. Staten has built up a strong reputation thanks to the Halo brand, and that will likely help Microsoft’s relationship with fans and developers.
And while Staten might not be involved with Halo 5, or whatever 343 is titling the next Master Chief adventure, he could help get the Halo TV show off the ground. If there is anyone who could find ways to explore that mythology from a different perspective it’s Staten.
Whatever the case, we suspect it won’t be long before Staten makes a public appearance and gives some hints as to what projects he’s involved in. Microsoft is known to parade their biggest talent at E3 press conferences, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see him at this year’s event. Until then, however, we’ll have to keep guessing.
What do you think of Joe Staten joining up with Microsoft? Would you prefer he stayed at Bungie and worked on Destiny?