Studio Head Dan Ayoub is leaving developer 343 Industries for opportunities in the larger Microsoft family. His departure was revealed as part of a Halo Waypoint blog post, which also confirmed Ayoub’s new venture in Microsoft’s Mixed Reality department. Ayoub will be helping the company expand the education side of the VR and augmented reality space, primarily with Microsoft’s HoloLens.
Prior to today’s news, Dan Ayoub was a studio head at 343 Industries working on the studio’s real time strategy projects. He had a hand in every project dating back to Halo Reach post-game support, but took on a greater role with Halo Wars 2. With his departure, the remaining 343 dev team is left to handle any post-release support for Halo Wars 2, including updates and DLC.
“Today we’re sad to be saying bon voyage to one of our own, as Dan Ayoub – who’s worked on Halo games since Halo: Reach all the way back in 2009, bids us, and the gaming industry, a fond adieu. Dan is set to begin a new adventure within Microsoft in Mixed Reality, where he’ll be pursuing one of his passions…the empowerment of education through technology.
Although Dan will be staying in the Microsoft family, and won’t be heading too far, our 343 family will miss his wit, wisdom and effort throughout the years. But Halo Wars 2 and its forthcoming DLC are in the safe hands of Dan’s team, with some wonderful DLC and other surprises still to come.
Over the years, Dan has helped us work with amazing studios and partners from literally every corner of the globe. They, like us are going to miss him, and Dan wanted us to express his thanks to both those partners, and to all the Halo fans and community who’ve been the fuel and fire that have ignited his passion and ambition, throughout the years.
So long Dan, and don’t be a stranger!”
While most will think of 343 Industries as the Halo FPS studio (taking over for Bungie in in 2007), it is also responsible for a number of projects within that universe. The Anniversary Collections and Halo Wars franchise were also under 343’s purview. However, without Ayoub leading the Halo Wars team some may wonder what that means for the series’ future. That’s not to say Halo Wars is as consistent as Halo in terms of releases, but the RTS franchise has its fair share of fans.
Speaking of Halo, Microsoft just announced this week that the next entry in the series, Halo 6, will not make an appearance during E3 2017. Prior to the announcement, there was a strong assumption that the next Master Chief adventure would be a key point of Microsoft’s press conference, but that is not the case. However, rather than let fans speculate about Halo’s no-show, Microsoft wanted to get out ahead of time and clear the air.
That being said, while Halo 6 won’t be there, Halo Wars 2 could make an appearance with talk of DLC. Unfortunately, it won’t be Ayoub who takes the stage in LA.
Source: Halo Waypoint