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Halo Veteran Joseph Staten is Joining Netflix Games

Posted April 17, 2023 | Games | Halo | Netflix | Windows

Joseph Staten, the Halo veteran who revealed earlier this month that he was leaving Microsoft has just announced his next gig. The former Head of Creative for Halo Infinite is joining Netflix Games where he will be the Creative Director for a “brand-new AAA multiplatform game and original IP.”

Netflix’s current games strategy is currently focused on a selection of mobile games that subscribers can play for free. However, Netflix now has six different game studios and it’s hiring talent to build its first blockbuster games.

“In my work life, there’s nothing I love more than collaborating with others to build worlds filled with iconic characters, deep mysteries, and endless adventures,” Staten tweeted. During his time at Bungie and Microsoft, Staten worked on both Halo and Destiny, two video game series that evolved into true cultural phenomenons.

In recent years, Staten had the difficult task of leading the Halo Infinite Creative team after Microsoft decided to delay the game following its disastrous E3 2020 showing. While Halo Infinite had the biggest launch of any Halo game thanks to its free-to-play multiplayer mode and simultaneous PC release, the game didn’t really meet the expectations of hardcore Halo fans. It didn’t help that the game launched in an incomplete state, with players having to wait for a year to be able to play the game’s campaign in co-op.

Developing and shipping AAA games has become incredibly complex in this post-pandemic era. And if Netflix has to keep investing in original content to compete with other streaming services, it’s safe to say that the quality of Netflix’s original shows can vary greatly from one show to another. What Netflix is doing with its Games division is a bit different as the AAA game Staten will be working on will be multiplatform, but this isn’t unprecedented either.

In recent years, Amazon also spent a lot of resources on AAA game development, and this bet has yet to really pay off. Amazon Games also canceled a lot of projects in recent years including a free-to-play multiplayer shooter named Crucible and a Lord of the Rings MMO. It will be interesting to see if Netflix, which is also working on a cloud gaming service, will have more luck with its own AAA game efforts.

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