Halo 4 creative director leaves mid-project to create own studio

Halo 4

The production and development of Halo 4 hit a bump in the road today with the departure of 343 Industries’ Creative Director Ryan Payton. Payton is moving on to create his own studio, Camouflaj, and stated that he was no longer "creatively excited" about the project.

"I had a great run at Microsoft," Payton said in an interview with Kotaku. "I don’t regret one day of it. But after a few years, there came a point where I wasn’t creatively excited about the project anymore. The Halo I wanted to build was fundamentally different and I don’t think I had built enough credibility to see such a crazy endeavor through."

The developer’s prior credentials include writing as a freelancer for EGM and working on Metal Gear Solid 4 as an associate producer. He doesn’t believe that Halo 4 will be a bad game, but it just wasn’t what he wanted to do creatively. The difference in direction seemed to be a contributing factor to what led to Payton’s diagnosis of severe depression a few months back.

"For somebody who loves this industry as much as I do and know how lucky I’ve been, I never thought I’d get to a point where I was so drained," he said. "That was when I knew I had to do something else."

However it wasn’t until Payton visited Jake Kazdal’s house and watched him work tirelessly on Skulls of the Shogun that Payton finally decided it was time to leave.

"Some people say I’m crazy, but I want to make a game that one billion people play at once, and it’s something that hits them harder than a great book or film," said the developer.

Camouflaj is already working on their first two titles and despite how it all played out, Payton has no regrets about his time at 343 Industries.

"I think time is the most valuable thing we have, and I’ve decided that I’m not going to waste one more day working on something that doesn’t speak to my values," he stated.



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Author: Mike Murphy View all posts by
Mike has been playing games for over two decades. His earliest memories are of shooting ducks and stomping goombas on NES, and over the years, the hobby became one of his biggest passions. Mike has worked with GamerNode as a writer and editor since 2009, giving you news, reviews, previews, a voice on the VS Node Podcast, and much more.

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