Xbox Studio Manager Mike Ybarra revealed earlier today that Joseph Staten is coming home after vanishing from the gaming scene late last year. Back in September, Staten announced his departure from Bungie, stating that he was “leaving to tackle new creative challenges,” and today we’ve learned exactly what those challenges are. The previous design director and co-creator of both the Halo and Destiny franchises has now been signed on as Microsoft Game Studios’ new Senior Creative Director.
Thrilled to welcome back Joe Staten to the Microsoft Studios family. #XboxOne
— Mike Ybarra (@XboxQwik) January 9, 2014
In regards to Staten’s potential involvement with 343‘s new Halo game, a Microsoft spokesperson told Polygon that, “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.”
As anyone familiar with his work could tell you, this is incredibly encouraging news, as Staten has been a key creative figure within some of gaming’s most iconic and celebrated franchises of the past 15 years, ranging from Myth 2 to virtually every Halo game leading up to Halo: Reach, and recently as the writer and creative director on the highly anticipated Destiny.