Master Chief’s a man down; one of Halo 4‘s creative directors, Ryan Payton, has left the project and developer 343 Industries with it.
Payton explained the departure to Kotaku. “I had a great run at Microsoft,” he said. “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.”
It’s stressed that Payton wasn’t saying he thought Halo 4 was going to be a bad game, just not what he had in mind for the series. He continued: “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.”
Payton previously worked at Kojima Productions, where he became a spokesperson for western development on Metal Gear Solid 4. He left the team and Japan a few years back after his mother was diagnosed with cancer. He found his feet at Microsoft and the Halo series, but is now moving on to work for himself. “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,” he said.
He now has his own studio, Camouflaj, where’s he’s at work on two separate titles. He admits that his dream of gaming may not be realized for another twenty years or so, though.
“I think time is the most valuable thing we have,” he concluded, “and I’ve decided that I’m not going to waste one more day working on something that doesn’t speak to my values.”