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343 Industries Reportedly Switching From Its Own Slipspace Engine To Unreal For Some Games

by Wesley LeBlanc on Jan 31, 2023 at 11:51 AM

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Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries is reportedly switching from its own internal Slipspace Engine to Unreal Engine for some games in the future. 

This news comes from a Bloomberg report stating that the switch from Slipspace to Unreal will begin with a new game under the codename Tatanka, according to the publication's sources who are familiar with 343's plans. According to Bloomberg, 343 is developing Tatanka with Certain Affinity, who has helped develop various Halo games for more than 15 years. The project reportedly started off as a battle royale but has potentially evolved in different directions. 

Bloomberg reports that future Halo games "will also explore using the Unreal Engine," but that some within the studio are skeptical of dropping Slipspace entirely in favor of Epic Games' Unreal, with worry that the switch in code engine will negatively impact the way it feels to play a Halo game. Sources familiar with 343 and its use of Slipspace told Bloomberg that the engine, which is apparently built on decades-old code, is difficult to use and buggy, and sometimes a pain point for developers working on Halo games. Apparently, in multiple instances throughout 343's history, studio management has mulled over switching to Unreal, but that it didn't actually happen until Pierre Hintze took over the studio late last year following the departure of 343 head Bonnie Ross and engine lead David Berger. 

Elsewhere in the report, the publication claims that 343 isn't working on new story content for Halo Infinite, despite many fans believing said story content was coming in the game's future. In fact, Bloomberg reports that some "developers were making prototypes in the Unreal Engine and pitching ideas for new Halo games." However, many of those developers were reportedly laid off earlier this month so it's unclear if these prototypes are still being developed. 

This report follows news from earlier this month that Microsoft was laying off 10,000 people amidst its ongoing $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. 343 Industries was reportedly one of the studios hit hardest by these layoffs, and shortly after they occurred, Halo Infinite creative director Joseph Staten departed from the studio to rejoin Xbox Publishing. Rumors that 343 Industries would no longer develop Halo games and instead oversee the franchise began to spread following that, but last week, Hintze released a statement that said "343 Industries will continue to develop Halo now and in the future." 

[Source: Bloomberg]

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