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Halo Co-Creator Marcus Lehto Has Nothing “Positive To Say About EA”

Halo Co-Creator Marcus Lehto Has Nothing “Positive To Say About EA”

The co-creator of Halo and the former director of a new Battlefield game Marcus Lehto on Saturday, March 16, 2024, shared a message on X where he said he had nothing “positive to say about EA. The message is coming days after Ridgeline Games was closed.

Halo Co-Creator Marcus Lehto Has Nothing “Positive To Say About EA”

Marcus Lehto co-created the Halo franchise at Bungie before founding Ridgeline Games, a Seattle-based studio and subsidiary of Electronic Arts. He was directing a single-player Battlefield game before leaving the studio under unclear circumstances last month.

It wasn’t long after he left that Electronic Arts announced a company-wide layoff that will impact over 600 and the closure of Ridgeline Games. In the Saturday message, Marcus Lehto lamented how his team was suffering due to the massive layoffs sweeping through the gaming industry.

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“Not been saying much here since I don’t have anything positive to say about EA,” Lehto wrote, “my recent departure, and how so many, including my team, are suffering due to the industry sweeping layoffs”.

Most people who commented on Marcus Lehto’s post were eager to know the real reason why he left Ridgeline Games with one saying, “I hope someday you can burn the bridges and spill the beans”. Lehto liked some of the comments including one that described EA as “the epitome of corporate greed”.

Halo Co-Creator Marcus Lehto Has Nothing “Positive To Say About EA”

After the closure of Ridgeline, EA’s President Laura Miele said some of the staff would be moved to Ripple Effect which she said was working on a future multiplayer experience for the Battlefield series. The single-player project for the next Battlefield game was handed over to Criterion Games, the studio behind recent Need for Speed games.

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“Marcus Lehto recently made a personal decision to leave the project,” Miele said at that time. “To ensure our work continues uninterrupted, we immediately appointed leadership at Criterion to oversee our single-player work.”

“As part of this change, we’ll be winding down Ridgeline as a standalone studio in Seattle, with some team members joining Ripple Effect. They’ll continue to work with teams across DICE, Ripple, and Criterion as they build the next Battlefield experience.”

Marcus Lehto’s departure may be due to a conflict of interest

Halo Co-Creator Marcus Lehto Has Nothing “Positive To Say About EA”

There is a popular proverb that says, “Too many cooks spoil the broth”. The proverb means that when too many people work on a project, the result often turns out inferior. Electronic Arts has pulled so many studios into the Battlefield project.

For all the different teams to work in harmony, there must be a stifling of creative freedom. All the different studios must do what they are told, and no one would be allowed to innovate. We all know that not everyone would love to work under such conditions, especially someone like Marcus Lehto who can and has worked magic when given creative freedom.

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Perhaps, his ideas were turned down several times and he felt there was no need to continue working on the project and had to quietly step aside from the studio he founded in 2021. It is also possible Marcus Lehto wanted a more prominent position in the project but didn’t get it. This is just a guess! We hope that one day he might have the freedom to share what went wrong.

Halo Co-Creator Marcus Lehto Has Nothing “Positive To Say About EA”
Vince Zapella

Around September 2023, Vince Zapella who is the group general manager for Apex Legends, Star Wars Jedi, Battlefield, and Need for Speed shared a message where he announced that Criterion Games will be joining EA Entertainment.

“As we’ve said before, we’re all-in on Battlefield,” Zapella said. “Today, Criterion is added to our world-class Battlefield studios dedicated to ushering in a new era for the franchise. The majority of the team will be working alongside DICE, Ripple Effect, and Ridgeline that are led by Byron Beede, GM of Battlefield.”

“Criterion’s experience with Battlefield, our technology, and building engaging experiences will have an immediate positive impact as we continue to work on Battlefield 2042, and as we continue pre-production on a connected Battlefield Universe.”