Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto has announced he will be joining EA, heading up the publisher’s newest studio which will focus on developing first-person shooter games.
The publisher hasn’t officially named its new studio according to GamesIndustry.biz. It will be the second new EA studio based out of Seattle. Just months ago, ex-Monolith head Kevin Stephens set up his EA studio in the same area, which is focused on developing an open-world action-adventures game. Lehto announced his move to EA on Twitter this morning.
“Hey everyone, I’m very excited to announce that I’ve joined @EA as a Game Director, building a new studio in the Seattle area working on first-person games,” Lehto said in a tweet. “I can’t wait to share more about what we’re creating!”
Lehto is known widely as the “the father of the Master Chief” with his contribution to the creation of the Halo series during his 15+ year tenure at Bungie. He served as the art director for Halo‘s first three instalments and was also Halo Reach‘s creative director.
Lehto left Bungie in 2012 to pursue independent game development. His journey led to him forming Washington-based developer, V1 Interactive in 2014. At the new company, he served as V1 Interactive’s president and creative director.
After many years the developer officially announced its debut game, Disintegration, a sci-fi first-person shooter with elements of real-time strategy, a single-player story campaign and multiplayer. The game was published by Take-Two Interactive publisher label, Private Division. Disintegration struggled with poor sales and finding a big player base since it launched in June last year on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
This led to the studio’s closure back in March. Lehto said it was open about its future, or a lack thereof, to its employees. Before the announcement of the company’s closure, V1 Interactive supported its 30 employees by helping them look for new jobs before going under.
“At V1, our priority has been to the wellbeing of our employees. We’ve been transparent with them about the state of things for months and are making this decision now so they still have ample time to search for new jobs while being supported by our studio,” Lehto revealed on Twitter.
Time will tell just what shape the first project from Lehto’s new studio will take.