In what might be one of the most amusing “I got a new job” posts ever, Halo Infinite lead narrative designer Aaron Linde has announced that he’s leaving 343 Industries and joining Riot Games.
Linde announced the news via Twitter, in a tongue-in-cheek video riffing on the “on the next episode” bookends of Neon Genesis Evangelion. Check it out below.
I forgot to cancel my Adobe Premiere trial so this tweet cost me $30. Anyway I’m thrilled to report I’m joining Riot R&D! https://t.co/jQeC3LbMaW
— Aaron Linde (@aaronlinde) January 3, 2022
“Bittersweet news to report: I’m departing 343 Industries to pursue a new opportunity in 2022,” Linde said in subsequent tweets. “It was a terrifically difficult decision; Halo Infinite will remain one of the proudest achievements of my career for the rest of my life. I’m so grateful to have been a part of it. I want to thank my dear colleagues at 343 for making the best game I’ve ever worked on, our incredible voice cast for elevating our work in every single line delivery, and our players for joining us on this wild-ass journey. You made 2021 an incredibly special year for me.”
Linde is joining Riot Games’ research and development division, where the company workshops new game ideas. Riot recently released two new games late last year (The Ruined King and Hextech Mayhem) and similarly revealed future projects like Conv/rgence and Song of Nunu.
Linde got his start as a writer first in games media as an editor for ShackNews and Destructoid, before switching to a content writer role for the Gears of War franchise in 2008. He later wrote story content for Gears of War 3, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, and served as lead writer on Gearbox’s Battleborne. He then worked as a narrative designer on Guild Wars 2: Living World before joining Bungie as a writer on Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, and then 343 Industries in mid 2019.
Halo Infinite was a significant diversion from the traditional structure of previous series entries, dropping Master Chief into a semi-open world filled with side missions and non-linear areas. IGN gave the campaign a 9 out of 10, praising it more for gameplay tweaks and updates than the storytelling, but ultimately calling it worth the six-year wait.
Here’s what else to expect from Xbox in 2022. On the Riot Games front, Valorant director Joe Ziegler recently left his position to start work on a new secret project at Riot.
Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer/master beef for IGN.