If there’s one thing that Microsoft does that I appreciate, it’s that they post all their job listings online. Even more generous of them is that, when they post a job listing, they typically mention the primary studio that the job listing is for (i.e. Microsoft Studios, Lionhead, 343, etc.). By association, it gives an idea of what game(s) the job will be working on.
What this tends to do is provide a glimpse of an inside look from which anybody can infer what kinds of things might be going on within Microsoft’s walls.
Taking a look at the last 44 job listings that Microsoft has posted, I couldn’t help but notice that a significant number of them are for 343 Industries. Or, as many would like to call them, our Halo baby-makers. That’s probably just me. Oh well.
Looking at the past 44 listings, 17 of them are for 343 Industries (approximately 40%). These listings go as far back as April 14th, which is only about a month. That leaves us at 17 jobs to be working on Halo (to varying capacity, I’m sure) in the past month.
343 is a fairly sizable studio, having about 340 employees just over a year ago. Presumably, the studio still employs a similar amount of people. Regardless, 17 availabilities in such a short amount of time, even for a larger studio, seems to be pointing to some gears turning.
Look a little closer and you will see that 15 of those jobs have been made available in roughly two weeks (since April 28th). Since April 28th, there have been 30 job postings, 15 of which (a clean 50%) have been set to be working on Halo (or at least with 343 to support Halo). To add to that, the last five job listings over this past weekend alone have all been for Halo and 343.
Given the pacing of job openings that have been popping up for 343 (really, there have been three new listings today alone, May 12th–all for Halo and 343 as per the time of writing), there doesn’t seem to be reason to believe that Microsoft and 343 will be stopping just yet. It certainly makes sense given that E3 is just about a month from now. Halo (Halo 5, in particular) is anticipated to make an appearance this year. And if it does, it’s not a far-off assumption to believe that it is because Microsoft and 343 are preparing for an approaching release. This indeed would seem to fit right in place with all these job listings that hint toward Halo development making good head-way.
Of course, it’s possible that these openings are not solely for Halo 5. Maybe the studio has some auxiliary Halo plans they are working on for which they are recruiting. Still, Halo 5 is almost certainly in those plans. Adding to that, it’s probable that job listings over the past month have been closed and removed from the listings. Some may have been for 343, others not. Nevertheless, these numbers are certainly interesting. Only time will tell.