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Halo co-creator that joined EA to work on Battlefield 'gut punched' as publisher lays off entire team: 'I don't have anything positive to say about EA'

 Battlefield 4.
Battlefield 4.

Marcus Lehto is the co-creator of the Halo games and, until 2012, was a senior creative on every Halo game made by Bungie. After that he left to set up on his own with the studio V1 Interactive (which made the shooter Disintegration), before joining EA in 2021 and founding Ridgeline Games, a Seattle-based developer that was working on a new Battlefield game with more of a story focus.

I say "was" because unfortunately Ridgeline has become one of the latest victims in a brutal period of game and tech layoffs. At the end of February EA announced that it would be closing the studio, and laying off all of its staff. Around the same time, Lehto announced he would be leaving the publisher. And he's not a happy camper.

"Gut punched to see EA lay off my team," said Lehto on X. "So many very talented devs who were incredibly valuable to the Battlefield franchise."

Lehto wants to make one thing clear: "Yes, I left EA on my own accord. This was a very tough decision for me to make." He thanks the Battlefield community, and wishes the remaining teams at EA all the best for the future, then turns his guns on the publisher.

"Not been saying much here since I don’t have anything positive to say about EA [and] my recent departure," says Lehto. "And how so many, including my team, are suffering due to the industry sweeping layoffs." Lehto later posted on LinkedIn saying he's "incredibly upset and very sad" about the layoffs and Ridgeline "are very talented people whose lives are being upended needlessly."

The single-player campaign in the works at Ridgeline was a co-development with DICE, which Lehto had previously said would "engage players in new ways." It was apparently a standalone project, though what if anything will happen to it now is unknown.

Lehto's enough of an industry veteran not to say what he really thinks: but you can certainly tell what he really thinks, and clearly this one cuts deep. Lehto ended his post by announcing he's going to take a break from the industry, and think about whether he even wants to return. "In the meantime, I will be taking time away from games to see what, if anything, I want to do next.”