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Former Bungie bigwig Joe Staten returns to Microsoft

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Former Halo writer and creative director Joe Staten has joined Microsoft Game Studios.

Staten had been working on Destiny for one-time Microsoft subsidiary Bungie, until September last year. His appointment was announced today by Microsoft studio manager Mike Ybarra. "Thrilled to welcome back Joe Staten to the Microsoft Studios family," he wrote on Twitter.

In September, Staten announced his plans to leave Bungie "to tackle new creative challenges." During his tenure at Bungie, he served as the voice of the Halo series' grunts and the author of the Halo: Contact Harvest novel. Most recently, he served as design director for Destiny, the developer's upcoming open-world shooter. Last year, Staten appeared in a video for Destiny, in which he discussed the shooter's social experience.

Staten's new role is as senior creative director. "Over the past 15 years at Bungie, Joseph has been a key creative force behind some of gaming's most iconic and celebrated franchises including Myth 2, Oni and virtually every Halo game leading up to Halo: Reach," said a Microsoft spokesperson, in a statement sent to Polygon. "Most recently, he spent the last four years working as a writer and creative director on the highly anticipated Destiny."

Regarding his potential involvement in 343 Studios' new Halo game, the spokesperson continued, "Joseph is not working directly on the next Halo title. As a senior creative director, he will help create the world's best entertainment on Xbox, as well as help shape our franchise strategy for some Microsoft Studios titles. He'll also be one of our leading ambassadors to the game development community, building on his many years of experience and relationships with developers and fans. We're excited to share more about Joseph's role in the future."