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Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto joins EA, starts new studio

The artist behind Master Chief is joining EA

Master Chief in Halo 2 Image: 343 Industries/Xbox Game Studios
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

Former Bungie creative director Marcus Lehto has joined Electronic Arts and is opening a new studio in Seattle, Lehto announced on Tuesday.

Lehto is one of the key figures behind the Halo franchise and co-created the series during his time at Bungie. Perhaps even more notably, Lehto is the primary artist responsible for Master Chief’s iconic design. Lehto was also the art director for all of the first three Halo games.

After leaving Bungie in 2012, Lehto founded V1 Interactive, where he served as president and creative director until the studio closed down last year. V1’s primary project had been a shooter called Disintegration, which never found critical or commercial success. At EA, Lehto will work as a game director overseeing and building the company’s new Seattle studio.

The studio doesn’t have any announced games or franchises just yet, but Lehto did share some hints about the future on Twitter. According to Lehto’s tweet, the studio will focus on building first-person games, which certainly makes sense given his previous work in the genre, both at Bungie and V1 Interactive.