343 Industries Staffer and Halo 4 Creative Direction Ryan Payton is officially leaving his job, according to Kotaku. Their report indicates that Payton, veteran of Metal Gear Solid 4, is quitting his job on the next entry in the Halo universe out of a lack of excitement in the project.

According to Kotaku, Payton doesn't regret working with 343 Industries on Halo 4, "…but after a few years, there came a point where [he] wasn't creatively excited about the project anymore."

Maybe this is just a case of one Halo fan reading too much into the situation at hand, but it's never a good thing when one of the chief creators of a product leaves because said product is no longer exciting. The article on Kotaku insists that Payton's departure should not signify Halo 4's potential failure as a game, but it's never good to hear that one team member is leaving out of boredom.

Payton further explained the reason for his departure:

"The Halo I wanted to build was fundamentally different and I don't think I had built enough credibility to see such a crazy endeavor through."

Microsoft and 343 Industries may not have felt comfortable enough to take a risk with one of their biggest and most consistently fiscally successful franchises.

Payton is not done with games development, however, as he's already founded a studio of his own. Camouflaj has officially formed, and, as Kotaku has it, the studio has already started development on two new games. What they are and which platforms they're for is still a complete mystery.

The story on Payton closes with a sentiment absolutely worth sharing:

"I think time is the most valuable thing we have…and I've decided that I'm not going to waste one more day working on something that doesn't speak to my values."

If the man is no longer inspired by Halo 4, for reasons good, bad or indifferent, he should absolutely move on to other work. This doesn't spell demise for the Halo brand, it just means that Payton was smart enough to back away while he still loved his work.

I can respect that.

[via Kotaku]