Bungie alumni Joseph Staten has joined Netflix as their new creative director for an as-yet-unnamed "AAA multiplatform game and original IP."
Staten was previously a writer for the the acclaimed Halo franchise, serving as head of creative for the latest entry Halo Infinite. However, possibly due to the troubled development of the title, he would earlier this year depart for an internal position at Microsoft and eventually announce he was leaving the company earlier this month.
But it seems that this was only precluding a move to streaming-giant-and-games-upstart Netflix as he will now serve as the creative director for a mysterious new AAA game.
Launched back in 2021 Netflix Games' catalogue has boasted some fantastic free titles such as Into the Breach and exclusives including Valiant Hearts sequel Valiant Hearts: Coming Home. However, it's also consistently failed to bring user attention despite the company's bold intentions and willingness to take risks and snare exclusives. With Staten's hiring they're bringing on some serious creative heat to what's become a mysterious work-in-progress.
A silver bullet
Few people believe in a "magic ingredient" when it comes to developing and designing games. While there are good leaders and great designers, they can't function on their own. So while Staten seems to have been dissatisfied with Microsoft and Halo, his positivity regarding Netflix can certainly be interpreted as being beyond simple business enthusiasm.
Netflix have the money and - when they want to - the creative freedom for directors and writers to release shows that have been at odds with the staple diet of normality delivered by other platforms. With a writer like Staten on board it seems clear that they want to bring on experienced members with a pedigree for this new IP. That raises a number of questions: Will it be streaming only? What can subscribers expect? And where will that leave mobile?