One of the key design leads behind the Halo series working at 343 Industries is parting ways with the studio, and moving into a completely separate division at Microsoft away from gaming. What will the new job be? Working with HoloLens.
Dan represented one of the last of the old guard from the previous generation of Halo developers. He was the executive producer at 343 Industries, and helped the studio work on Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, along with Spartan Assault. Additionally, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, along with overseeing the most recent Halo title, Halo Wars 2.
The post over on Halo Waypoint notes that despite Dan leaving to go work in a separate division of Microsoft. The team who helped contribute toward Creative Assembly's efforts in the design of Halo Wars 2 and its DLC will continue to work on the RTS title for PC and the Xbox One.
343 Industries will also continue moving forward with the rest of the Halo franchise, including the upcoming Halo 6, which is not scheduled to be unveiled or released this year.
Dan, however, will be focusing on mixed reality design software applications and utilities for HoloLens. Speaking of which, what are some of the latest advancements being made with HoloLens? Well, they're still prototyping and working on finding practical application use for the mixed reality device.
As a VR headset it doesn't quite offer the same immersive closed software experience as other headsets like the PlayStation VR or the HTC Vive. Instead, the HoloLens offers users the ability to experience virtual reality through augmented reality. This works similar to augmented reality on most smart devices, but with other added bonuses such as interacting directly with the software entities and objects. This isn't quite common in most AR software apps, and something that doesn't have the best form of precision interactivity with traditional VR headsets.
The major roadblock for HoloLens is basically the device's price, which is still several thousand dollars.
Maybe with Dan joining the HoloLens team, they'll be able to brainstorm ways to bring the price down to something a lot more reasonable for the average gamer... assuming they even plan to sell HoloLens to gamers.
Based on the Halo Waypoint post, Dan Ayoub won't have much of anything to do with gaming. They actually mention that he'll be pursuing one of his passions in the form of education through technology, so maybe he'll be working with the HoloLens in developing some sort of practical application for the classroom? It would be pretty cool if that's what Microsoft might be planning to use it for.
In the interim, 343 Industries still has plenty of Halo to work on in Dan's absence, so hopefully they can carry on well without him as he pursues his new endeavors with working with the mixed reality and HoloLens technology.