Staten has worked at Bungie since 1998. His hiring was the result of multiple chance meetings with Bungie employees during online matches of Myth. He has written and contributed to the fiction for all major Halo games, including Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach and Halo Wars. Staten acted as Director of Cinematics for Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2 and Halo 3. He was responsible for all in-game cutscenes and wrote all of the mission scripts for the trilogy. He is currently working on Bungie's upcoming and unannounced non-Halo game.
Staten is also a published author, writing the Halo-based novel Contact Harvest. Its plot focuses on young Marine Sergeant Avery Johnson, a popular character from the Halo games, as well as humanity's first encounter with the alien force known as The Covenant. The book garnered critical acclaim and reached number 3 on the New York Times bestseller list.
Staten attended Norhtwestern University and had hopes of becoming an actor, but he eventually left for the University of Chicago where he studied military history and political science, for which he received a masters degree.