Marathon | Bungie’s shooter reboot gets a new director

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Bungie’s reboot of the 1994 shooter Marathon, due out in 2025, has suddenly acquired a new director after losing its original project lead.

Announced last May, Bungie’s surprise revival of its 1994 shooter Marathon caused quite a stir, with some 18 million people watching its eye-catching YouTube trailer within hours of its launch.

Behind the scenes, however, there are evidently creative changes underway among its development team. Christopher Barrett was initially heading up the Marathon reboot, but as picked up by Eurogamer, he’s now been replaced by Joe Ziegler, who previously directed Valorant at Riot Games.

Making the shift official, Ziegler wrote on Twitter, “For the last nine months I’ve been working on Marathon as the game director. We’re still baking, but I’m excited to share with you more info on the game as we get closer and closer to bringing it to all of you.”

Morale has reportedly been low at Bungie since its purchase by Sony in July 2022. Despite initial reassurances that jobs were safe at the studio, 100 workers were laid off in October 2023, with lower-than-expected sales of Destiny 2’s Lightfall expansion said to be the justification for those losses.

Those cuts had, according to IGN, led to a “soul-crushing atmosphere” at the studio where “no one is safe.”

As well as Marathon, Bungie is currently working on the next expansion for Destiny 2, The Final Shape – a slab of content that, workers reportedly fear, will lead to more job losses if it isn’t a success.

According to IGN’s latest report, the climate has hardly improved at Bungie in more recent months. There’s reportedly a push to get Marathon, already delayed once, ready for release in 2025; “Within the company,” journalist Rebekah Valentine writes, “there is a growing expectation that senior company leadership will leave in droves in the summer of 2026 when the final payouts from Sony’s acquisition of the company take effect.”

With sources reiterating that more job losses could follow if The Final Shape underperforms, it sounds as though the future of Marathon could also hinge on Destiny 2’s popularity over the next few months.

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