Bungie | Report describes “soul-crushing” atmosphere at Destiny studio

Destiny 2 The Final Shape Bungie Sony
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A new report describes a “soul-crushing” atmosphere at Bungie, the studio behind Destiny, as fears grow that Sony may take over.

In a year of huge layoffs across the games industry, the atmosphere and morale among the studios affected hasn’t been reported as often as the redundancies themselves. A report over at IGN, meanwhile, goes behind the scenes at Bungie, the respected developer of Halo and the Destiny games, and paints a gloomy portrait of working life at the studio.

Last July, Sony purchased Bungie in a deal worth some $3.6bn. Just over a year later, in October, it was announced that 100 members of staff would lose their jobs – a round of cuts which were reportedly triggered by lower-than-expected revenues from Destiny 2′s Lightfall expansion.

Since then, IGN’s Rebekah Valentine reports, there have been growing fears among workers that those job losses could ultimately lead to a full takeover of Bungie by Sony – particularly if Destiny 2′s next expansion, The Final Shape, also fails to sell as expected.

“We know we need Final Shape to do well,” said an anonymous source. “And the feeling at the studio is that if it doesn’t we’re definitely looking at more layoffs.”

There’s also an understandable fall of morale at the studio, with one staff member describing the atmosphere as “soul-crushing”. Reports of employee benefits and events being cancelled or paused haven’t helped, either.

“Every day I walk in afraid that I or my friends are next,” a source told IGN. “No one is safe.”

October’s layoffs mean there are around 1,100 members of staff are still left at Bungie. They’re currently working on The Final Shape and the live-service shooter reboot, Marathon, both of which have been delayed – the latter isn’t due out until 2025.

Destiny 2: The Final Shape is now due for release on the 4th June 2024. If the reports are accurate, Bungie’s longterm future hinges on how it’s received by the game’s millions of players.

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