December 3, 2023

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Bungie’s CEO claims the layoffs were due to Destiny 2’s poor performance

Bungie’s CEO claims the layoffs were due to Destiny 2’s poor performance

At an internal meeting in city hall Monday’s round of layoffs Impacting multiple departments, Bungie CEO Pete Parsons allegedly told remaining employees that the company retained the “right people” to continue work on Destiny 2.

IGN spoke to several current and recently laid off employees Confirmed reports That Bungie took responsibility for the layoffs, rather than placing them at the feet of parent company Sony. Parsons told employees that the layoffs were largely due to Destiny 2’s poor performance over the past year, as well as lower-than-expected pre-orders for the upcoming expansion The Final Shape.

IGN can now independently confirm reports that the final format has been pushed back to June 2024, and Marathon has been internally pushed back to 2025 after being in development since 2019.

The marathon is among the games confirmed to be postponed.

Employees were also told that Destiny 2 player morale was at an all-time low. Sources told IGN that the issue had been reported to leadership repeatedly for months before the layoffs, with employees pleading to make the changes needed to bring players back.

One former Bungie employee noted that they were repeatedly stressed after that 2022 Sony acquires Bungie He said there would be no layoffs, and cited an item from Sony’s quarterly report demanding $1.2 billion from the $4 billion acquisition. It was clearly moving towards employee retention. Multiple employees confirmed that the money was distributed to employees who received their full entitlements, with the money split into multiple payments over time and varying based on discipline and seniority.

Other employees also told IGN that they were particularly frustrated by the layoffs given what had happened at the company Completion of work on the new headquartersmore than double the size of its previous office and likely an expensive upgrade in Bellevue, Washington. [Note: The archived Bungie blog article was available this morning when we first drafted this piece, but as of 3:00pm PT today appeared to have been taken down. Update 3:43pm: It’s back online.]

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Parsons has been criticized in some quarters for calling the layoffs a “sad day at Bungie” in a tweet that angered several employees we spoke to.

The exact number of those affected remains a mystery, although some sources we spoke to put it at around 100 or so employees, and a number as well. As Bloomberg reported earlier today. Several employees claimed that Bungie’s leadership internally attempted to obscure the numbers and departments affected while discouraging employees from asking questions about these topics in company conversations.

IGN has now heard of layoffs impacting the community, art, engineering, recruiting, legal, audio, QA, creative studios, and IT teams, with impacts across both the Destiny 2 and Marathon teams, including several members of the Destiny 2 and Marathon teams. Company Diversity and Access Club. Those affected receive at least three months of severance pay and COBRA health benefits, although other company benefits are terminated immediately.

Being considered expendable is painful

Many employees expressed frustration about the layoffs, saying they felt that the decisions that led to the company’s apparent financial struggles were out of their hands, and that those laid off were being punished for a problem they largely did not cause.

“It’s definitely weird, being the one who gets laid off based on the decisions and performance of people in departments you’re not involved in,” one affected employee told IGN. “Being considered a consumer is painful.”

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Additionally, IGN was told that a notable number of employees were fired from the QA team in the weeks and months leading up to yesterday’s layoffs. Although the exact number is unknown, the number of departures over time was noticeable enough that the company’s head of quality assurance sent an email to employees addressing the situation. IGN reviewed the email, which claimed that the firings “were not layoffs and are not the result of cost-cutting in any way,” adding that “if we ever do layoffs, we will be very upfront about it.”

An art rendering of Bungie's new headquarters circa 2021. Source: Steelcase.
An art rendering of Bungie’s new headquarters circa 2021. Source: Steelcase.

Employees familiar with the situation told IGN that the dismissals came alongside what appeared to be an increasing “crackdown” on quality assurance, with job responsibilities increasing and several people being placed on performance improvement plans (PIPs) for seemingly minor infractions.

In 2021, IGN Talk to 26 current and former Bungie employees About the toxic work culture pervasive at the Destiny 2 developer that at the time seemed to be slowly improving thanks to the ongoing efforts of ground-level employees. but, Advance this month We also reported on an ongoing lawsuit filed against Bungie by a former HR director, who claims she was wrongfully terminated for reporting possible racial bias at the company.

IGN has reached out to Bungie for comment.

Rebecca Valentine is a senior reporter at IGN. Got a story tip? Send it to [email protected].