Yesterday, many were surprised to learn Bungie laid off a number of notable employees, including their Community Manager Hippy, and long standing composers Michael Salvatori, and Michael Sechrist.
This has caused a large number of rumors to swirl, with players pointing the finger in every possible direction. While Bungie has yet to release an official statement, or explain their direction going forward, notable Bloomberg Journalist, Jason Schreier, wrote an article that adds insight on the ongoing situation.
According to their sources, two weeks ago employees learned Bungie’s revenue was 45 percent behind their projections for the year. Player retention was listed as a major contributor to these underwhelming numbers.
This isn’t too surprising, as Destiny 2: Lightfall was met with mixed reactions. Criticism for Lightfall included weak narrative, which had to be corrected in supplemental exposition dumps following its release, frustrating changes in difficulty, and a string of unpopular choices. Among the most notable being Root of Nightmares, a raid widely considered among the weakest Bungie has released in the franchise’s history.
Following seasons suffered from similar issues. Ghosts of the Deep is a fantastic dungeon that has seen player atrophy due to high boss health and dislike for the shield mechanic. Season of the Deep ultimately became an underwhelming adventure as players grew frustrated with matchmaking due to conflicting goals of those matched together. Even the latest season had players underwhelmed Bungie selecting Crota’s End over the far more popular Wrath of the Machine, even if the changes breathed new life into the
To address these concerns a number of positive changes were unveiled in hopes of turning the tide. In addition to this, the choice was seemingly made to delay Destiny 2: The Final Shape from Feb. to June 2024 to further improve its offerings.
Unfortunately, these changes were not all and sources close to Bloomberg report roughly 100 employees were let go. These include the aforementioned employees, reports certain QA team members, and more were among those dismissed.
While there are conflicting reports of how Bungie is handling terminated employees, Schreier lists “at least three months of severance and Bungie-paid COBRA,” plus prorated bonuses. Unfortunately, things like unvested shares are now void.
It will be interesting to see what future comes of these events, but there seems to be a lot more to this story than just downsizing.