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Approximately 8% of Bungie’s staff was let go after a sharp drop in popularity for Destiny 2, the studio’s most well-known franchise, says Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier. Following the highly divisive release of the latest Lightfall expansion, the game developer’s higher-ups had initially told employees that “revenue was running 45% below projections for the year,” forcing executives to cut costs for travel, “as well as implementing salary and hiring freezes.”
Unfortunately, this was only a small part of Bungie’s larger money-saving scheme, as employees were eventually called into multiple separate 15-minute meetings on October 30th, which many eventually learned were part of a mass layoff, according to Schreier’s report. Most of the areas that were affected mainly involved support departments, such as community management and publishing, with Bungie staff being informed that most of these positions would be outsourced in the future.
ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS: The volatile games industry remains true to form as another high-profile studio has recently been hit by a wave of layoffs, this time with the employees of Destiny 2 developer Bungie being affected. At the time of writing, CEO Pete Parsons, along with the company’s higher-ups, have not cited the reasons that caused this latest bout of downsizing.
Many within the gaming community were predictably surprised upon the announcement, as Bungie had often been recognized as a pillar of stability following several rounds of industry layoffs in past months. Unfortunately, much like many other holding companies in recent years, it seems Sony’s and PlayStation’s attempts to acquire multiple prominent video game studios in a short period have come back to bite them hard.
According to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, the Destiny 2 Final Shape release date, along with the highly anticipated Marathon launch, has been delayed due to these job cuts. The former will now be taking place in June 2024, while the latter is being pushed back all the way to an unspecified date in 2025. The fan base’s reaction towards these postponements has unsurprisingly been negative, as many were looking forward to experiencing the conclusion to The Light and Darkness Saga.
Though 2023 has been a groundbreaking year overall with multiple critically acclaimed AAA releases, the video game industry continues to be the polar opposite, as the threat of layoffs continues to loom over studios. Previously, Epic Games and Team17 employees had been the most recent casualties of downsizing, with both companies opting to cut costs by heavily restructuring their development teams.