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UPDATE 1/11/23: Destiny fans have criticised the statement from Bungie boss Pete Parsons describing the loss of around 100 employees as a “sad day”, as more details on the impact of the studio’s layoffs come to light.
Parsons’ tweet has been called out as tone deaf “Your senior social lead probably would have recommended against this post, which you would have known had you not let them go,” wrote Alex_frostwolf, Respawn’s global social media lead on Apex Legends. “Pity.”
Today is a sad day at Bungie as we say goodbye to colleagues who have all made a significant impact on our studio. What these exceptional individuals have contributed to our games and Bungie culture has been enormous and will continue to be a part of Bungie long into the future.
— pete parsons (@pparsons) October 30, 2023
An IGN report last night stated that Bungie had taken responsibility for the layoffs, rather than them being part of a wider Sony directive to cut costs. Dwindling numbers of people playing Destiny 2 was blamed, alongside disappointing pre-order numbers for next year’s climactic expansion The Final Shape.
In an internal meeting, Parsons reportedly told staff that Bungie had kept “the right people” able to turn its fortunes around, despite cuts to its community, engineering, recruitment, legal, audio, QA, IT and creative teams.
As reported earlier this week, it appears acclaimed Destiny composer Michael Salvatori is no longer working on the franchise.
ORIGINAL STORY 30/10/23:
Yesterday’s layoffs at Destiny 2 developer Bungie reportedly impacted 100 employees – approximately eight percent of its 1200-strong workforce – and occurred just weeks after management warned staff revenue for the year was running significantly below expectations.
That’s according to Bloomberg, which reports Bungie employees were issued “dire management warnings” that revenue was 45 percent below projections just two weeks ago. The slump is said to be the result of a “sharp drop” in the popularity of Destiny 2, with Bungie CEO Pete Parsons having reportedly highlighted weak player retention at the time.
In that same meeting, according to Bloomberg sources in attendance, Parsons told employees that Destiny 2’s next expansion, The Final Shape – which concludes the game’s current Light and Darkness saga – was only getting “good” rather than “great” feedback. As such, management planned to delay its release to improve the product.
Parsons is also said to have outlined cost-cutting measures during the meeting, alongside salary and hiring freezes, telling employees they would have to “work together to weather the storm”. However, a significant number of employees reportedly started their Monday morning yesterday with a mysterious 15-minute meeting placed in their schedule, where they would ultimately be informed of their termination from the company.
Bloomberg, based on documentation reviewed by the publication, says around eight percent – approximately 100 employees – were laid off, primarily from company’s support departments, including community management and publishing. All affected workers will reportedly receive at least three months of severance pay and three months of Bungie-paid COBRA health insurance, but additional benefits are said to have ended Monday.
Following the news of layoffs at Bungie, Parsons took to social media to call it a “sad day” for the studio. “What these exceptional individuals have contributed to our games and Bungie culture has been enormous and will continue to be a part of Bungie long into the future,” he wrote. “These are truly talented people.”