Bungie Is the Latest Gaming Studio to Suffer Layoffs; The Final Shape Delayed to June, Marathon to 2025

[UPDATE] According to a new article posted on Bloomberg, Bungie has internally delayed Destiny 2: The Final Shape to June 2024, whereas Marathon is now slated for 2025.

[ORIGINAL STORY] Bungie, the creator of the Halo franchise and, most recently, developer of the Destiny franchise, has been hit by layoffs. The news was first broken by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier on Twitter, who revealed that CEO Pete Parsons called a staff meeting earlier today to announce the news.

Bungie Community Manager and former journalist Liana Ruppert confirmed on Twitter she was suddenly laid off this morning. The full scope of the layoffs is currently unknown, so we’ll update the story when more specifics become publicly available. Meanwhile, former Destiny developer Ben Platnick, a VFX artist now at Riot, pointed newly unemployed folks to Riot’s openings page.

Bungie is only the latest in a long series of game developers that suffered layoffs this year. Two of the most recent cases involved studios owned by PlayStation (Bungie was acquired by Sony in 2022 for $3.6 billion): Media Molecule, which lost between 15 and 20% of its workforce, and Naughty Dog, which cut around 25 contract workers.

Other gaming studios affected include Epic, which removed nearly 900 employees (around 16% of its headcount) a month ago, and BioWare, which cut 50 employees in late August. Ready at Dawn lost a third of its staff earlier this year as part of widespread layoffs at Meta. Similarly, Microsoft cut 10K jobs across its many divisions, and some of the layoffs included employees who worked at 343 Industries, The Coalition, and Bethesda. Even Riot cut around 46 employees in January.

Most of the aforementioned terminations are likely due to the overhiring spree that occurred in the COVID years. There were several other instances of layoffs caused by more conventional circumstances, though. For instance, Immortals of Aveum developer Ascendant Studios lost half its workforce after the game flopped; similarly, Striking Distance Studios lost 32 employees following the unsuccessful launch of The Callisto Protocol.

Bungie is currently working on the Final Shape expansion of Destiny 2, which is due to launch on February 27, 2024. Earlier this year, the studio also announced Marathon, a new sci-fi PvP extraction shooter based on the popular IP. As of 2022, Bungie had around 1100 employees.

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