Bungie’s Morale Plummets with Sony Takeover Looming

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Sony’s acquisition of Bungie for $3.6 billion in 2022 led to repeated assurances from Sony that the creator of games like Halo would remain an independent subsidiary. However, according to IGN, if Bungie’s game Destiny 2 continues to miss revenue targets, Sony could potentially dissolve Bungie’s board of directors and take full control of the studio. The current board structure is contingent on Bungie meeting certain financial targets, and with the studio reportedly falling short of these targets, Sony might take complete control.

In the wake of 100 layoffs at Bungie in October, Bloomberg reported that the studio missed its 2023 forecast by 45 percent, a result of the disappointing Lightfall expansion. This led to cost-cutting measures such as hiring freeze, salary adjustment crackdown and no holiday bonuses. Senior management’s apparent indifference to the situation has plummeted morale, and these cuts have also affected the studio’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. With Destiny 2’s next expansion, The Final Shape, being delayed and more layoffs possibly looming, the situation at Bungie looks dire.

Bungie, known for its successful partnership with Microsoft as the developer of the Halo games, became independent to develop the first Destiny game and ultimately parted ways with Activision Blizzard in 2019. The studio’s recent problems have raised questions about the role of longtime decision-makers within Bungie and the new expectations from Sony in the current situation.

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