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Studio CEO Pete Parsons reportedly told remaining devs the "right people" had been retained in order to win players back.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

November 1, 2023

2 Min Read
Artwork for The Final Shape featuring core Destiny characters
Image via PlayStation

Bungie CEO Pete Parsons reportedly told employees at the studio that recent job cuts were the result of waning interest in Destiny 2.

As reported by both IGN and Bloomberg, Parsons addressed the situation during a recent town hall meeting and suggested that Destiny 2 has been underperforming over the past year and is struggling to retain players.

Sources speaking to IGN said the chief exec told those who retained their jobs at Bungie that "the right people" had been kept on. Bungie also apparently took responsibility for the layoffs, indicating that parent company Sony didn't push the studio to downscale.

Elaborating on the struggles facing Destiny 2, Parsons said the upcoming expansion, The Final Shape, has delivered lower-than-expected preorders. According to IGN, Bungie has now chosen to delay The Final Shape until June 2024, while Marathon has been pushed back to 2025.

Layoffs sprung on Bungie staff despite assurances over job security

People familiar with the situation told Bloomberg that The Final Shape had been getting good feedback, but ultimately needed more time in the oven. As a result, the decision was made to delay the expansion so developers could add more polish.

It seems that delay was authorized before Bungie decided to cut jobs, with Parsons initially telling staff the studio would be cutting costs (such as for travel) and implementing a salary and hiring freeze in a bid to weather the storm until Destiny 2 had bounced back.

Shortly after those measures were implemented, however, staffers claim they were unexpectedly sent invitations to 15-minute meetings during which Bungie ultimately announced the layoffs.

That's despite assurances that were seemingly made to staff concerned about job security following Sony's acqusition of Bungie in March 2022. One former Bungie worker told IGN they were repeatedly told there would be no layoffs because $1.2 billion of the $3.6 billion Sony paid to acquire Bungie would be used to retain staff.

Other employees claimed they'd flagged issues related to Destiny 2's subpar performance to Bungie leadership months before the layoffs were announced, and begged for the chance to win players back.

Bungie hasn't confirmed how many people it has laid off, but both IGN and Bloomberg are reporting that roughly 100 jobs will be axed across various departments including community management, publishing, art, engineering, audio, QA, and more—representing an 8 percent reduction across Bungie's entire workforce.

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About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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