Bungie Layoffs Happened to Avoid a Full Sony Takeover

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The consequences of Bungie layoffs turned out to be much more serious than it might seem.

Bungie Layoffs Happend to Avoid a Full Sony Takeover

Key Takeaways:

  • Bungie executives made layoffs to avoid Sony’s takeover and save the existing board.
  • There could likely be more layoffs at Bungie in the future, especially if The Final Shape fails.
  • There is a depressed mood inside the team and no trust in the current leadership of the studio.

Over a month ago, the Destiny 2 community experienced a real tragedy as layoffs occurred at Bungie. Many talented employees, including Michael Salvatori, were affected during this time, and a lot of information about internal studio happenings came to light, such as the sudden postponement of The Final Shape.

Since then, much water has flowed under the bridge, but while fans were distracted by the new season, IGN released a devastating article revealing the true reasons behind the layoffs.

This year has been incredibly tough for Destiny 2, resulting in meager profits, unmet goals, and increased amount of paid in-game cosmetics. Consequently, the studio’s leadership laid off many people and implemented numerous other cost-cutting measures to avoid breaching the contract with Sony. According to IGN’s report:

“If Bungie falls short of certain financial goals by too great an amount, Sony is allowed to dissolve the existing board and take full control of the company.”

— IGN

The studio’s atmosphere is now “soul-crushing,” and the management is taking no steps to improve the situation. Moreover, no one guarantees the safety of employees from possible future layoffs. Some employees report that Chief People Officer Holly Barbacovi directly stated that the layoffs were a “lever” and the company would pull it again. The developers believe that a new wave of layoffs will be if The Final Shape fails:

“We know we need Final Shape to do well, and the feeling at the studio is that if it doesn’t we’re definitely looking at more layoffs.”

— IGN

IGN’s sources suggest that Bungie is undergoing erosion, with many inclusion and support employees laid off. The internal Quality Assurance Team, once Bungie’s pride, also faced layoffs and disrespect. The entire development team’s trust is lost due to broken promises and a greater focus on saving the company’s wallet than its employees. Everything is about management maintaining control under Sony’s hand, forgetting that the studio was always “people-oriented”:

“Folks still there are very much feeling “us vs them” between leadership and workers. That trust has been eroded.”

— IGN

This latest news shatter hopes for a bright future at Bungie under its current leadership. Their greed in seeking more money by selling out to Sony may ruin the studio, although there were indications that Bungie was struggling even without Sony’s involvement. The outcome is uncertain, but we hope for the best possible resolution.

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