June 18, 2024

Bungie, the game developer owned by Sony responsible for ‘Destiny,’ Trims Staffing Levels by Letting Go of Numerous Employees

Bungie, a game developer under Sony’s ownership, recently reduced its workforce by approximately 8%, equating to around 100 employees, as reported by Bloomberg.

According to the article, these Bungie layoffs are part of broader cost-saving initiatives within Sony’s Playstation division, which has also seen staff reductions at its San Mateo offices, as well as its studios Naughty Dog (known for The Last of Us) and Media Molecule (creator of Little Big Planet). The article references a TD Cowen report by Doug Creutz, suggesting that recent developments indicate a restructuring within Playstation.

A significant portion of the job reductions at Bungie occurred within its support departments. Sources at Bungie informed Bloomberg that some of the laid-off employees will be replaced through outsourcing.

A fortnight ago, Bungie’s top management informed its employees that the company’s revenue was falling short of its yearly projections by 45%. CEO Pete Parsons attributed this decline primarily to a substantial reduction in the player base of their flagship game franchise, Destiny.

Destiny 2, a sci-fi first-person shooter roleplaying game, is always connected to the internet, necessitating constant maintenance. Typically, Bungie releases one major expansion for the game each year. The next expansion for this franchise, titled “The Final Shape,” had been initially slated for a February 2023 launch but has reportedly been postponed to June. Additionally, the company is pushing back the release of a new game called “Marathon” until 2025.

According to insiders cited by Bloomberg, unexpected meetings suddenly appeared on the calendars of numerous Bungie employees on a Monday morning, where the mass layoffs took place.

Employees who were laid off will be provided with three months of severance pay and three months of COBRA health insurance, covered by Bungie. They will also receive prorated bonuses. However, those who were receiving shares based on a vesting schedule after Sony’s acquisition of Bungie in January of the previous year will forfeit all shares that have not vested by the following month.

CEO Pete Parsons expressed his condolences regarding the layoffs on Twitter, though the post received a mixed response from the gaming community.

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