Bungie is the latest PlayStation studio to be hit with layoffs. The extent of the job cuts is unclear, but the news comes after the company internally announced it would delay its upcoming games.
As reported by Bloomberg, the job cuts at Bungie are part of a “wider restructuring” of Sony’s gaming operation.
The studio’s CEO Pete Parsons later confirmed the layoffs, but the number of people affected by the move remains undisclosed. “Today is a sad day at Bungie as we say goodbye to colleagues who have all made a significant impact on our studio,” he wrote on X (former Twitter).
Today is a sad day at Bungie as we say goodbye to colleagues who have all made a significant impact on our studio. What these exceptional individuals have contributed to our games and Bungie culture has been enormous and will continue to be a part of Bungie long into the future.
— pete parsons (@pparsons) October 30, 2023
According to Bloomberg, this comes after Bungie delayed two of its upcoming projects. Destiny 2’s new expansion The Final Shape is now expected to come out in June 2024 (instead of February), and multiplayer title Marathon was postponed to 2025.
Who was affected by the layoffs at Bungie?
Some of the affected staffers have opened up about the job cuts on social media. The list includes growth strategy manager Alex Bujold, community manager and co-lead of accessibility Liana Ruppert, social media lead Griffin Bennett, publishing producer and event manager Matthew Bianchi, icon artist John Zelman, and more.
Destiny Bulletin, which covers news and updates related to Bungie’s biggest game, noted that the layoffs have reportedly affected people in roles such as community management, marketing, QA, support, HR, production, art, and publishing.
CinemaMotions CEO Carson Reed also claimed that Micheal Salvatori was among those laid off by Bungie. The composer, who wrote music for the Halo and Destiny franchises, didn’t confirm the news, but changed the description on his website to “Gone fishin :)”
In 2022, Sony acquired Bungie for $3.6 billion. The main purpose of the deal was the studio’s expertise in making successful multiplayer games, which the Japanese company saw as one of the growth areas as part of its plan to release 10 live service titles by March 2026.
“We think we can take something that would have taken a certain number of years, and significantly decrease the time it will take to get it right,” PlayStation boss Jim Ryan said at the time.
Bungie remained creatively independent in terms of its own content and production pipeline, but started consulting Sony’s other first-party teams working on live service games based on PlayStation IPs.
In its May 2023 keynote for investors, Sony noted that it expects the share of investment in live service titles to reach 55% in the current fiscal year and 60% in FY25 (ending March 31, 2026).
The Destiny developer has been conducting internal reviews of GaaS titles currently in development at Sony. This includes Fairgame$ from Jade Raymond’s Haven Studios, untitled projects from Friewalk Stduios and Guerrilla Games, as well as a multiplayer spin-off for The Last of Us, which is reportedly in trouble after a negative review by Bungie.
Job cuts at the studio follow layoffs at Sony’s other first-party teams, including Media Molecule and Visual Arts. On top of that, PlayStation head of internal production Connie Booth, who has been closely working with studios like Naughty Dog and Insomniac Games for decades, recently left the company.