New details have emerged about the recent layoffs at Bungie. It appears the cuts were made due to Destiny 2’s poor commercial performance, with the studo now trying to take steps to improve the metrics.
- A day after Bungie confirmed the job cuts, it was revealed that the studio had let go around 100 employees, or 8% of its 1,200 headcount. This is according to documentation reviewed by Bloomberg.
- The reason is a “sharp drop in the popularity” of Destiny 2, as two weeks ago, Bungie told staff at a meeting that the game’s revenue was 45% below the full-year outlook. Player retention has been declining since the release of the Lightfall expansion.
- A separate report by IGN indicates that employees have been telling leadership that “Destiny 2 player sentiment was at an all-time low” and that the studio needs to win players back.
- In addition, pre-orders for The Final Shape expansion, which was delayed until June 2024, were lower-than-expected.
- According to people who attended that meeting, CEO Pete Parsons said the studio would be cutting costs and implementing salary and hiring freezes.
- Those affected by the layoffs will receive at least three months of severance and three months of Bungie-paid COBRA health insurance. However, employees who were on a vesting schedule following Sony’s $3.6 billion acquisition of Bungie will lose any shares that weren’t vested as of next month.
- According to Bloomberg, the job cuts are part of a larger restructuring at PlayStation, which has already laid off staff at other first-party teams like Media Molecule, Naughty Dog, Visual Arts. However, Forbes’ Paul Tassi claimed that the “layoff decisions came directly from Bungie, not Sony.”
- Interestingly, soon after announcing the Bungie acquisition, Sony said it would spend around $1.2 billion to retain the studio’s employees. The company expected to pay most of this sum during the first two years after closing the deal.
- One former employee told IGN that Bungie “repeatedly assured” staff that there would be no layoffs following the acquisition.