Bungie Employees Fear Total Sony Takeover

Last year, Sony acquired Halo creator and Destiny developer Bungie, but in October, it was hit with mass layoffs. Now, a report from IGN claims that developers within the company fear a Sony takeover and further outsourcing.



The board of directors is currently made up of PlayStation Studios head Hermen Hulst, Sony senior VP Eric Lempel, Bungie co-founder Jason Jones, Bungie CTO Luis Villegas, and Bungie CEO Pete Parsons. However, employees at the company who wished to remain anonymous reportedly told IGN that a department meeting held after the layoffs in October hinted that the shared control of Bungie might not last.

Employees also reportedly allege that there is a studio-wide hiring freeze, no more holiday bonuses, and reduced travel budgets.

Parsons serves as a tiebreaker between Bungie and Sony’s control over the company but, according to IGN, this structure requires the studio to reach certain financial goals that, given the delays to Destiny 2’s expansion The Final Shape, it’s struggling to reach. Failing to meet these targets could mean the dissolving of the board and a full takeover by Sony.

These goals are allegedly a driving force behind the layoffs last month, but it doesn’t stop there. Bungie is reportedly increasing the workloads and responsibilities while doling out harsher punishments for minor problems. It also allegedly referred to quality assurance as “non-developers”, a side of the company that it’s pushing to outsource more.

Bungie devs reportedly told IGN that the studio’s work environment is “soul-crushing” and that management has been indifferent to the low moods leading up to and following the layoffs. Leadership also allegedly could not guarantee that there would be no further layoffs.

Two employees reportedly told IGN that chief people officer Holly Barbacovi said layoffs were a “lever” Bungie could pull again if necessary.

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

Employees reportedly asked management if they had considered pay cuts to prevent a repeat of October, but they allegedly said that Bungie is “not that type of company.”

Bungie logo

Bungie originally split from Microsoft in 2007 to become an independent company, leaving Halo behind with Xbox.

It came as a surprise then when it was announced that Sony had acquired the company 15 years later, stripping away that independence once again. Bungie employees reportedly told IGN that the “more people-oriented” culture has since been ripped apart by management.


What Are The Chances We Can Talk About GTA 6 For A Decade?

GTA 5 launched 10 years ago and we’re still talking about it. Will GTA 6 have the same kind of longevity?

Leave a Comment