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Arts Culture STEM Competition Tuesday 16th April 2024 Industry Opinion Local Nations

The Uncertain Future of Bungie: Layoffs, Cuts, and Sony's Shadow

2024

Bungie, the renowned developer behind Destiny 2 and Halo, finds itself in a challenging position following a recent wave of layoffs affecting approximately 100 employees out of its 1,200 workforce. Reports suggest that these layoffs, along with other cost-cutting measures, are part of an effort by the studio to meet financial targets and avoid a potential full takeover by Sony.

Despite being an independent subsidiary of Sony on paper, Bungie's board of directors has been divided since Sony's acquisition in July 2022. The current board includes key figures from both Sony and Bungie, with Bungie CEO Pete Parsons serving as a tiebreaker vote. However, sources within Bungie indicate that this shared power structure is contingent on Bungie meeting certain financial goals. Failure to meet these targets could allow Sony to dissolve the existing board and assume full control of the company.

The recent layoffs and cost-cutting measures have significantly impacted morale within Bungie. Employees describe the atmosphere as "soul-crushing," with concerns about the future of the company and job security. Despite these challenges, Bungie's leadership has indicated that more layoffs cannot be ruled out, further exacerbating the uncertainty among employees.

In addition to the layoffs, Bungie has implemented several other cost-cutting measures, including a hiring freeze, reduced travel budgets, and the elimination of various benefits and perks for employees. These actions, along with the layoffs, have led to a significant decline in morale and a sense of betrayal among many employees.

Furthermore, there are concerns about a shift towards outsourcing within the company, particularly in the Quality Assurance (QA) department. While outsourcing QA is common in the industry, Bungie has historically emphasized in-house QA testing. However, recent changes suggest a move towards a more outsourced model, leading to anxiety among QA testers about the future of their roles within the company.

Overall, Bungie's current situation reflects a turbulent period for the studio, with questions surrounding its independence and the impact on its culture and community. As the studio navigates these challenges, the focus remains on how its current management will lead the company forward in the face of these uncertainties.

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