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On Monday, October 30, Bungie laid off a sizable chunk of its staff in departments including community, QA, audio, and more. According to a report from IGN, Bungie CEO Pete Parsons cited Destiny 2‘s declining performance in 2023 as a cause. A report from Bloomberg noted that Bungie’s upcoming projects were internally delayed as part of the move, with The Final Shape quietly moving to June 2024.

In an internal town hall meeting addressing a Monday round of layoffs that impacted multiple departments, Bungie CEO Pete Parsons allegedly told remaining employees that the company had kept “the right people” to continue work on Destiny 2.

Speaking to multiple current and recently laid off employees, IGN has confirmed reports that Bungie took responsibility for the layoffs, rather than laying them at the feet of parent company Sony. Parsons told employees that the layoffs were largely due to underperformance of Destiny 2 over the last year, as well as lower-than-expected preorders for upcoming expansion The Final Shape.

Employees were also told that Destiny 2 player sentiment was at an all-time low. Sources tell IGN that this issue had been flagged to leadership repeatedly for months prior to the layoffs, with employees begging for necessary changes to win players back.

One former Bungie employee recalled that they were repeatedly assured following the 2022 Sony acquisition of Bungie that there would be no layoffs, and cited an item from a Sony quarterly report that claimed $1.2 billion of the $4 billion acquisition was going explicitly toward staff retention. Multiple employees confirmed that money was distributed to employees who were fully vested, with money split into multiple payments over time and varying based on discipline and seniority.

Other employees also told IGN they felt especially frustrated with the layoffs given that the company had completed work on a brand new headquarters, more than double the size of its previous office and likely a pricey upgrade in Bellevue, Washington.

Parsons was criticized in some quarters for calling the layoffs a "sad day at Bungie" in a tweet which similarly angered several employees we spoke to.

The exact number of those impacted is still nebulous, though some sources we spoke to suggested roughly around 100 employees, a number also reported by Bloomberg earlier today. Multiple employees claimed that internally, Bungie leadership has tried to obfuscate the numbers and departments of those impacted while discouraging employees from asking questions on these topics in company chats.

IGN has now heard of layoffs impacting the community team, art, engineering, recruiting, legal, audio, QA, creative studios, and IT, with impacts across both the Destiny 2 and Marathon teams, and including multiple members of the company’s diversity committee and accessibility club. Those impacted are receiving a minimum of three months of severance and COBRA health benefits, though other company benefits terminated immediately.

Multiple employees expressed frustration about the layoffs, saying they felt that the decisions leading to the company’s apparent money struggles were out of their hands, and that those who were laid off were being punished for a problem they largely did not cause.

“It’s definitely weird, being the one who is laid off based off the decisions and performances of people in departments you’re not involved with,” one impacted employee told IGN. “Being deemed expendable hurts.”

Additionally, IGN has been told that a noticeable number of employees had been dismissed from the QA team in the weeks and months leading up to yesterday’s layoffs. While the exact number is unknown, the number of departures over time were notable enough that the company’s head of QA sent an email around to staff members addressing the situation. IGN has reviewed the email, which claimed the dismissals “were not layoffs and not a result of cost cutting in any way,” adding that “if we ever did layoffs, we would be very upfront about it.”

Employees familiar with the situation told IGN that the dismissals came alongside what felt like a growing “crackdown” on QA, with increased job responsibilities and multiple people being placed on performance improvement plans (PIPs) for seemingly minor infractions.

Bungie’s blog post didn’t outright confirm that news, but it did heavily tease it. It acknowledges fans’ disappointment with the game’s last year of content, including its Lightfall DLC, and notes that it wants to exceed expectations with The Final Shape.

To us the path forward is clear: We need to make The Final Shape an unforgettable Destiny experience,” the post, attributed to the Destiny 2 dev team, writes. “We want to build something that will be regarded alongside the best games we’ve ever made — a fitting culmination that honors the journey we’ve been on together for the past ten years. Forsaken, The Witch Queen, and The Taken King — these are the standard bearers we aim to live up to.”

The post doesn’t exactly clarify what that grand statement means for the DLC’s release date. The post notes that it’ll detail Destiny 2‘s next season in the coming weeks and then focus on sharing Bungie’s “bigger, bolder, and brighter vision” for The Final Shape.

Bungie will have a lot of upset fans to win over when that reveal happens. Some Destiny 2 players have begun refunding their Final Shape pre-orders in response to the layoffs and controversial reports about how they were carried out.

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