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Matter is a cancelled Bungie game that was expected to release in 2025. Not much information about the game is known.

Background[]

In June 2018, Bungie announced that they had entered a new partnership with NetEase, a Chinese online gaming company, to help them "explore new directions" and "empower us to build new worlds and invite players, new and old, to join us there. They’ll help us support separate teams inside Bungie to bring our newest ambitions to life."[1]

It was reported that NetEase had invested more than $100 million in Bungie, gaining a minority stake in the company and a seat on its board of directors.[2][3][4] Jason Schreier, former Kotaku editor-in-chief, said that “Bungie has been working on a new IP for a while."[5]

In September that year, Bungie filed a trademark for something called "Matter."[6] The filing covered various video game services, including "video game software that allows users to create, modify, upload, download, share, preview, and publish user created interactive video game content, music, and other media files via a global computer network for entertainment purposes."

It wasn't until January 2020 that information about Bungie's next IP came to light through several Bungie jobs listings.[7] The first job listing was for an incubation art director that included a question in the job descriptions, "Would you like to work on something comedic with lighthearted and whimsical characters?"[8] The listing mentioned "stylized (real-time) visuals" and that Bungie was hoping to find someone who was familiar with "using Unreal Engine and/or Unity," possibly hinting at Bungie's using a different engine than previous games.

Matter-bungie-concept-art-new-ip

Concept of what many believe to be Matter

A second listing for an incubation investment designer was posted in May.[9] The IP's setting may have been revealed due to this line in the listing, "Living inside a giant database of hundreds of baubles, weapons, and armor is nothing new to you. And neither is building a system to cleverly distribute those items in a necromancer's dungeon." The listing also included a required skill of "Experience designing, documenting, and executing itemization, investment, or any other fundamental RPG game system at any scale."

A listing in late May for a senior/lead combat designer was posted,[10] mentioning several genres in the description, "Do you obsessively replay great combat encounters in the latest action-adventure game? Do you spend hours hitting the combat dummies in MMOs with every ability in your spellbook? Are you at pinnacle skill ranking in your favorite competitive game? Is "TTK" written obsessively in your notebooks?"

In March 2021, a job listing for an incubation associate tools engineer stated that "you will be on an interdisciplinary team where you will implement and improve the tools content creators use" and that "You’ll spend time optimizing workflows, updating user interfaces, and developing new features, all with the goal of building better workflows for our content creators." Another listing for a staff systems designer said that "We are seeking a highly technical, creative, and team-oriented systems designer excited to build a sandbox game unlike anything we have ever created at Bungie."[11]

In May,[12] a job listing for a contract incubation sandbox designer hinted that Bungie was working on a new "multiplayer action game currently in incubation" and that Bungie was looking for someone with "Familiarity with the competitive gaming landscape/esports" and that the goal of the game was to bring players to gather in unique ways while also creating "amazing teamplay moments."[13] It's been reported that this information refers to hero shooters similar in gameplay to games like Apex Legends, Overwatch, and Valorant.[14]

Hero-incubation-concept-new-ip-matter-gummy-bears

Concept art shared in a Bungie recruitment video of what may have been Matter

In July, a new Bungie job listing for a senior marketing manager specifically mentioned that the role would be to “help drive awareness, sales, and growth for the next Bungie IP.” Outside the new IP being mentioned, the only other detail for the new IP listed "Experience with enterprise scale live operations, games as a service, MMO, F2P, and mobile" under nice-to-have skills.[15]

Job listing halted for a short time, but it was reported in March 2022 that Bungie may have had as many as four new projects in the works, listing a creative director for a "3rd-person action game."[16][17]

Bungie released a recruitment video from their Bungie Careers Twitter page in February 2022 featuring Engineering Director Luke Timmins speaking about Bungie building new worlds beyond Destiny, with two pieces of concept art for an unannounced game being shown.[18]

Previously confidential Microsoft documents were released in Microsoft's trial with the Federal Trade Commission in June 2023,[19] revealing that Microsoft was expecting a new IP from Bungie in 2025. “As of 2021," Microsoft said, "[Bungie] has more than doubled its headquarters space and plans to open a new studio in Amsterdam by 2022 for ongoing support on Destiny 2 and development of a new IP, currently expected to release in 2025." Later in the document, Microsoft listed "Matter" as the only new expected release from Bungie, which also showed Bungie's releases for Destiny to Destiny 2: Beyond Light.

It was reported through Aztecross, a YouTuber and Destiny content creator who has since deleted his videos and posts about Matter, that Bungie had cancelled the game in December 2020.[20][21][22] IGN reported in March 2024 that Bungie tried revamping Matter with a slightly different direction until that version was cancelled in late 2022.[23]

References[]

  1. Bungie.net - Our Newest Partnership (June 1, 2018)
  2. PR Newswire - NetEase Announces Strategic Investment in Bungie (June 1, 2018)
  3. GamesIndustry.biz - Bungie gets more than $100 million investment from NetEase
  4. PCGames - Bungie partners with Chinese giant NetEase “to explore new directions” (June 1, 2018)
  5. Twitter - @JasonSchrier Bungie has been working on a new IP for a while - I think this is the first public acknowledgement of that? Interesting choice of publisher! (June 1, 2018)
  6. EUIPO - MATTER 017962508
  7. TheGamer - Bungie Job Listing Suggests New IP Will Be An RPG (And Take Place In A Necromancer's Dungeon) (June 9, 2020)
  8. Bungie.net (via archive.org) - CAREERS » ART: Incubation Art Director (January 27, 2020)
  9. Bungie.net (via archived.org) - CAREERS » GAME DESIGN: Incubation Investment Designer (May 1, 2020)
  10. Bungie.net (via archive.org) - CAREERS » GAME DESIGN: Incubation Senior / Lead Combat Designer (May 31, 2020)
  11. The Gamer - Job Listing Suggests Bungie's New IP Includes Social Features And Content Creators Tools (March 20, 2021)
  12. VG247 - Bungie's new IP may be a multiplayer character action game (May 26, 2021)
  13. Greenhouse - Contract Incubation Sandbox Designer (May 25, 2021)
  14. Game Rant - Bungie Could Be Making Hero Shooter Game Similar to Overwatch (May 30, 2021)
  15. Greenhouse - Bungie: Senior Marketing Manager, New IP (July 24, 2021)
  16. Greenhouse - Creative Director (March 9, 2022)
  17. TweakTown - Bungie may have as many as 4 new projects in the works (March 11, 2022)
  18. Twitter - @BungieCareers "We're a mixture of technology and creativity." Luke Timmins, Engineering Director, tells their @Bungie story. (February 21, 2022)
  19. IGN - Xbox Seems to Expect Bungie's Mysterious IP 'Matter' to Release in 2025 (June 2023)
  20. FandomWire - New Bungie Information Drops Including Burnt Out Developers, a Cancelled Game and Behind-the-scenes Mayhem (November 3, 2023)
  21. Reddit - New Bungie info from Aztecross: Matter cancelled in 2020, Marathon had first playable build in 2020 and was always an extraction shooter, and more (November 1, 2023)
  22. Twitter (archived) - @Aztecross "3.) Matter was canned in December 2020."
  23. IGN - Bungie Replaces Marathon Director Amid Leadership Shakeup, Fears of Layoffs (March 21, 2024)
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