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Bungie’s financial troubles just beginning as possible Sony takeover reportedly looms Dot Esports

A new report about Destiny 2 developer Bungie paints an even grimmer behind-the-scenes picture than expected, with claims that Sony could completely take over if Bungie falls too far behind its financial targets.

This is according to IGN and comes after a large round of layoffs as well as delays for both Destiny 2‘s next major expansion, The Final Shape, and the studio’s Marathon reboot. Back when Sony acquired Bungie in January 2022, Sony assured fans that Bungie would retain its independence. To some, this just meant that Destiny 2 and future games wouldn’t suddenly become PlayStation exclusives, but it also meant Bungie leadership would maintain creative control of the studio.

Three guardians stand shoulder-to-shoulder in new armor on a rocky hill in Destiny 2.
The Final Shape needs to do something special to get fans excited about Destiny 2 again. Image via Bungie

Despite this, anonymous employees claim that this independence came with a caveat. Allegedly, should Bungie fall short of its financial goals, Sony will be allowed to dissolve the current board of directors (which is mostly evenly split between representatives from both companies) and take full control. Destiny 2 was already suffering from low player retention and failing to meets its targets before the layoffs; combined with the the delays to The Final Shape and Marathon, and Bungie’s only going to struggle even more to ensure it stays independent.

This not only contributed to Bungie’s decision to fire roughly 100 employees, but inspired a number of other cost-cutting measures throughout the studio, including but not limited to the elimination of holiday bonuses, reduced travel budgets, and ending all manner of employee benefits. Bungie staff can’t even get gift cards for their birthdays anymore.

It’s no wonder the atmosphere has been called “soul-crushing” as employees fear further layoffs if The Final Shape underperforms too. Trust in leadership also sounds like it’s seriously eroded as it’s claimed that the higher-ups discouraged anyone from asking questions about the layoffs. In fact, leadership allegedly described layoffs as a “lever” the studio would pull again and outright shut down the suggestion that they take salary cuts to prevent further job losses, saying Bungie was “not that type of company.”

Bungie’s reputation has been taking quite the nosedive for a while and this report is bound to only worsen its relationship with the playerbase. It’s entirely possible The Final Shape will reinvigorate fans and give Destiny 2 a sorely needed boost, but if player numbers don’t improve, the game’s future will look bleaker than ever. It wouldn’t be surprising if, aside from completely absorbing Bungie, Sony opted to pull the plug on Destiny 2 and move the developers onto something else.

Michael Beckwith

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