In April this year, we learned that Halo composer Marty O’Donnell was fired from the studio “without cause.” Last month, a court ruled in O’Donnell’s favor, and ordered Bungie to pay him $95,000 for unpaid work, vacation time, double damages, attorney fees, and interest. It doesn’t end here, though. Now, an arbitrator has ordered Bungie to return O’Donnell’s founders’ shares.
Apparently, O’Donnell had signed a deal with Bungie whereby he would have to return those shares that he hadn’t invested if he resigned voluntarily. Since it emerged that he was fired, the arbitrator said that shares taken from O’Donnell need to be returned. They probably amount to a considerable sum, too.
Bungie’s lawyers stated that O’Donnell would be a “bothersome presence at board meetings and in the company,” but the arbitrator was not convinced. The studio can appeal this decision but it seems unlikely that it will win at this point.