Report: Bungie Developers Working In ‘Soul-Crushing’ Atmopshere, Fear Sony Takeover

Bungie developers are reportedly worried about the what the future holds for the company as its independent relationship to Sony comes into question.

According to a recent report from IGN, Bungie developers speaking under the condition of anonymity have described the mood within the studio as “soul-crushing” over the past month following a massive round of layoffs within the company. This includes worries that the company will soon be taken over by Sony.

In 2022, Sony officially completed its $3.7 billion acquisition of Bungie and said at the time that Bungie would remain fully independent in how it runs things. However, IGN’s report notes that various employees were told that the current board at Bungie — which is split between Sony and Bungie representatives — is contingent on Bungie meeting certain financial goals.

Should those goals not be met, sources within Bungie told IGN that Sony would be allowed to “dissolve the existing board and take full control of the company.”

Bungie developers fear more layoffs may also occur

Fears of a potential takeover are what many at the company believe led to Bungie’s massive round of layoffs earlier this year. Despite the move, employees remain frustrated and angry that more layoffs could come in the future.

As one anonymous developer said, Destiny 2’s upcoming expansion The Final Shape — which was recently delayed further into 2024 — is a big deal for the company, and one that, if not successful, could mean more layoffs.

“We know we need Final Shape to do well,” one source told IGN. “And the feeling at the studio is that if it doesn’t we’re definitely looking at more layoffs.”

When it came to the layoffs, developers also said that they felt “discouraged” from even discussing them. Another developer said that, during a post-layoff Q&A session with department heads, leadership was asked if they had considered taking salary cuts to stop layoffs from happening, to which they were told that Bungie was “not that type of company.”