In addition to the recent round of layoffs, in order to cut costs, Bungie leadership has taken a number of additional steps that have allegedly impacted employees’ morale, including internal studio events being either pared back or outright cancelled, Holiday bonuses and annual employee compensation adjustments being eliminated, and cutbacks in other areas, like travel budget, a studio-wide hiring freeze, a reduction in annual performance bonuses, and more.
In fact, the report also states that if the upcoming Destiny 2: The Final Shape does not perform well following its launch in June next year, Bungie may very well be headed for further layoffs. One developer said anonymously, “We know we need Final Shape to do well. And the feeling at the studio is that if it doesn’t we’re definitely looking at more layoffs.” Previously, it was reported that the expansion’s pre-orders were tracking below internal expectations.
It’s also been claimed that the relationship between studio leadership and employees has grown increasingly rocky owing to a number of factors, such as the layoffs affecting a number of popular, key figures at the studio, employees being discouraged from asking questions related to the layoffs, and several key programs like Pride@Bungie, Women@Bungie, and Accessibility@Bungie being affected.
The company is reportedly also considering eliminating its Quality Assurance staff altogether and relying exclusively on outsourced testing, something that Bungie has traditionally been opposed to doing. In fact, the recent layoffs impacted several QA staff as well, while many also departed in the lead-up to the layoffs. All in all, between early October and early November, the studio lost roughly 10% of its entire QA team. This has gone hand-in-hand with perceived hostility towards QA from studio leadership, including testers being explicitly referred to as “non-developers”.
“Folks still there are very much feeling ‘us vs them’ between leadership and workers,” one former employee said. “That trust has been eroded.”
Destiny 2: The Final Shape is due out on June 4. Bungie is also working on Marathon, which was allegedly internally delayed into 2025.
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