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Several PlayStation studios have been hit by layoffs in recent weeks. Bungie, the Destiny maker, is the latest to suffer the same fate. Sony Interactive Entertainment acquired Bungie for $3.6 billion in July 2022. Before that acquisition, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida revealed the deal would “be a catalyst to enhance our live game services capabilities” and “a major step forward in becoming more multiplatform”.

Bungie Hit By Layoffs, Delays Destiny 2’s Next Expansion And Marathon

The number of people impacted by the job cuts was not immediately known. However, Jason Schreier of BNN Bloomberg said Bungie CEO Pete Parsons notified employees that a company-wide meeting would be held on Monday to discuss the development.

One of the employees whose role has now been rendered redundant was Liana Ruppert, Bungie’s co-lead of accessibility and Destiny 2 community manager. Liana took to X to pour out her grief as well as share her silent battle with cancer.

“Well… my heart is breaking for all affected,” she wrote. “I am now looking for opportunities. I have 21 years of game industry experience in media, production, and community management. I’m processing, I’m so heartbroken. I don’t know what to do from here… this was my home. I feel so lost.”

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Soon after acquiring Bungie, Sony said the new studio would vet its numerous in-development live service games. Subsequently, The Last of Us multiplayer spinoff was scaled back due to a negative review from Bungie. That also led to numerous job cuts at that time.

Other PlayStation studios that have laid off employees this month include Naughty Dog (which did not renew the contract of dozens of contract staff) and Visual Art group which recently also cut several roles. Just last week, Sony confirmed plans to cut jobs at Media Molecule, the developer of Dreams and LittleBigPlanet.

Bungie CEO called the job cuts “a sad day”

CEO of Bungie Pete Parsons (Photo credit Halopedia)
CEO of Bungie Pete Parsons (Photo credit: Halopedia)

The layoffs in the game industry has mostly followed the same pattern; employee roles would be terminated, the studio tries to keep the news from spilling out, one of the distraught employee who was booted speaks up on social media, and the studio finally confirms there was a layoff.

The same script played out in the Bungie saga too. After some of the employees who had lost their jobs started speaking up on social media, Bungie’s CEO was forced to break his silence and put out a tweet on X expressing his sadness at the development.

“Today is a sad day at Bungie as we say goodbye to colleagues who have all made a significant impact on our studio,” Parsons wrote. “What these exceptional individuals have contributed to our games and Bungie culture has been enormous and will continue to be a part of Bungie long into the future.”

ALSO READ: Massive Layoff Wind Blows Through Naughty Dog, Epic Games, Others

Responding to his own tweet Parsons said, “These are truly talented people. If you have openings, I would highly recommend each and every one of them.”

However, there was a backlash to that statement. Gabe (@echeniqg) wrote, “Again, I have to ask, why get rid of such talented people?”

In response to Gabe’s question, some said it was because the studio didn’t have slots for them on current projects while another blamed it on corporate profits and mergers/acquisitions. Others simply wanted to know the number of employees impacted by the job cut.

Bungie will delay Destiny 2’s upcoming expansions and the next full game

Bungie Hit By Layoffs, Delays Destiny 2’s Next Expansion And Marathon

The new expansion to Destiny 2 called The Final Shape was announced in August with a February 27, 2024, release date. However, sources from BNN Bloomberg claimed the expansion has been pushed back to June 2024—which is outside Sony’s current fiscal year. Also, the company’s next game, Marathon, has been reportedly shifted to 2025.

Schreier said the information came from those familiar with the development who chose to remain anonymous. Doug Creutz, a TD Cowen analyst sent a note to investors saying the “events over the last few days lead us to believe that PlayStation is undergoing a restructuring.”

ALSO READ: Another PlayStation Studio, Media Molecule, Hit By Layoff. 20 Employees Impacted

Thousands of video game workers have been laid off in 2023 so far, even with a year full of hit releases and soaring profits. From Epic Games to CD Projekt Red, the story has been the same with video game workers counting their losses.

During the announcement of Destiny 2: Marathon, the general Manager Scott Taylor said, “There’s still a lot of work to do before launch or even before we’re ready to talk about the game in more detail. The team is hard at work, and we’ve got a great base to start from but there is still so much more to do, including continuing to grow our team”.

Ironically, instead of growing, that team has currently shrunk by God-knows-what-number. Nevertheless, it is obvious we have not seen the last of layoffs in the video game industry this year.

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Anthony Emecheta

Anthony Emecheta has over a decade experience as a freelance writer. Gaming has always been a childhood hobby and he is excited to be collaborating with a gaming company as a content creator. It is like having all the things he loves in one place.

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