What you need to know
Popular Destiny 2 streamer and content creator Aztecross has reported that Bungie held a gameplay summit for its upcoming extraction shooter Marathon earlier this year, and that the invited players weren't impressed.
According to Aztecross, "no one raised their hand" when they were asked if they would play Marathon "if it came out tomorrow" after they had a chance to try it out.
UPDATE: A second, trusted content creator source who also attended the summit said that nobody raised their hand because Marathon was in a pre-alpha state, and that Bungie emphasized that the game was still "years" away.
This assertion comes just a few days after Bungie laid off 8% of its workforce, or roughly 100 developers.
Reportedly, the studio missed revenue expectations by 45%, resulting in Destiny 2's The Final Shape expansion being delayed from February 2024 to June 2024 and Marathon being pushed back to 2025.
In a new video, popular Destiny 2 streamer and content creator Aztecross has reported that earlier this year, developer Bungie hosted a summit event for streamers that play the fan-favorite PvP extraction shooter Escape from Tarkov. The streamers were given an opportunity to play the studio's own upcoming extraction shooter, Marathon, but according to Aztecross, they weren't very impressed.
"At the end of this event, after playing Marathon, Bungie asked these Tarkov streamers the question: Would you play Marathon if it came out tomorrow?" He said in the video, citing information from a source. "No one raised their hand."
UPDATE (November 1, 2023): A trusted content creator source who wished to remain anonymous, and who also attended the summit, reached out to offer us an alternative view of events. They suggested that Bungie was clear that the gameplay experience was a pre-alpha state, and that Marathon was still "years away." The point of the event in their take was specifically to get feedback and help shape the future of the game.
The original article continues below.
This new information comes just two days after Bungie cut 8% of its staff and delayed upcoming games, including the next Destiny 2 expansion, The Final Shape, as well as Marathon. According to sources that spoke with both Bloomberg and Forbes, the studio's revenue fell short of expectations by 45%, leading to the delay of The Final Shape from February 2024 to June 2024 and Marathon being pushed to 2025.
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Notably, Bungie was acquired by PlayStation manufacturer Sony last year for $3.7 billion, with the company enlisting the studio to offer live-service guidance and support to PlayStation Studios developers. Bungie's development of its projects has largely remained independent, though, which is why future Destiny 2 expansions and Marathon are still coming to Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC.
While the source of Aztecross' information is unknown, the news of Marathon's delay, all the new details that have come to light in the aforementioned reports, and the fact that Aztecross is generally pretty selective with what he talks about has me inclined to believe it's true. There's no way to know for sure, though, so take what's been said with a grain of salt.
While the context is perhaps missing without physically being present, it's still potentially a bit concerning to hear that the invited streamers are willing to voice negativity about the game so publicly.
Either way, there's far from enough information here to draw any concrete conclusions about the game. All we know is that it reportedly "may be looking a little rough at present," though Insider Gaming's Tom Henderson has said that he's heard from three people who played the game last year that "it was a lot of fun and had similar gunplay to Destiny."