Sony's Destiny 2 developer Bungie lays off 8% of staff, reportedly delays upcoming games

 Destiny 2 The Final Shape axe.
Destiny 2 The Final Shape axe.

What you need to know

  • Bungie is the developer and publisher of Destiny 2, and is also working on upcoming games including the more recently announced revival of Marathon.

  • Bungie was acquired by Sony back in 2022, allowing Bungie to still operate as a multiplatform company but providing live service support to PlayStation Studios.

  • Bungie has been hit with layoffs, with communications, publishing, and production roles particularly affected.

  • Multiple other game studios and publishers have had layoffs in 2023.

  • UPDATE: Around 100 Bungie employees were laid off, or 8% of the roughly 1,200 staff.

Update, Oct. 31, 2023: 

A report from Bloomberg indicates that around 8% of Bungie staff — or about 100 of the 1,200 or so Bungie employees — have been let go in the recent wave of layoffs. Employees were reportedly told that revenue was 45% below expectations, leading to the delay of the next expansion for further polish. Following a hiring freeze and reduction of expenses such as travel, employees found out about layoffs on Monday.

The staff who were laid off will receive three months of severance and health insurance, but anyone with shares that weren't fully vested will lose said shares.

Original story:

The layoffs aren't stopping this year.

Destiny 2 developer and publisher Bungie is the latest company to be affected by a wave of layoffs, with a number of staff being cut on Monday. The full scope of the layoffs is currently unknown, but multiple former employees announced their termination on social media channels like Twitter and LinkedIn. Social, communications, community, and production staff in particular seem to be heavily affected by the layoffs.

A report from Bloomberg indicates that these layoffs coincide with delays at Bungie, with the highly-anticipated Destiny 2: The Final Shape expansion being pushed from February 2024 to June 2024. Meanwhile, Bungie's Marathon (which did not publicly have a release window) has been delayed into 2025.

Bungie was acquired by Sony in 2022, with the PlayStation parent company using Bungie to offer live-service game expertise and support to PlayStation Studios, but allowing Bungie to remain mostly independent and work as a multiplatform publisher. Because of this, anything Bungie works on is still coming to Xbox Series X|S consoles and Windows PC, with Marathon in particular one of the most anticipated upcoming Xbox games.

Reportedly, Bungie questioned the ability of Naughty Dog's upcoming The Last of Us multiplayer game to engage an audience for a long period of time, leading to the game being put on ice.

Analysis: A hard blow to Sony's live-service plans

I'm really, really, really sick of writing about layoffs. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this, and I hope that they can all find new jobs soon. This year may have had incredible games, but it's also been brutal to the people that make them, with studio closures and layoffs galore.

Taking a broader look, it's hard not to see this impacting Sony's big games as a service push, which Bungie was an integral part of. In addition to these delays and layoffs, Sony's partnership with Deviation Games seems to have quietly dissolved with the studio facing huge layoffs earlier in the year. There's a lot of questions right now that Sony needs to answer.

Furthermore, all game developers should be allowed to unionize. For anyone that's been affected, this is a non-comprehensive list of studios that are currently hiring for a variety of roles: