How Bungie turned Destiny leak into a positive

Design director Joe Staten says studio's response was "typical Bungie"; leak allowed company to initiate conversation with fans.

A late November information and image leak gave gamers the first details and images of Bungie's new world, rumored to be titled Destiny. This leak caught the developer by surprise, but design director Joe Staten told Edge that the situation became a positive and even motivated the company.

“I was in a conference room. And [Pete Parsons, Bungie COO] walked in with his laptop. Pete has this look on him when he’s a little nervous and his eyes get really wide; his entire body was quivering," Staten said.

“I think our response was typical Bungie. We just took it in our stride and, instead of making it a negative, we turned it into a positive. We initiated a conversation with our fans, which we hadn’t done in a really long time. And I think having done that, the great reaction that we got from it really made us all very excited internally. It motivated us.”

A leaked marketing document in November described Destiny as a "fun and accessible" game with a "deep, tangible, and relatable" universe compared to Star Wars. The game is also described as "social at its core."

"I think our response was typical Bungie. We just took it in our stride and, instead of making it a negative, we turned it into a positive" - Joe Staten.

According to the document, Destiny's plot revolves around an alien ship bent on destroying Earth and the "knights" tasked with defending what's left of humanity. The document also shows images bearing the Destiny logo along with Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 icons.

Staten did not comment on any of these claims.

Elsewhere in the feature, Bungie music man Martin O'Donnell talked about how the company is available to avoid the "hire-ship-fire" tendency that many big-name studios have become known for.

“There was a very conscious decision when we went independent from Microsoft,” O’Donnell said. “We wanted to make a game company that didn’t get into the habit of swelling its ranks in order to finish a project, and then letting a bunch of people go. We wanted to figure out a way to make a place where people could come and work and stay.”

Destiny is Bungie's first project as part of a 10-year publishing deal with Call of Duty company Activision. Legal documents from May suggested that the game will be released for the Xbox 360 in 2013, with a 2014 release slated for the PlayStation 3.

The game is reportedly "quite like Halo."

Bungie will discuss Destiny during a session at the 2013 Game Developers Conference in March. Presumably, the game will officially be announced prior to the talk, which will focus on Bungie's design process and world-building techniques, running from concept to production.

Those in attendance will get a glimpse inside Bungie's new world, though it's not clear what state the game will be in during the briefing. Additionally, the event description suggests the next ten years of games from Bungie will be based in the Destiny universe.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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44 comments
genjuroT
genjuroT

@xeoneex66 weird it says you replied to me here, but I never commented on this article before(as far as I remember), and I don't see where you posted your comment here either. Wierd, but anyway, yes! long live Amiga! xD

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

I feel the release dates will be wrong, at this time in development, talks of beta testing, demos, distribution would be actively going on, at least for such a large triple A title. 


Lotus-Edge
Lotus-Edge

Looks so... steam punk... I love it....

Tsuchikage
Tsuchikage

Bungie is one of the best developers in the world.  What a great company.

AZE160
AZE160

You guys continue to amaze me, and not even a single dubious notion came to me about you guys after Halo and Oni. Just in common courtesy release it in PC as well?

PlayStation4k
PlayStation4k

Anxious to see how these creative geniuses make use of 360 and PS3 as well as what might be done to keep us wanting to get it a year later or moths later for the Next Gen Consoles, I hope for an Online envirement like Halo 2 that keeps track of everything! the game was amazing! I want my clan wars and clan slayer, clan big team, stuff like that. it gave the game a community aspect that is still far and away better than current Halo or COD games.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

Just to change things up, it would be nice to see Destiny be a 3rd-person cover-based shooter instead of FPS. Bungie will be setting themselves up for the okie-doke if they just make a "new Halo". Could have stayed with Microsoft if they were gonna just do that.

Ledah
Ledah

I wonder how worthy of competition this will be compared to Halo.

TrueGB
TrueGB

"The game is fun and accessible"? That's a leak? Bungie really is the king of hype. I won't get so emotionally invested like I did with Halo 3. Not ever again. I'll judge the game when I'm playing it and no other time.

m4a5
m4a5

They said "Social at its core" and "quite like Halo"...... This will be interesting. Yet another game I am on the fence for because it sounds like it might work, but will prob be an MMO sellout...

FlashCharge
FlashCharge

The destiny of Bungie may will run with Destiny itself. It seems funny that a game developer has stayed out of touch in getting feedback from the gaming community. Maybe this is major flaw with most gaming companies.

Slash_out
Slash_out

The leak go tme excited. Until I started reading about "accessible" and "social at it's core". Basically another damn MMO.

Then I lost interest, I still do check those news, hoping that they'll prove me wrong by saying "this is NOT an MMO". But they never do.

Daian
Daian

I'm not getting my hopes up, the publishing deal's details show that they'll milk this thing right off the bat with continuous overpriced DLC and new sequels with no considerable improvements due to very short development cycles. This is CoD SciFi edicition.

KingofCabal
KingofCabal

new star wars or old star wars? This makes quite a big difference.

Heirren
Heirren

Looks like Star Wars prequel concept art. Maybe Destiny is a fake name and Bungie is actually developing games for the new Star Wars films.

DeadlyMustard
DeadlyMustard

Deep and tangible as Star Wars eh? We'll see...

E-i-N-e
E-i-N-e

I do not envy these guys, they have a tremendous amount of weight on their shoulders. Even though they have moved on from it, everyone will be comparing this game to their success with  the Halo series. 

Hopefully they can pull it off because unlike most companies that make a good game, they don't just keep rehashing out sequels and bleeding all they can from it. They're moving onto new ventures and hopefully they make a good one.

mellow09
mellow09

Bit hypocritical when they talk about rank swelling and the cutting of staff when the project is done in relation to Microsoft when they are now with Activation, a company that cut 600 jobs just shy of a year ago.

Kane04
Kane04

Hoping the PS3 version doesn't come way after the 360.

Also, it's gonna be interesting to see if this game gets VIP treatment now that Bungie no longer has MS PR machine behind it.

martingaston
martingaston moderator

Fun fact: Joseph Staten is actually the original voice of Halo's Grunts. True story. 

koendrenthe
koendrenthe

Great. I always wanted to play a Halo game on a PS3...

Divad222
Divad222

@SavoyPrime An FPS would be great as long as they shake things up significantly. FPS has needed something new and fresh for some time now, and if Bungie can be the ones to deliver that, perfect!

Divad222
Divad222

@m4a5 well, if this article is true, then its looking for a console release. MMO and consoles havnt really mixed historically. Tho who knows, especially with next gen around the corner

pvspartan36
pvspartan36

@Daian Two years between development cycles isn't too bad. It's certainly enough time to make improvements.

Alexrmf
Alexrmf

@KingofCabal if it's SW it really doesn't matter... this is the universe that brought Science-fiction in the collective consciousnesses 

Heirren
Heirren

@KingofCabal

It makes no difference. All the art in Star Wars is top notch.

Lytmare
Lytmare

@akdiuuuryttt It seems you are vary wrong there.

I am vary interested, and all these people posting are interested as well. Bungie created one of the most iconic game characters of all time, with a damn good story too. I trust them not to do us wrong. I am worried about Activision. I hate that company.

Daian
Daian

@pvspartan36 Is it really? Dragon Age 2 had a 2 year cycle and look what happened, not to mention that in those 2 years they'll also release 10-12 DLCs.

KingofCabal
KingofCabal

@Alexrmf @KingofCabal Im sry but it seriously does mattter. Newer star wars Stories generally suck ass where as the older ones Kicked ass.

pvspartan36
pvspartan36

@Daian @pvspartan36 I never played DA2, but I was under the assumption that they were being pushed around by EA. Bungie is not owned by Activision and the contract actually gives Bungie a good deal of control. They've been working on their new IP since ODST, so that's at least 4 years of laying foundation off of which to build. A good base makes it easier to develop sequels. We have no idea what the DLC situation will be beyond one major expansion between every game. And over everything else, in the 21 years of its existence, has Bungie ever made a bad game? No.

SubHumanTorch
SubHumanTorch

@KingofCabal @Heirren The article means like the star wars universe not necessarily the films. Also there are plenty of brilliant novels and comic books set in the Star Wars universe that are quite new.