Legendary Halo composer says he's been fired "without cause"

Marty O'Donnell leaves Bungie. What does this mean for Destiny?

The man who composed Halo's iconic theme song--you know the one--say he's been fired by Bungie.

Writing on Twitter, Marty O'Donnell said he had been terminated "without cause" at the end of last week.

"I'm saddened to say that Bungie's board of directors terminated me without cause on April 11, 2014," wrote O'Donnell.

Bungie has said it parted with one of gaming's most recognisable composers on friendly terms.

"For more than a decade, Marty O’Donnell filled our worlds with unforgettable sounds and soundtracks, and left an indelible mark on our fans," reads a statement from the developer. "Today, as friends, we say goodbye. We know that wherever his journey takes him, he will always have a bright and hopeful future."

"We wish him luck in all his future endeavors."

O'Donnell began his career writing advertising jingles, and joined Bungie in the late '90s to work on Myth II. He joined the studio full-time during the development of Halo: Combat Evolved, and was the man in charge of the series' impressive musical scores along with Michael Salvatori. Marty was also a fond favourite of the Bungie community.

O'Donnell's distinctive sound can already be heard in existing Destiny trailers. But what effect will his departure have on Bungie's next game as a whole?

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144 comments
PSYCHOV3N0M
PSYCHOV3N0M

Marty should go smoke a blunt with Snoop Dogg while they play a few matches of Call Of Duty.

andfx8
andfx8

No way! I loved his work from Halo! Perhaps Bungie felt they needed to go in a new direction for the Destiny soundtrack as to differentiate the game from their past work.

It's too bad really, Marty created some top notch stuff, a few of his creations from Halo and Halo 2 are on my ipod

blaze_boy30
blaze_boy30

For such a good composer, he didn't deserve to go out like that. If I am not mistaken,some of the core members of Bungie work in 343 studios...

woodyfr
woodyfr

Myth II... Good times!

vader501st
vader501st

Your move, 343.

The Mantle calls you home, O'Donnel.

Holy-Rapture
Holy-Rapture

I'm sure he's already finished composing Destiny

ishsgames
ishsgames

it is only the beginning. A publisher like Activision will kill off any studio slowly, and painfully

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

Lots of developers will try to snap him up. One will have some great music to go with their next game. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have lots of game Development studios. Bungie let hin go without cause? Could be a upcoming court Case?

Tsuchikage
Tsuchikage

Wow!  Um....why would Bungie get rid of him, for any reason?  He is irreplaceable!  Other developers are going to be fighting over him, for sure.

vought
vought

Yeah, I could see this easily happening to Marty.  He's a musical genius and called his own shot for years at Bungie.  People stayed out of his way during development.  Obviously he ran into someone on the board at Activision whom he had differences with so he was let go.  Joe Staten at 343i or another dev will pick him up so no problems finding a job.  He's a proven asset.

ziproy
ziproy

One mythic person says he was fired without cause (echoes David Hayter) but his company says they are parting as best friends. I wonder who we should believe.


Well there goes all of Bungie's die-hard fans.

Vodoo
Vodoo

Maybe Bungie parted as "friends," but I doubt Mr. O'donnel views it like that. Either he finished the score for Destiny and they don't want to keep paying him as a full-time employee until their next game, or he slept with the owners sister. But it has to be a pretty dramatic reason for them to get rid of one of the best composers in the industry.

DarkJedi8_basic
DarkJedi8_basic

Was reading this article and it got me thinking...I'd love to see another Myth game.

EasyComeEasyGo
EasyComeEasyGo

April 11, 2014

4/11/14

111

1+1+1=3

He's working on Half-Life 3.

Link3301
Link3301

This is sad. At least they still have Paul McCartney.

C-THREE
C-THREE

I don't believe the words fired and friendly terms even go together.

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

This is weird. I wonder what happened?

homelessgamer
homelessgamer

No big deal, he was the randy newman of video games. Generic and vanilla all the way.

xbr85
xbr85

They could've just fired him, why did they have to terminate him.


F*ckers......

8bitbrits
8bitbrits

As far as Destiny is concerned I would hope that given the September release date, Bungie pretty much has all the sound they need by now. However this in itself is a bit out of line, because it suggests that they basically let him finish Destiny and then didn't renew his contract or sacked him? As all of the previous comments have mentioned given how good Marty O'Donnell's track record is I personally had him down as a corner stone at Bungie and never thought I’d see him go... Hopefully that job at 343 is still there because he will certainly make a difference to future Halo games. I just hope he doesn't leave the industry and go into films or something...


ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

Sounds like "friendly terms" might be based on which side of the desk you're sitting on.

unreal101
unreal101

Well, this is gonna work out perfectly. Marty needs a job, and 343 needs a composer who isn't completely forgettable. The music in Halo 4 was decent, but nowhere near as good as when Marty was around.

Lach0121
Lach0121

@andfx8  Yes he has composed some wonderful music. 

Especially Halo 1, and 2.  


He is way too good at what he does for a developer/studio NOT to pick him up. So I fear not that I will be able to hear more of his work later on.

xXxIRyanxXx
xXxIRyanxXx

@blaze_boy30  That would be amazing if he worked on Halo 5, 4 was good it just wasn't as good as the other ones.

jameston80
jameston80

@blaze_boy30 I agree with you totally, he is a great composer and let's hope that 343 studios or Microsoft picks him up, just in time for Halo V !!!!!

mattress805
mattress805

Most likely. Since the game comes out in a few months

TimberWolf_CLT
TimberWolf_CLT

@Megavideogamer I agree about possible legal action.  The fact that he specifically used the phrase "without cause" is a flag and sets the groundwork for legal action.

What's even more interesting is that Bungie doesn't address that in their statement.

I'm going to get the popcorn ready because I smell something coming and I want to sit back and watch.

seanin_hall
seanin_hall

@ziproy  Marty said he was fired without cause, it was one his twitter.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

@EasyComeEasyGo Valvedrones would find that offensive, Half-Life's good name shouldn't be tainted by someone who worked on the casual console trash that is Halo

ziproy
ziproy

@FLEEBS They found someone who would do all the work, AND let Bungie say Paul McCartney did all the work (you really think Sir Paul spends more than an afternoon working with Bungie??) so they could sell more games to the casuals

ziproy
ziproy

@homelessgamer Yeah I always thought so. Halo was the first time all the casual gamers heard an Orchestra in a game as their sound track so they assume it's the greatest thing ever

ziproy
ziproy

@xbr85 He threatened the perfect Bungie vision of the future. They sent the Marathon Man back through time remove him from the equation.


Sadly this created a future where fans realized Bungie was just as corrupt and vile as every other big development company, and they were soon no more

danhalen
danhalen

@unreal101 I'm not so sure - I have to say that I love Marty's work (my favourite of his soundtracks being ODST) but none of his back catalog really grabs me in the same way as #117 or Belly of the Beast. Halo 4's score was one of the very first things that hooked me in

andfx8
andfx8

@Lach0121 @andfx8  Agreed, I feel like he could even get a job producing scores for movies if he wanted to.

8bitbrits
8bitbrits

@Spartan_418@EasyComeEasyGo are you quoting Valvedrones there or something, because your calling Halo casual console trash yet you have the master chief for an avatar picture and Spartan in your user name...

unreal101
unreal101

@danhalen @unreal101 Well, maybe he can team up with the new guy.


Even if you think that Halo 4's score was better, it didn't feel very "Halo". Drawing on the past catalog a little couldn't hurt.

andfx8
andfx8

@Lach0121 @andfx8  LOL yes! Impend is the best, I even mentioned it further down into the comments section! Great minds think alike

Lach0121
Lach0121

@andfx8 @Lach0121  

Yea he could, and he has probably already had the offer, much like Matt Uelmen, but they themselves, (being avid gamers) would probably much prefer Video game OST/Scores.  


Otherwise with composers of that caliber, we would have seen more from them on movie soundtracks.


There is a song on Halo 2 that has inspired me so much in my own music. Even when I hear it now it gives me chills. It is named: "Impend"   I highly recommend it.