Bungie Must Return Shares to Legendary Halo Composer Marty O'Donnell

Halo creator must restore fired employee's stock in the company, rules an arbitrator.


Halo: Combat Evolved
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Halo and Destiny creator Bungie has been ordered to return company shares to veteran composer Marty O'Donnell, who was fired by Bungie's board of directors back in April.

According to court documents obtained by VentureBeat, an arbitrator says through a preliminary injunction that Bungie made a mistake in stripping O'Donnell of his shares in the company. These shares, of course, have risen in value throughout the years with Halo's popularity and now Destiny, which publisher Activision says could become a billion-dollar series.

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O'Donnell created the iconic theme song for the Halo franchise and was in charge of the game's music and audio. He was also heavily involved in Destiny in a similar capacity, even collaborating with Beatles singer Paul McCartney for the game's theme song. After Bungie fired O'Donnell in April, and "without cause," O'Donnell says, he sued the company.

As part of the decision, the arbitrator ordered Bungie to return to O'Donnell 336,375 shares of Bungie stock as well as 48,000 shares of common stock. The value of these shares is unknown.

According to the report, Bungie's lawyers were none too pleased with O'Donnell's shares being restored, saying O'Donnell would be a "bothersome presence at board meetings and in the company." These objections, however, were overruled.

Bungie can appeal the decision to return O'Donnell's shares. The studio did not comment on VentureBeat's report, and we could not reach the company either.

This is the second "victory" for O'Donnell since his firing. Upon his termination, he sued Bungie to recover unpaid wages and was awarded $95,000. You'll hear O'Donnell's work next month when Destiny launches on September 9 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4.

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