Former Halo, Destiny Composer Talks About Getting Fired From Bungie

"I don't know why."


Halo and Destiny composer Marty O'Donnell has spoken up to discuss the situation surrounding his firing from Bungie in 2014. He tells IGN that he was caught off-guard when he was told to leave, saying he still does not know exactly why he was let go. However, he acknowledged that tensions began to flare up between himself and Bungie studio leaders regarding the creative and business decisions for Destiny.

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"[T]here were things that were being re-jiggered, and my frustration with some of the business and creative decisions started to mean that I was on this side of the divide and everybody else was on this side," he said. "And, as much as we tried to bridge it, it just didn't seem like it was going to get bridged."

"The 'why' question is actually still a question for me. I don't know why," he added. "I was surprised."

He was surprised in the moment, he said, but made it clear that losing his job "was the writing on the wall." Still, he was hopeful at the time that an amicable agreement could be reached between himself and Bungie, even if it meant he would leave the studio.

"I really was hoping it could be mended," he said about his relationship with Bungie. "Now, it's quite possible that it couldn't be mended, and I was just...a thorn in the side of finishing Destiny. Maybe I just wasn't as good of a leader and helper at that point, because we were on such different sides. I'm not saying it wasn't the right thing for us to part ways; it probably was. I just don't think it was done in the best way."

In the legal battle between O'Donnell and Bungie, an arbitrator ruled that Bungie violated its contract with O'Donnell when it fired him "without cause," made him give up his company stock, and drop out of Bungie's profit-sharing plan. He was awarded at least $142,500 through the first payment of the profit participation program. In addition, he recovered 192,187.5 Bungie shares, the value of which is unknown (Bungie is not a publicly traded company), but is presumed to be high.

The full IGN interview is incredibly interesting and you should go watch it here.

O'Donnell has since founded a new video game studio, Highwire Games, with a team of former Bungie developers. The developer's first game is a virtual reality title called Golem.

The next update for Destiny, meanwhile, is coming out in April with a slew of new features and changes.

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