Halo Composer Sues Bungie After He Was Fired "Without Cause"
Marty O'Donnell claims Bungie is refusing to pay him benefits he is owed.
The lawsuit, which was obtained by GamesBeat, echoes what O'Donnell said in April, which is that Bungie fired him "without cause." The former audio director was given "no explanation" for the move by Bungie or president Harold Ryan, who is named as the defendant in the lawsuit.
Despite allegedly promising to follow its policy of paying employees for benefits like unused vacation time, Bungie has not done so, according to the lawsuit. "Ryan has willfully and intentionally caused Bungie to deprive O’Donnell of accrued but unused vacation time, paid time off, sabbatical time, and other benefits," it states.
The composer is also in arbitration with the company over other, unspecified grievances, which may later be added to the lawsuit if it's decided that the issues aren't subject to arbitration.
The lawsuit was filed on May 1 in Superior Court in the state of Washington. (Bungie is based in Bellevue, WA.) On May 27, Ryan and Bungie responded, denying his allegations and the suggestion that he is "entitled to the relief requested, or any relief whatsoever."
O'Donnell's April firing came as a surprise given his long tenure with the company and the wide acclaim for his work. (One of my personal favorite tracks is above.) Shortly after letting him go, Bungie stated that its next game, Destiny, which launches on September 9, would not be affected by his departure. Curiously, O'Donnell mentioned in an interview at the time that he still had an ownership stake in the developer.
GameSpot has contacted Bungie for comment regarding the lawsuit and will report back with any comment we receive.