GameSpot may receive revenue from affiliate and advertising partnerships for sharing this content and from purchases through links.

Marathon - Everything We Know About Bungie's Extraction Shooter

After almost a decade of Destiny, Bungie is going back to its Marathon roots.


After almost a decade behind the wheel of its Destiny series, Bungie is returning to its roots with a new chapter in its Marathon franchise. Revealed at the May 2023 PlayStation Showcase, Marathon is a multiplayer-focused return to the classic trilogy of Mac games that helped put Bungie on the map.

With a rich lore, groundbreaking gameplay elements, and ideas that would help shape the studio's work on Halo and Destiny, Bungie's return to a series that has laid dormant for almost three decades is something to take notice of. Unlike a lot of games that are also in early stages of development, there's actually a decent amount of information on this project and what you can expect from it.

After the reveal, Bungie said that it would be going dark and that new details won't be revealed for quite a while. We've gathered up all the information below, and you can read up on how Marathon is shaping up so far.

Release date window

The Marathon ship.
The Marathon ship.

As you'd expect, a release date hasn't been set in stone yet for Marathon. The game is still in a very early stage of development, and Bungie isn't ready yet to reveal a production timeline, according to Marathon's general manager Scott Taylor. "There’s still a lot of work to do before launch or even before we’re ready to talk about the game in more detail," Taylor explained on the PS Blog.


While Sony may have acquired Bungie--at a cost of over $3 billion--back in 2022, Marathon won't be exclusive to PlayStation. The game will hit multiple platforms when it eventually releases, and you can expect it to arrive on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S, with full cross-play and cross-save support.

Is Marathon a sequel to the original trilogy?

Unsurprisingly, Bungie is offering a vague answer to Marathon's place in the established timeline. Game director Christopher Barrett has described the game as being "not a direct sequel to the originals, but something that certainly belongs in the same universe."


One of the Runners off Marathon
One of the Runners off Marathon

We're going to be insultingly brief here, but let's just say that Marathon can give Destiny a run for its money when it comes to lore quality and quantity. The original series of games were published exclusively on Apple Macintosh desktops from 1994 through to 1996, and the overarching story involves space exploration, civil war, hostile alien invaders, immortal cyborg super-soldiers, and the concept of using a hollowed-out Martian moon to transport resources between planets.

The Marathon trilogy storyline is one that has been chronicled and preserved for decades by fans, and while you won't need to know any of it before the new game launches, Bungie says that there will be references to the trilogy that longtime fans will appreciate.

"A massive ghost ship hangs in low orbit over a lost colony on Tau Ceti IV," the official synopsis reads. "The 30,000 souls who call this place home have disappeared without a trace. Strange signals hint at mysterious artifacts, long-dormant AI, and troves of untold riches. You are a runner, venturing into the unknown in a fight for fame… and infamy. Who among you will write their names across the stars?"


A closer look at a Marathon Runner.
A closer look at a Marathon Runner.

Marathon is a focused PvP game from Bungie, one in which players can play solo or with up to two other players joining them. As a Runner, you'll be venturing out into the wilds of Tau Ceti IV as you compete for survival, riches, and renown in a world of evolving zones. You'll be running into some not-so-friendly fire while out in the field, but thanks to the cloning technologies mastered in 2850, you'll be able to shrug off death as shifting your consciousness between bodies is a part of everyday Runner life.

The world of Tau Ceti IV also has AI-controlled enemies to deal with in this extraction shooter, but if you can survive long enough to secure your loot, you'll be rewarded with some great gear that you can use to fine-tune your character. Gameplay hasn't been shown off just yet, but Barrett has teased that Bungie wants "to make sure players have tons of strategic choices, both in terms of the gear available and their loadouts, but also on the ground in terms of tactical options, entrance and exfil points, and so on."

Winning in Marathon can also be achieved through several different methods, and Bungie says that it wants to make these elements as accessible as possible.

"One of the ways we're addressing this is by making the core fantasies of survival and extraction fun, clear, and easy to understand," Barrett explained. "We want people to quickly understand fundamentals like healing, or oxygen, or how to organize their gear. After all, if they get those things intuitively there’s much more room for tactical thinking and creativity. You know, it's our job to create the fun and the fantasy, not the busy work and tedium."

Marathon is a multiplayer-only game

While Marathon won't have a single-player mode, Barrett added that the game is being built with the PvP experience as the "foundation" of this game. That means that you can expect a narrative and a "rich, immersive world" according to the game director. "Our design philosophy here is to have players affect the story of the world through their choices and their actions. This approach also lets us shape the overall narrative direction of the game experience while giving players a direct sense of agency and power."

Bungie says that it's creating opportunities for player-driven stories to unfold across world full of persistent and evolving zones. That might mean that players cross paths and engage in a firefight against each other for the same loot, or a last-second extraction while fending off hostile AI-controlled enemies.

According to the developer, it's also working on ideas that will see tangible changes across the game world. One such example given is that a crew could discover a hidden artifact that opens a new area of the map for all players to explore, with such discoveries being available during every season of Marathon.

Darryn Bonthuys on Google+

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are no comments about this story