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Destiny 2 developer Bungie lays off dozens of staff

The full scope of the layoffs is unclear

a team of six Guardians running through straw-colored grass in Destiny 2: Beyond Light Image: Bungie
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Destiny 2 developer Bungie is laying off an unspecified number of people, Bungie CEO Pete Parsons confirmed Monday after employees began speaking up about the job cuts on social media.

Reached for comment, a Bungie representative pointed Polygon to Parsons’ statement on X (formerly Twitter) and did not clarify the scope of the layoffs. Dozens of ex-Bungie employees have since posted on social media platforms like X and LinkedIn to share the news that they were impacted by the layoffs. The layoffs appear to be spread across Bungie’s community and social teams, marketing, legal, recruiting, art, human resources, quality assurance, and elsewhere.

“Today is a sad day at Bungie as we say goodbye to colleagues who have all made a significant impact on our studio,” Parsons wrote. “What these exceptional individuals have contributed to our games and Bungie culture has been enormous and will continue to be a part of Bungie long into the future.” (Parsons’ post has received hundreds of responses on X, several of which have been critical, using phrases like “tone deaf” to describe Parsons’ statement.)

Sony Interactive Entertainment purchased Bungie in 2022 in a $3.6 billion deal. PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan, who is stepping down from the company in March, said at the time that the studio “will remain independent and multi-platform [and] will enjoy creative freedom.” A Washington Post report published days after the acquisition said Bungie leadership told staff there would no “absolutely no layoffs” as a result of the acquisition. Sony also announced that it intended to spend $1.2 billion on employee retention — “deferred payments to employee shareholders, conditional upon their continued employment, and other retention incentives,” per Sony’s February 2022 earnings report.

Bungie’s layoffs on Monday come during a disastrous time period for game industry workers: Thousands of people have been laid off this year. Fortnite maker Epic Games laid off more than 800 employees in September; Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said the company has been spending more than it’s making. Gaming conglomerate Embracer, known for rapidly acquiring game studios, is cutting lots of jobs and canceling games, too. Saints Row developer Volition was completely shuttered by Embracer, putting hundreds of people out of work.

It’s not only the massive companies engaging in layoffs, though: Companies of varying sizes have been part of the troubling trend, like Telltale Games, which cut jobs in October, and Immortals of Aveum creator Ascendant Games, which laid of half of its staff in September.