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Bungie's Official Statement About The Layoffs Is Disappointing and Tone-Deaf

Bungie decided to skip the TWID this week in favor of a word salad that left fans angry and disappointed.
Bungie's Official Statement About The Layoffs Is Disappointing and Tone-Deaf

If you've been hanging around our Destiny 2 guides for a while, you'll surely have seen something that I've written regarding my favorite game. Bungie, the company behind the titanic MMOFPS, has been facing extreme - and justified - backlash following approximately 100 employees being laid off on Monday.

Those included are both Destiny and Marathon developers; most of the Destiny Community team; composers Michael Salvatori and Michael Sechrist, two of the composers for the Destiny franchise, the former being a Bungie household name since before Halo Combat Evolved in 2001; Lorraine McLees, the person who designed the original Halo logo who had again been with the company since 1999; and many, many more. 

There are dozens of rumors and well-reported stories about why this all happened: a 45% miss in revenue, player sentiment, and much more. I recommend reading both Paul Tassi's and Jason Schreier's articles covering the layoffs. 

This has also led to Schreier reporting, for the first time, that The Final Shape, Destiny 2's next expansion, has been delayed into the Summer of 2024. While this has yet to be confirmed by Bungie, the official statement they released today would give some validity to the rumor. 

Bungie did finally address the controversy in the weekly 'This Week In Destiny' blog posts, or CEO Pete Parsons' tone-deaf tweets, as seen above. The issue with both of these statements is the entirely corporate, PR word salad that equates to shouting a half-hearted "Sorry!" after running someone over as you drive off into the sunset. 

In it, Bungie claims that this week has been a hard one for everyone involved. They say that their goals right now are to refocus based on player feedback of the last few seasons and the reactions to The Final Shape's reveal. This refocusing will allow them to build an expansion that they hope can reach the same great heights of Forsaken, The Witch Queen, and The Taken King, three of Destiny's largest and most beloved expansions. 

This is a tall order, considering the position the company has been in in recent years, with every other expansion flip-flopping between banger releases and disappointing duds. Either way, player sentiment around The Final Shape's reveal seems relatively positive, barring a new Darkness subclass. This PR release reads are an empty promise, meant to ensure that people would stop cancelling their pre-orders en masse.

A large percentage of the player base, at least those present enough online to consider it, have been encouraging other Destiny 2 players to cancel their pre-orders of The Final Shape. While I truly believe that everyone should do what they see fit with their time and money regarding this situation, I personally don't plan to do so. Bungie is a game development studio that still employs an incredible amount of exceptionally talented people, and while I am genuinely and simply disgusted by the actions of the leadership of the studio, I can't want to see the teams working on their games broken down until Bungie is a blip on the annals of video game history. 

What this has done, at least for me, is reaffirm that a corporation is a corporation. They will do what benefits the people in charge as they have since their inception.

You should never look up to a studio. Bungie has made some of my favorite games of the last 20+ years, but they don't get a pass because of it. Get to know about the actual people working on the games that you love. Those are the real heroes. 

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