During this time of year, our layoff reporting increases alongside our posts about in-game holiday events. It’s a sad fact that this is part of companies’ yearly routines, and it’s often tied to making sure shareholders are happy with where the company is at financially.
Last month, Bungie announced a round of layoffs, letting around 100 of their 1,200 employees go. Now, according to a report from IGN, it seems that the situation may have been more complicated than simple end-of-the-year cost-cutting. According to the report, the layoffs were part of a move to prevent a complete takeover of the company by Sony.
Sources who spoke to IGN – both current and former Bungie employees – revealed that while Bungie currently enjoys some independence, that independence may be at risk. The developer is formally an independent subsidiary of Sony. However, half of the positions on its board of directors is held by PlayStation and Sony executives, with Bungie CEO Pete Parsons being the tiebreaker vote, should one be needed.
What’s more, the sources that spoke to IGN claim that this current board structure is subject to change should Bungie fail to meet “certain financial thresholds by too great an amount”. Should this happen, Sony may dissolve the current board and take control of Bungie.
In order to prevent this from happening, Bungie has reportedly taken several cost-cutting measures. The layoffs were only part of it. The list of actions also includes a hiring freeze, cutting travel budgets and holiday bonuses, delaying events, cutting back on staff morale activities like cooking classes, and pausing or completely cutting benefits like employee compensation adjustments and the new hire lunch program, among others.
As you might expect, the sources that spoke to IGN claim that this has had a generally negative impact on morale. One individual even called the mood “soul-crushing”. Here’s hoping that things get better for them...and The Final Shape probably just became vitally important to the shooter developer.
About the Author
QuintLyn is a long-time lover of all things video game related will happily talk about them to anyone that will listen. She began writing about games for various gaming sites a little over ten years ago and has taken on various roles in the games community.More Stories by QuintLyn Bowers