The only people having a rougher week than Bungie, at least in the gaming industry, are the 100+ people or roughly 8% of their total staff they laid off this week. Amidst all the controversy, the situation continues to get worse and worse as more details leak out about how poorly the situation has been handled internally, and how desperate the studio is to get back on the right track after what seems like countless missteps with the Destiny franchise. You can read some excellent coverage on that from Paul Tassi over at Forbes and Jason Schreier over at Bloomberg (the subreddit also has a lot of good recap coverage from the playerbase, as well as player sentiment).
For now, the focus is on Bungie themselves, having yet to make any official statement- until now. It would be about this time that the weekly ‘This Week At” blog post would be coming from one of the many community managers of Destiny 2 that you would likely be familiar with if you played the game consistently. But with player numbers dwindling far into and beyond the red, and nearly all the community staff let go, fans and players were wondering if there would be that ceremoniously weekly blog post from Bungie. And unsurprisingly, there was not.
Instead, we got a blunt statement from the nameless members of the team that remain. You can read that now from the screenshot or the transcribed text directly from the post itself.
“This has been one of the most difficult weeks in our studio’s history, as we’ve parted ways with people we respect and admire. We’ve spent this week supporting one another, including those who are at the studio, as well as friends and colleagues who no longer are.
We want to acknowledge the feedback and concerns you have about Lightfall and recent Seasons, as well as your responses to the reveal of The Final Shape. We know we have lost a lot of your trust. Destiny needs to surprise and delight. We haven’t done this enough and that’s going to change.
To us the path forward is clear: We need to make The Final Shape an unforgettable Destiny experience. We want to build something that will be regarded alongside the best games we’ve ever made – a fitting culmination that honors the journey we’ve been on together for the past ten years. Forsaken, The Witch Queen, and The Taken King – these are the standard bearers we aim to live up to.
We are intensely focused on exceeding your expectations for The Final Shape. Destiny 2 has more than 650 dedicated teammates pouring all their energy and expertise into delivering this epic moment and its subsequent Episodes.
In the weeks ahead, you’ll be hearing more from us about what’s next on the short-term horizon, beginning with our next Season in late November. Afterwards, we’ll begin to unpack our team’s bigger, bolder, and brighter vision for The Final Shape, as well as the bridge we plan to build to take us all out of this Darkness and into the Light.
See you starside,
The Destiny 2 Dev Team”
At first glance, the verbiage here feels like a bleeding heart, and in many cases, this is true- at least in a metaphorical sense. However, it should be noted that this is not the first time Bungie has taken things too far and had to recognize their dishonesty and their misdeeds.
Now, this could be a long article breaking the history of all that down for you but if you have been involved in the Destiny community for any reasonable amount of time, you likely know a lot about the history and are tired to death about the topic so we won’t bore you with that. That said, some light Googling can bring those things up in spades for you in a matter of seconds. No, instead we wanted this article to highlight one simple fact in case you get lost in the emotions from the week that is about to pass us by. And that fact is this:
Bungie does not give a FUCK about you.
They do not care about your feelings, they do not care about your loyalty, and they do not care about doing right by its consumers. No, they only care about your fucking wallet. And any attempt to stir up your emotions to get you to feel bad for them is a sick attempt at trying to get you to turn your cheek just enough to expose the very pocket that wallet is in. Do not fall for it.
While we here at Geek Outpost are nothing more than a handful of volunteers who write our thoughts for few to see, we wanted to express our condolences to those who are suffering the greed that seems to be plaguing the industry and this country as a whole. But this is nothing new. Corporations have always been greedy and in recent years, as technology and honesty progress forward, we are able to see it more clearly.
It is important to note that there are some great people working for Bungie, as there are for any company, no matter how greedy or scummy they are. And if you want to keep purchasing their products, then you have every right to do so without judgment, especially from us. But the same is true for the other side that no longer wishes to support a company that hires psychology specialists to help in developing addictive habits and FOMO in their consumers in order to prey on their habits and squeeze and wring them out for every cent possible. To us, that is just as equally understandable. If not more so.
At the end of the day, the ones to blame are the higher-ups, the executives, and the leadership. But of course, when things go bad or times get lean, the ones that suffer are the ones that make the company great, or at least try to. The management and leadership at Bungie, if you want to call it that, has been rotten since the days of Halo and it has only gotten worse through Destiny’s lifespan. Something needs to change. Just don’t get your hopes up about it.
Whatever aisle you choose to stand on- support or not, just know that nothing changes about corporate greed. But hey, you just want to shoot some aliens while holding onto the hope that Destiny will one day live up to its potential, right? It is about time to stop being so naive.