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Bungie denies layoff rumors, stays quiet regarding rumored game setting

Thursday, 17th February 2011 20:44 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Bungie has denied claims that there are any “budgetary concerns” or “unfair treatment” going on at the moment with Activision.

According to an earlier post from Kotaku Australia, a source claimed that contractors were being “let go for no reason,” and that Bungie told the hiring agencies that folks were being let go due to claims of “performance related,” “project sensitivity,” or “budgetary concerns from our publisher.”

Bungie has posted on its official site that none of this is true, and contrary to the report it has not experienced any firings or lay offs of any kind, and as a matter of fact: it is hiring.

Here’s the statement in full:

“This evening, Kotaku Australia published a blog entry to their website claiming that Bungie recently terminated as many as thirty contract employees without notice or justification, effectively eliminating all non full time staff at the request of our publisher, Activision-Blizzard. The claim is false.

“Bungie has never been asked to lay off any employees or contract employees by our publisher, Activision-Blizzard, for any reason. The talented professionals who grace our offices day in and day out are the lifeblood of Bungie – our most cherished commodity – and the unsubstantiated rumors posted today are in direct opposition to the culture and values that we believe make Bungie an exceptional place to work, and to call home.”

Bungie didn’t post a comment the other rumor from this morning, that its game is a space MMO shooter called Destiny being developed under the codename Tiger.

Thanks, Joystiq.

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11 Comments

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  1. LOLshock94

    activation is going to give you aids and you will then die bungie

    #1 3 years ago
  2. DSB

    Destiny. Hah, gay!

    I’d prefer Tiger, really.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Caleb_LK

    Unsurprising they are not willing to confirm or deny anything, any publicity is good publicity as Bobby Kotick would say even if it’s about him being the devil incarnate.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. DSB

    So the unequivocal denial isn’t an unequivocal denial? “None of this is true” actually means “All of it might be”?

    Honestly, trying to educate the anti-publisher mob is like argueing with people who believe CIA blew up the Twin Towers or that NASA faked the moon landing.

    No one likes publishers and you aren’t supposed to, it’s a soulless entity that exists to generate profits for shareholders, but the notion that they’re in league with Satan and bake their matza bread with the blood of small children is just slightly removed from reality.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Caleb_LK

    @4 I agree with what you said that activision is a company run for the shareholders and if Kotick wants to keep his post then he has to run it for a profit I expect nothing else really. As it’s near impossible to run a company without running it for a profit unless your being heavily subsidized.
    I was trying to state what the overall majority of people would say but looking back on it, it just looks like I am frankly trolling. Damn there being no insert air quotes here option.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. DSB

    Totally fair. I’m just generally annoyed at the level of fantasy involved in how a lot of people view publishers, whether it’s positively or negatively, so I’m inclined to challenge that a bit.

    The idea of any major publisher being Willy Wonka’s Game Making Factory is simply wishful thinking. A couple of studios might feel like that, but no publisher ever will.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Caleb_LK

    True it’s impossible to think that will ever happen. I would say maybe a few studios could say they adhere to that for example I would say Tim Schafer makes great games without trying to be completely mainstream. On the other hand while EA can afford to publish a Mirrors Edge every once in a while or take a chance on a risky new IP, it still has to survive as a company.
    On a side note I did thoroughly enjoy Mirrors Edge but would admit it was a risky publishing decision as it was a unique title in many ways.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. xino

    oh please!

    this is true man! Bungie just has to cover their asses, tell me why someone random person would want to expose Bungie?

    Same thing someone posted a similar working condition about Rockstar.

    Just because these people are big in brand names doesn’t mean they treat all employees 100% equally and with respect.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. tmac2011

    i heard this game is supposed to be multiplat, 360,ps3,pc and wii AND MMO

    #9 3 years ago
  10. TheWulf

    @4

    I can’t entirely agree with your attitude. I don’t think that publishers are aligned with Satan either or any such nonsense, but it is true that they’ll do whatever is necessary to make a profit and keep control of that profit flow. This can often lead to some unethical choices and treating people like objects rather than people.

    This is why I tend to prefer indie developers, or at the very least developers who have control over their project and are open and decent with their consumer base. If you compare the differences between Wolfire and Activision–and I wholeheartedly invite you to do so–then there’s a marked difference with how they treat people.

    One example is what I pointed out to you elsewhere, about how StarCraft II’s modding is all locked down with proprietary nonsense that keeps whatever people make locked away so that Blizzard has total control over it. Again, it takes Activision-Blizzard to come up with something like this. Only they could, I think.

    That’s why I consider Activision-Blizzard the worst of the lot, when it comes to publishers, far worse than any other I’ve seen.

    I mean – you can do whatever you want in regards to Source mods, you can with most games. And if you buy Wolfire’s Overgrowth, you even get access to alpha builds and loads of materials and tools to play around with so that you can start modding already, they give you everything that they’re using. As it’s looking, Overgrowth could one day even become a completely open platform to develop games with.

    But again, that’s Wolfire. And Wolfire are known for treating people with courtesy, dignity, and respect.

    I know that that isn’t par the course for publishers, I know things are, I know it’s not persona, and so on. But do things need to be this way? Some publishers are picking up on that treating people with respect is the way to go. If you look at Valve and Steam, you get an inkling of that there – and Valve is a publisher. They’re an ideal to which other publishers should aspire.

    But again, I find the business ethics and decisions of some publishers so incredibly questionable that it rubs me the wrong way and I won’t buy from them. I haven’t bought an Activision-Blizzard title in the forever because of this. Simply because it wouldn’t feel right to tell them, with my money, that the way they’re treating people is correct.

    I think that Activision-Blizzard (both parts) are doing a lot of really rather wrong things at the moment, and essentially people are wallets to them. I can’t stand by a business like that, and I can’t think of them as anything other than unethical. But that’s just me.

    If they turned over a new leaf tomorrow, started practising more ethical approaches to business (a la Valve and EA Partners), and Blizzard did things like opening up StarCraft II’s modding, then perhaps I might change my opinion of them. But right now… eh.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. DSB

    One man’s unethical is another man’s neccesity.

    Which is often what business boils down to. It might be a percieved neccesity, because rather than simply generate profit today, you have to actually maximize it and go above and beyond, but if you don’t respond to that neccesity, then your company suffers for it at the hands of the market.

    I could pull out examples of other publishers shutting down studios and firing horrible ammounts of people, but no gamers care about that, because it isn’t part of the “Activision bakes bloody matza bread” narrative in the press. EA massacred Black Box in what they called a “seasonal layoff” (as if anything like that exists). Before that it was Mythic that got savaged, and before that, 1500 people (One thousand five hundred individuals – Possibly a hundred medium-sized studios worth) spread across their organization.

    That’s just one other publisher, a quick google search will provide you with a plethora of similar or worse cases from every other publisher. Does it mean that those publishers are evil? No, they just built a publisher that was too big to succeed, and they probably benefitted every remaining worker that depends on that publisher, by doing so.

    So my question would be, what on earth are you doing buying any games today? Because this is the true face of the industry.

    Ultimately what you hate is capitalism, and I don’t blame you, but the fact remains that Activision were the supremely most viable company going into and heading out of the financial crisis because they made those unpopular decisions in a heartbeat.

    #11 3 years ago