Halo composer legal battle vs. Bungie reveals “substantial” edits to Destiny’s story ahead of launch

By Sherif Saed
7 September 2015 16:09 GMT

The legal battle between Bungie and Halo/Destiny composer Marty O’Donnell came to an end in the composer’s favour. The relevant court papers have in the process revealed some interesting insight into what went on a year from Destiny’s launch.

Marty O'Donnell

Marty O’Donnell, Halo series composer and years-long Bungie employee, said back in April 2014 he was fired from the Destiny studio without a cause, and perused to sue the studio. That case has now be settled, ensuring O’Donnell will be compensated for the use of his music in Destiny.

The court documents, which you can read on Scribd, have revealed some valuable information of how the final year of Destiny’s development was handled. Specifically regarding the story, which as anyone who played the game will attest, was incomplete and incoherent.

The documents reveal Destiny was originally due for release September 2013 and that the game’s story was “substantially revised” in August of the same year, which included changes and edits to a lot of the already finished work. The game was now slated for release March 2014, which itself was later delayed to September 2014.

None of these dates were made public however. The September 2014 release date was officially announced at the end of 2013, which of course became the actual release date.

“After a brief vacation/sabbatical in early fall, O’Donnell returned, worked on the story and recorded dialogue, but wrote no additional music,” reveals the document. “His supervisor and the audio team did not consider him to be fully engaged in the work of Audio Director. For reasons unrelated to O’Donnell’s performance, the release date was again moved, to September 2014.”

The documents also reveal a few of the reasons which lead to O’Donnell’s firing. Part of it has to do with him not liking the changing of plans with regards Destiny’s score. O’Donnell also believed his work would be released separately, which was another reason for the fallout. It even lead the composer to speak out publicly against Activision in some instances.

Thanks, Venture Beat, Videogamer.

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