A Sony takeover of Destiny developer Bungie is expected if financial targets are not met, in an ongoing period of upheaval at the company.
As reported in detail by IGN, there could be further job cuts after a recent round of layoffs as part of the ongoing restructuring at Bungie.
This follows the $3.6 billion Sony acquisition of Bungie early last year, which meant that the latter became a full subsidiary of the former. They have retained a level of autonomy until now, but it seems that Sony is about to step in to assert its authority.
The board of directors at the company behind Destiny 2 and Marathon has been split, in terms of its makeup, since the takeover.
It consists of PlayStation Studios’ Hermen Hulst, Sony senior VP Eric Lempel, Bungie co-founder Jason Jones, Bungie CTO Luis Villegas, and Bungie CEO Pete Parsons.
Parsons is said to have the casting vote at the table, giving an apparent majority to the Bungie camp but that it is based on performance and targets with Sony reserving the right to dissolve the board if certain figures are not met.
Impact on staff morale
As stated above, there were around 100 staff layoffs last month but it was indicated that this was determined by Bungie rather than a directive from above, in a move aimed at protecting its independence.
Ironically, the current direction of travel indicates that further change will follow.
IGN sources stated that the recent layoffs “combined with other cost-cutting measures, such as a hiring freeze, reduced travel budgets, the cancellation of holiday bonuses, and reduction of yearly studio performance bonuses, has significantly impacted morale, creating a soul-crushing mood within the company.”
The Bungie production of Destiny 2 expansion, The Final Shape, has now been put back into the next year but that comes with the anticipation that further staff cuts will take place if the release underperforms.
On the back of an underwhelming take-up of pre-orders for The Final Shape, it appears accurate to say that the pressure and spotlight are in focus on Bungie. Watch this space.