Bungie’s independence as an Sony subsidiary may be difficult to maintain

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) acquired Bungie Studios in July of last year, marking a departure from its usual acquisitions. Bungie retained a considerable degree of independence within PlayStation, notably maintaining the ability to release games across multiple platforms. However, according to sources from VGC and IGN, there remains a possibility that Bungie might lose this independence.

The current board of directors at Bungie includes Herman Hulst, Head of PlayStation Studios; Eric Lempel, Senior Vice President at Sony; Jason Jones, Co-Founder of Bungie; Luis Villegas, Chief Technology Officer at Bungie; and Pete Parsons, Chief Executive Officer of Bungie. The board is divided into two factions: one representing SIE and the other representing Bungie. However, several Bungie employees, both current and former, who spoke anonymously to IGN, indicated that in a meeting following layoffs, leadership hinted that this shared management power might not be permanent.

Despite a majority of board members being from Bungie, sources claim that the current structure depends on Bungie meeting certain financial targets. If Bungie’s performance significantly deviates from these goals, Sony could potentially dissolve the existing board and take full control of the company.

To achieve these targets and maintain its independence, Bungie has reportedly implemented various cost-cutting measures, including layoffs, reduced travel expenses, and cuts in employee benefits. However, these measures have had a negative impact, notably causing a significant decline in employee morale.

The upcoming expansion for “Destiny 2,” titled “The Final Shape,” set for release in June next year, is pivotal. Insiders told IGN, “We know we need Final Shape to do well. And the feeling at the studio is that if it doesn’t we’re definitely looking at more layoffs.”

In addition to the “Destiny 2” expansion, Bungie is also developing a game titled “Marathon,” but its release has been postponed to 2025, likely due to the impact of the layoffs.