Developers at Destiny 2 studio Bungie are said to be fearful of a "total Sony takeover" following missed revenue targets, layoffs, and product delays, a new IGN report claims. According to sources speaking to the outlet, higher-ups within the studio have hinted the shared power it enjoys with Sony following last year's acquisition may be taken away if financial targets continue to be missed.
Apparently, if revenue goals are not met "by too great of an amount", then Sony holds the right to dissolve the current board structure and take complete control of the company. Bungie currently operates independently of Sony, but this would no longer be the case if Sony fully takes over, and Bungie bosses are said to be fearful of that happening. Given Destiny 2 DLC The Final Shape has received a four-month delay and Marathon has been pushed back to 2025, IGN is told Bungie is already "struggling to meet the necessary targets to keep its last vestige of freedom".
It was this threat that forced Bungie into cutting around 100 jobs, but those still at the studio are losing privileges in order to keep costs down too. The report speaks of a studio-wide freeze on new hires, reduced budgets for travel, scrapped holiday bonuses, and changing morale-boosting events like cooking and knitting classes from monthly to quarterly.
"Bungie is also pausing or fully ending benefits like annual employee compensation adjustments to meet market rates, its new hire lunch program, employee donation matching, its peer recognition program, and gift cards for employees birthdays," IGN claims.
This has led to a "soul-crushing" morale internally amongst staff, with "employee frustration and sadness" met with hostility from higher-ups. "Several people we spoke to told us that leaders had reiterated, across multiple meetings, that they couldn’t guarantee there wouldn’t be more layoffs, with two specifically recalling chief people officer Holly Barbacovi outright stating that layoffs were a 'lever' the company would pull again." You can read much more in the full IGN report.