Bungie and Veteran Composer Marty O’Donnell Part Ways


Marty O’Donnell has left the building, everyone. In a surprising tweet , O’Donnell revealed his decade-and-a-half career at Bungie Studios had been “terminated without cause” by the higher-ups in the studio. The move comes as some surprise, as Marty O’Donnell was one of Bungie’s oldest directors, having started out working on Oni in the late 1990’s.

Bungie is only five months away from the release of its MMO sci-fi blockbuster Destiny, for which O’Donnell composed a score in what will apparently be his last work for the studio. What is most bizarre is that O’Donnell’s Twitter feed reveals nothing unusual in the days prior to his reported firing on April 11th, nor in the days since leading up to his announcement today.

On April 4th he tweeted “Is it just me or did cashews used to taste better?”   On the 11th, he only remarks, “I sure wish I had gone to GDC this year. Feel like I missed something.”

The story becomes even vaguer when we look at the announcement Bungie finally posted on their blog only a few hours ago:

“For more than a decade, Marty O’Donnell filled our worlds with unforgettable sounds and soundtracks, and left an indelible mark on our fans. Today, as friends, we say goodbye. We know that wherever his journey takes him, he will always have a bright and hopeful future.   We wish him luck in all his future endeavors.”

That’s it.

A couple of sentences praising Marty’s work, a “best of luck,” and the whole thing brushed aside. Obviously, nothing is said about their reasons for firing O’Donnell “without cause,” as he put it.

Clearly there’s more to the tale of Marty O’Donnell’s departure from Bungie Studios than either party has said. We’ll have more on this story as it unfolds.

Peter Yankowski

Peter Yankowski

Peter Yankowski is a freelance writer and blogger. When he's not getting blasted out of the digital skies by Messerchmitts, or cutting work to carve a twisty New England road, Peter writes about gaming news, history in games, and military geekitude.
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