bad news @ Bungie (Destiny)

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Saturday, November 04, 2023, 10:16 (196 days ago) @ Kermit

FULL TL;DR in Video Form, then... keep reading anyway, I guess.





Some week to be a Bungie fan, eh? And for we, the grizzled and disembodied, it certainly does seem something living a theme, a Shakespeare play, now without any benefit of music or visual soliloquy.


Some week to be a Bungie fan.

Once it was clear that there was yet-so-many a moving part to come on out, and that everyone was just going to react to the moving parts ah-la our modern internet, I split from posting for a bit. Better to scribble down these thoughts once the dust had settled to some amount. Climb on out of my bunker once this shitnadeo had moved along its merry way.

And what do I see?

Ho-ly shit. As in, jee-zuss! That's a lot of shit. And it isn't just the smell that's breath taking.

So, right... where do I even start with this? I suppose it would be best to start with the freshest stank, one where, apparently, Harold Ryan and Pete Parsons are honorable men. And while this certainly would answer a number of questions, the ever increasing malleability of these digital shores requires pause. A story of conspiracy without weight of law is just another story of ambitious men... at our distance. Were things more direct, than perhaps there is a say. A warning to be heeded. But there are so many things demanding attention, what else can we do but weep, and write.

...and learn from such stories.

And now, with a technical answer given of 8% a studio out, there are now many many stories. But in them too, there is the same problem. With all the noise, what does one make a call on? Actions. The state change, the physical manifestation of what is now right now, provided we are even allowed to have that sense left. So... how about some old truths? Long known, long proven, long true until such prospects and ideas are dust among with us all.

There is power in names. In branding. Any competent marketeer worth consideration would know this, as indeed many a king of old well knew. You'll have to forgive some subtleties as I come to bring a point; Which hits more? The Leper King or Baldwin IV? The Lionheart or Richard I? If I say Charles I, does that have any meaning if you've not studied this branch of history? 'Cause, let me tell ya, you really didn't want to be a head of the country when he was king, boy howdy! The names require context, but the BRAND? That often is the first catch, the first known. Great, Conqueror, Cruel... these are reputations etched so deeply into a name that they echo in history.

So what does "Bungie" mean now?

THERE IS POWER IN NAMES! And IT CAN NOT JUST BE BOUGHT! It is invested, earned, and grown. And the taller that tree, the worse should it be felled.

"X" as a company name has no real exacting meaning in "what it is", but "twitter" does. Those differences are being earned every day, pustule at a time. "Unity Engine" was known for its promise in how it was different, until it's dumb ass admin shattered it to 1000 pieces, and now... oops-a-daisy! Backsies! ... BUT THERE IS NO GOING BACK ONCE TRUST IS LOST! YOU CAN NOT DRINK FROM A BROKEN GLASS! And now... for we Bungie fans old and older, admin has cut its own eyes and ears. Is it the same ship? Can it be? DOES IT EVEN MATTER! If EVERYONE on the ship says there are are rocks straight ahead, and the ships captain orders dead head and scuttles the ship, should such a fool still hold such a title?

What was that line from Game of Thrones? ...Madness. Madness and Stupidity. Saving pennies for the cost of dollars. There is more to VALUE than can be perceived in some excel spreadsheet! Experience. Reputation. A collective and well built team with qualities unlike each themselves alone, a emergent value of ones own creators are of great worth! Now plucked! Halved with such coldness! A chilling frost yet again made by honorable men.

Yet, the thing in all of this which has TRULY dazzled me, and yes I've read the news written by Jason Schreier & Paul Tassi, respectively, which has more than shocked me than the 45% number or even the speechlessness in the new building Bungie apparently builds when they have been pushing so openly Remote Work, is... the apparent order of operations in how all this went down. For myself, who has seen the marvel and power of well greased and orchestrated team work, who understands, it seems in practice, such responsibilities with care, it flabbergasts me to no end.

This was something announced to employees two weeks prior to the Oct. 30 layoffs by management. Weak player retention and annual revenue massively missing projections were marked as the culprit alongside “good but not great” feedback the expansion was receiving internally. While this doesn’t initially link the layoffs in with the delay of the expansion, the delay is what has resulted in the studio transitioning into a cost-saving stance.

Initially, Bungie CEO Pete Parsons reportedly told staff they would be cutting costs and implementing salary and hiring freezes, but now layoffs appear to have become part of the studio’s recovery strategy as well.

When these conversations were happening, folks were willing to double down. They cared. They wanted to do the work which need be done for the fans, which as a fan... I do appreciate. For whatever it's worth in all of this, thank you. The SPARKS for creative fire were there. You have teams and teams of willing, highly experienced and knowledgeable staff ready to double down... and what do they do?

While Bungie is far from the first company to execute cold, mass layoffs, this all sounds more like something out of an investment bank, rather than a company that was supposed to be the tight-knit family. Indeed many of the employees did feel like family to each other, which is why losing 1 out of 10 friends overnight is so hard on those who remain. But the way this was all done is a massive source of anger within the company, and the reason so many are willing to talk about what happened and exactly what’s going on over there.

Employees are extremely angry with leadership now, and have often communicated that publicly in meetings. Bets were made that did not pay off, but those who made them remain in the company, a fact lost on no one.

They poisoned the watering hole. They cut off "limbs" of teams, and have the audacity, the absolute temerity to say, ok, back to work? ARE THEY OUT OF THEIR FUCKING SKULLS! HOLY SHIT! I THINK I KNOW WHERE SUNSETTING CAME FROM!

Twice the work, and half the crew, and NONE OF THE MORALE! WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG! Fuck, are they going to starve them too? It's just too stupid to have to, yet again, behold, in what has been ever building a decade of too stupid to have to, yet again, behold.

So now, there is but one more question, of Bungie's Destiny, what will its Final Shape be? Heh. Bare with me. My heart is shattered here with the Bungie Devs. And I must pause till some of it come back to me.


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