Joe Staten, Destiny Creative director, leaves Bungie
Well… this was unexpected. Joseph Staten, one of the most influential members of Bungie Studios for the past 15 years, had abruptly resigned. If you’re a Bungie fan, you’re probably scratching your head right now, wondering what happened. Read on for the details.
The announcement came in the form of a news update on the official Bungie website. In a fairly brief statement lacking any real details beyond wanting to “tackle new creative challenges,” Staten thanked Bungie’s fans and community for their years of support. You can read his full statement below.
Dear community friends,
After fifteen great years at Bungie, from the battlefields of Myth to the mysteries of Halo and beyond, I’m leaving to tackle new creative challenges. While this may come as a surprise, fear not. It’s been my pleasure building Destiny these past four years, and after the big reveal this Summer, our hugely talented team is on track for greatness. I’ll be cheering all of them, with all of you, when the game launches next year. Thank you for your support of me, and your continued support of Bungie. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Per Audacia Ad Astra!
So… yeah. If I may be allowed to briefly editorialize… that totally blows. Joe Staten has been one of the most prolific driving forces at Bungie for more than a decade. As a writer and cinematic designer, he was responsible for many of the most memorable moments in the Halo franchise, working on every game in the franchise between Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo: Reach. He was the creative director on Bungie’s current project, Destiny, years before anyone outside of the studio even knew the game existed. He played a huge role in the company’s presentations at this year’s E3 and GDC, and gave every indication that committed to Destiny for the next decade or more. So this comes as a pretty big shock to the Bungie community. His contribution to Bungie’s games and community will be missed.
All that being said, as a writer, Staten’s work on Destiny was mostly focused on building the worlds, characters, and lore of the game’s universe. With a release scheduled for some time next year, most (if not all) of the world building has already been done. However, the same can’t be said for the inevitable sequels to Destiny. While the basic framework for the franchise’s future is in place, Staten’s role as Creative Director was far from over. Bungie will surely thrive without him, but their games will never truly be the same.