Longtime Bungie composer abruptly fired
Nothing lasts forever, or so the saying goes. But if there was ever a “forever” in the video game industry, it was Marty O’Donnell’s time with Bungie. Brought on during the company’s infancy, he was responsible for crafting some of the most renowned music in the history of video games. And now, he’s been fired. Read on for the details.
The news came late last night in the form of a tweet from Marty himself.
I’m saddened to say that Bungie’s board of directors terminated me without cause on April 11, 2014.
— Marty O’Donnell (@MartyTheElder) April 16, 2014
Earlier today, Bungie responded with a brief statement in a blog post.
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.
And just like that, perhaps the most productive and influential partnership ever between a developer and a composer came to an unceremonious end. Even to jaded industry watchers, accustomed to sudden, occasionally explosive departures, this one comes as a shock. Marty O’Donnell was an intrinsic part of Bungie’s success. He did far more than write the iconic theme to Halo. He was a powerful creative force within the studio, and a passionate believer in the medium’s artistic merit. He was also a popular figure in the Bungie community, and was seen as something of an advocate for the studio’s fans.
This is the second high profile departure from Bungie in the last six months. This past September, veteran writer and Destiny creative director Joe Staten left the studio, while the game he was charged with producing was still deep into development. As a longtime fan of the studio, I find these events very troubling. How this will affect the still unreleased Destiny remains to be seen. But their absence will certainly be felt in the years to come.