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Bungie Denies Layoff Claims But Stays Mum on New Game Rumor

| 17 Feb 2011 16:29
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An anonymous source claiming to be a laid-off contract worker for Bungie says its next project is an online FPS named Destiny, but the studio says that's not true - it hasn't laid off anyone.

Earlier today, Kotaku Australia reported on an unnamed individual who claimed to be one of roughly 30 contract workers at Bungie who were fired at the behest of Activision. He said that everyone at Bungie who wasn't a full-time employee, including producers, artists, programmers and most of the IT staff, were given the bum's rush out of the building, after which they discovered that their email accounts had been killed and they were out of a job.

"Bungie can't get away with firing 30+ people, leaving them stuck surprised and having to find new work to feed their families, unable to get unemployment benefits because of the false 'performance related' remarks," he said. "One of the IT contractors let go actually had just won an award for his performance that afternoon."

A tad bitter, perhaps? That may be why the alleged ex-employee decided to get a little payback by spoiling Bungie's big surprise: Destiny, code-named Tiger, a massively-multiplayer sci-fi FPS/RPG. It's a bit short on detail but it sounds pretty groovy and very much like the sort of thing that Bungie, the studio that created the Halo universe, might get up to. But according to Bungie, it's not true - the layoff part, that is.

"This evening, Kotaku Australia published a blog entry to their website claiming that Bungie recently terminated as many as thirty contract employees without notice or justification, effectively eliminating all non full time staff at the request of our publisher, Activision-Blizzard," Bungie said in a statement posted on its website. "The claim is false."

"Bungie has never been asked to lay off any employees or contract employees by our publisher, Activision-Blizzard, for any reason," it continued. "The talented professionals who grace our offices day in and day out are the lifeblood of Bungie - our most cherished commodity - and the unsubstantiated rumors posted today are in direct opposition to the culture and values that we believe make Bungie an exceptional place to work, and to call home."

Okay, so nobody was fired - but what about the game? On that front, Bungie didn't have much to say. Nothing at all, in fact. We know the studio signed a ten-year publishing deal with Activision and that it has hinted, pretty strongly, that its next project will in fact be an MMO. But as far as anything more concrete than that goes, we're still stuck fast in "wait and see" mode.

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