Game composer Marty O’Donnell has been fired from Bungie, where he has worked on the Halo series and was currently working on Bungie’s upcoming new IP: Destiny. Revealing the news in a tweet, O’Donnell wrote “I’m saddened to say that Bungie’s board of directors terminated me without cause on April 11, 2014.” No other details were given by O’Donnell at this time, but I assume more news will arrive in the coming days.
Bungie responded to the news on it’s website, writing “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.”
Bungie COO Pete Parsons gave the following statement to journalists who were attending a press event at Bungie’s studios today for Destiny. “I’m sure many of you have heard the news about Marty O’Donnell. At Bungie, we don’t take that kind of thing lightly. We don’t make decisions lightly. We’re a team that’s committed to making an amazing game, set in an amazing universe. At this time, we won’t be commenting any further on it.” -Source: Joystiq
This is certainly a shocking move; O’Donnell was one of the main hold-overs from the studio’s time working on the Halo franchise, and has even worked with legendary musician Paul McCartney on Destiny’s score. For those who don’t know, O’Donnell has been Bungie’s in-house composer and sound designer for nearly every Bungie game. His score will almost certainly still be heard in Destiny when it releases this September. We will update you as soon as we learn more.
This reporter’s opinion: This has to be one of the most shocking bits of news I’ve read in a while. Seeing O’Donnell being fired from Bungie is like seeing George Lucas fire John Williams from a Star Wars movie. It’s insanity that I didn’t think was possible. This move must have come down to either O’Donnell wanting far too much money, massive creative differences, or Bungie wanting to cut cost on Destiny tremendously.
Whichever way it all happened, O’Donnell is now a free agent. If Microsoft has not already contacted him about working on Halo once again I would be amazed at their stupidity. Any studio he goes to would get a massive boost. I hope all the best for Marty, as he and Nobuo Uematsu are likely the closest things to legends we have for composers.
by, Bobby Marquardt