Bungie, the titan behind Halo, Myth, and Destiny, is having a bad day. Many current and former employees came forward to detail damning allegations against the company. The allegations date back to 2011, and detail a company rife with abuse and problematic behavior at many levels. IGN has spoken to 26 current and former employees that all detailed allegations that sound very similar to those rocking Activision Blizzard. The claims run the gamut from overt sexism, to crunch culture, and so much worse. Bungie apparently has a culture that can only be described as a “boy’s club”.
And it gets worse from there, as some allegations against Bungie management say that they intentionally ignored or even weaponized online hate against employees.
CEO Pete Parsons pulled back the curtain on a number of new initiatives in an effort to “recognize our shortcomings.” The company will hire on new staff that’s focused on combating these problems, and being more diverse. Parsons has also said that the company is working to rectify the complaints in other ways, mostly by clearing roadblocks to promotions and better representation. This might help address that boy’s club mentality.
These new efforts have been in the works for some time, and Bungie has seemingly been aware of the remaining problems for years. It’s curious why it took until bombshell reporting for these issues to get a full response from the CEO. It would seem that a company truly committed to fixing these issues would have been open about addressing them when they first became aware. Still, employees on the ground appreciate the effort that has been put in.
It would seem some of these problems have been dealt with to some degree. More recent employees have indicated that this more diverse shift has been pretty obvious, but problems remain. Still, it’s important to note how hard these habits can be to break. “People are trying, and they see the need for many perspectives, but they don’t always know how to do it. Sometimes they get in their own way,” said one source.
Some employees often remarked that the onus of education fell to minority employees—this isn’t it, as it should be the company taking charge on dealing with toxicity. The uphill battle is made all the harder when it’s individuals doing the work. At the very least we can see some progress in future Bungie projects. Some internal projects are spoken of very highly by employees, One team is described as a major divergence for the company, and the staff involved are “the kind of team I want Bungie to have everywhere.”