long-term publishing partner. One of the alleged contractors, who claimed to be "let go for no reason," detailed the supposed account to Kotaku Australia. "We were given no warning," the source said. "Bungie told our agencies that it was 'performance related,' but one of our fellow fired-employees was an IT contractor and showed us an email he received before his account was killed, citing 'project sensitivity' and 'budgetary concerns from our publisher.'"
Bungie refuted the claim, saying in a statement that the studio "has never been asked to lay off any employees or contract employees by our publisher, Activision-Blizzard, for any reason." Last May, Activision did confirm that it was funding the development costs of Bungie's multiplatform mystery project, which the publisher said would employ nearly 200 staff. Perhaps sensitive to the assumption that Activision maintains close operational oversight of spending for the project, Bungie found it necessary to so explicitly discredit the reported layoffs.
The post on Bungie.net was later updated, "To clarify, Bungie has not experienced layoffs or group firings of any kind." A link to the studio's current job openings was also included with the statement to emphasize that Bungie is actually still hiring.
Of course, the developer made no mention of the alleged contractor's other supposed revelation: that the project in question combines FPS and MMO elements (an FPSMMO, if you will) in a sci-fi setting, according to Kotaku's source, and will be named "Destiny" -- but codenamed "Tiger," for now. Neither title matches up with any of the recently discovered Bungie trademarks, but the MMO component does echo the hypothetical musings of Bungie creative director Joe Staten.
"Wouldn't it be great if we could make a world that was always there for you?" Staten wondered aloud during a GDC Online panel discussion last fall. "Wow. That would be great."
[Image source: Bungie.net]