Since finishing up with the Halo franchise, Bungie has moved on to develop a new game for Activision Blizzard that we know absolutely nothing about. According to a new report, Bungie is staying within the realm of first-person shooters for its next game -- except it'll be a massively multiplayer FPS.
A source spoke with Kotaku claiming to be a contractor who, along with around 30 others, was let go from Bungie. Besides talking about the layoffs, he or she also shared some information about Bungie's next project: The MMOFPS will have a science fiction setting and be called 'Destiny,' although it currently carries the codename 'Tiger.'
The source says Bungie let go "every employee who wasn't full-time employed," including "producers, artists, programmers, most of the IT staff, and security." This was due to "performance related" issues, although an IT contractor who was also laid off supposedly received an email that pointed to "project sensitivity" and "budgetary concerns from our publisher" as the real reasons behind the layoffs.
Since the report was originally filed, Bungie has publicly denied that any such event ever took place. "Bungie has never been asked to lay off any employees or contract employees by our publisher, Activision-Blizzard, for any reason," a post on Bungie.net reads. "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." It's also noted that Bungie is currently hiring for a variety of positions.
With Bungie outright denying that any "layoffs or group firings of any kind" have taken place, it makes it difficult to believe the source's claim that an MMOFPS is the Halo developer's next game.GameSpot notes that Bungie writer and design director Joseph Staten made some comments last year that could be taken as an interest in working on an MMO.
"I think it's a shame that we spent so much time working on this world called Halo and then we only let people spend six or eight or 10 hours in it," Staten said. "Wouldn't it be great if we could make a world that was always there for you, with lots of stories to tell, like a big, infinite storytelling horizon? Man, that would be great."
That sounds like he might be talking about an MMO, where the story can continue being told indefinitely. But all that can really be taken as is interest on the part of one Bungie staffer -- it's not necessarily an indication of what the developer is working on.
For what it's worth, Bungie has said that it's developing a new engine for its next game. Last year it was also looking to hire individuals who had experience with "branching or non-linear" narratives, as well as a Player Investment Designer who would be "designing mechanics which drive in-game player reward and incentive" and working to provide players with long-term goals "to invest them in the world and their character."
Given that it still would be an FPS game on some level -- a genre that Bungie's become pretty comfortable with over the last decade -- an MMOFPS doesn't seem like such a stretch. Even so, for now, we'll have to keep this idea filed under 'rumor.'
Original Article: http://www.1up.com/news/bungie-next-game-mmofps-destiny