When Bungie and Activision made their very public split back in early 2019, reports that there was champagne involved went viral. The publisher’s stringent monetization model seemed to obliterate what made Destiny 2 enjoyable and since the split, the online shooter has become an active community once more. It was widely accepted that there was bad blood between the developers and the publisher at large, but one former Bungie exec just shared a much darker look at what it was like pre-split.
Former Bungie exec Marty O’Donnell recently sat down with the HiddenXperia podcast to talk about the overdue split and to also take ownership in his part as a board member for enabling the partnership to begin with. While he mentioned that many current developers are likely to take a more “diplomatic” approach to talking about the previous partnership, O’Donnell had no problem opening up about what particular experience that remains at the forefront of his memory.
O’Donnell recalled a dinner with the Activision CFO just before the partnership was finalized. At the dinner, O’Donnell mentioned that he cracked a joke about how it’s “nice to be the goose” in reference to Destiny 2 being a golden egg. What he didn’t expect wast he responded that “sometimes there’s nothing like a good Foie Gras.” Given that Foie Gras is a dish that involves force-feeding the animal before going to slaughter, O’Donnell mentioned that this was the first time warning bells went off in his head regarding this new deal.
The former exec mentioned that there were many other instances that gave off red flags but to this day, this particular interaction was what struck out the most because it was the first time that the decision to move forward with the partnership was shrouded in doubt.
Ever since Destiny 2 made its debut, it seemed that the developers were plagued by controversy after controversy. From pay wall-locked content to numerous failed attempts at transparency between the community have made for a very rocky launch and a steep hill to climb up for the team as a whole. Following the split, players immediately saw changes for the better and since then, Bungie has launched numerous successful expansions with even more on the way. 3 years worth, to be precise.
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