Report: Bungie workplace mired in sexist, toxic behavior

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen
Destiny 2: The Witch Queen (Image credit: Bungie, Inc.)

What you need to know

  • Bungie is a game development studio known for creating Halo and more recently, the Destiny 2 franchise.
  • According to a new report from IGN, the studio has been dealing with a toxic workplace environment and huge crunch over the last several years.
  • Some of the developers at the studio are reportedly fighting for internal change.

Destiny 2 developer Bungie is struggling with workplace problems including sexist, toxic behavior, per a report from IGN. According to the report, which cites 26 former and current Bungie employees, the studio has a long history of allowing sexist workplace behavior to go unpunished, as well as a long history of crunch.

Despite Bungie publicly stating it had a commitment to not crunching, the narrative team is reported to have spent up to 100 hours per week working on some of the expansions for Destiny 2. This problem was also reportedly exacerbated by the struggle to hire additional narrative staff as full-time employees instead of relying on contractors.

Many women and other minority employees at Bungie reportedly felt marginalized, as other staff made sexist or inappropriate comments on a regular basis without reprimand. Bungie's public statement in the wake of Activision Blizzard's ongoing lawsuit was reportedly seen as hypocritical within Bungie. Bungie's HR department was also seen as only interested in protecting the company, not listening to any employees who came forward with problems.

"They have that core value that they don't tolerate assholes even if they're rockstars but they totally do. All that's aspirational. Those are the values they want to get to, but they're not enforcing them," one employee stated.

The report also notes that some employees with Bungie, including women and allies, are pushing back for change. The groups are small but are working to push back for a more inclusive company culture.

"Even though it shouldn't be on their shoulders, the truth is that the closer we can be to an accurate reflection of our community the better we'll be as a company," another employee said. "Our workplace could always be better; I'm glad that as a company we recognize that and we're addressing it."

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.