The man behind the iconic music of the “Halo” franchise revealed early Wednesday morning that he was let go by Bungie. The man behind the music and sound design of the upcoming “Destiny” for the PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360 is now looking for a new place of employment.
“I'm saddened to say that Bungie's board of directors terminated me without cause on April 11, 2014,” O’Donnell suddenly announced on Twitter. He has not said more about the termination since.
This immediately set off a firestorm of speculation on major gaming forums such as Reddit and NeoGAF. Everything from a contract dispute to political beliefs to things not even worth repeating were thrown up as reasons for why O’Donnell could have been let go so suddenly and so close to the launch of “Destiny”.
Bungie responded to the speculation with a post on its website titled, “There are those who said this day would never come.” It did not have any details, however, and has led to only more speculation.
“For more than a decade, Marty O’Donnell filled our worlds with unforgettable sounds and soundtracks, and left an indelible mark on our fans,” the developer wrote. “Today, as friends, we say goodbye. We know that wherever his journey takes him, he will always have a bright and hopeful future.”
“We wish him luck in all his future endeavors,” the studio concluded. While not stating it outright, it is clear that this will likely be the last official word from Bungie on the matter.
O’Donnell had been with Bungie since the development of the RTS PC title, “Myth II”. While he started as a contractor he eventually became a full time employee just days before the company was purchased by Microsoft.
The composer went on to become known for the now iconic soundtracks of “Halo: Combat Evolved” and “Halo 2” for the original Xbox plus “Halo 3”, “Halo 3: ODST” and “Halo: Reach” for the Xbox 360. He debuted the first music for “Destiny” just last July during Video Games Live performance. The music for the game was being created in conjunction with long-time collaborator Mike Salvatori and Beatles legend, Paul McCartney.
"Destiny" is currently scheduled for a Sept. 9, 2014 release to the PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360.