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Sony will reportedly take over Bungie if it doesn't meet financial targets

Sony is expected to take full control of Destiny developer Bungie if the studio fails to meet the financial targets it was set after it was acquired last year.

That’s according to an extensive report on IGN, which cites multiple current employees.

According to the report, Bungie is currently a fully independent subsidiary within Sony with a board of directors that is split between PlayStation executives and those of Bungie.

Bungie CEO Pete Parsons has the tiebreaker vote, with fellow board members including PlayStation Studios boss Herman Hulst, Sony SVP Eric Lempel, Bungie CTO Luis Villegas and studio co-founder Jason Jones.

However, sources tell IGN that Bungie leaders said shortly after the recent round of layoffs, which saw around 100 people let go, that if the studio does not reach certain financial goals, Sony can dissolve the split board and take full control.

The hotly anticipated Destiny 2 expansion, The Final Shape, has been delayed into the next financial year and Bungie is still investing in work on Marathon, so staff believe that the studio is struggling to meet the targets required to retain its independence.

Bungie staff previously told IGN that October’s layoffs were made by Bungie rather than Sony, and were attributed to the underperformance of Destiny 2 in the past year, as well as lower-than-expected pre-orders for The Final Shape.

Sources say the layoffs – combined with other cost-cutting measures, such as a hiring freeze, reduced travel budgets, the cancellation of holiday bonuses, and reduction of yearly studio performance bonuses – has significantly impacted morale, creating a “soul-crushing mood” within the company.

There is also the expectation that further layoffs will follow if The Final Shape underperforms.

The full IGN report has more detail, including on Bungie shifting towards outsourcing certain disciplines such as QA.

Bungie declined to comment to the site. Sony has yet to respond to requests.

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