Bungie Fires Halo and Destiny Composer Martin O'Donnell

After creating the fantastic soundtracks for every Halo game up to Reach and helping create Destiny's new sound, Martin O'Donell has been let go by the Bungie Board of Directors.

When you think of the Halo series, a few things come to mind. You see Master Chief stealing vehicles and dual-wielding needlers while dodging plasma bolts; you feel the controller firmly in your hand as the controlled chaos of Bungie's organic AI interactions flow in front of you; and you can hear Martin O'Donnell's booming and sweeping orchestrative notes making every moment feel like a climax before calming you down right as the next big moment is to come.

O'Donnell's music has defined the Halo series--from composing the first Halo game's score all the way to Bungie's final Halo project with Halo: Reach's somber setting.

Starting as contract work for earlier Bungie titles such as Oni and both Myth games, it seemed like we would be seeing him produce a brand new sound for Bungie's Destiny; that will not being happening though. Earlier this week, Martin O'Donnell was let go by the Bungie Board of Directors. As he says in his tweet below, it appears to have been without cause.

All that Bungie has said in relation to the firing of O'Donnell is the following:

“For more than a decade, Marty O’Donnell filled our worlds with unforgettable sounds and soundtracks, and left an indelible mark on our fans. 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.” -- Bungie community manager David Dague 

This rather warm message suggests one of two things. Either the Board of Directors alone wanted rid of O'Donnell and there was some problem he presented to them by remaining on staff, or Bungie isn't commenting on whatever problem was occurring that made this the ideal choice. The former seems far more likely, but we'll have to wait and see. Since his last tweet above, there has been no word from O'Donnell as to his plans, although I'm sure we all hope he lands on his feet soon and gets a chance to make more fantastic compositions.

What do you think happened at Bungie to result in O'Donnell being fired? Is there a developer you're hoping he'll join up with now that he's no longer at Bungie? Let us know in the comments below!

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Grumpily ranting at this computer screen since before you were playing Minecraft. For more of my work: https://elijahbeahm.contently.com/

Published Apr. 16th 2014
  • JCBoston69
    Bungie is probably in a bad way right now and needed to cut costs, after the piece of excrement that is Destiny. Somehow they lost their key writer (the one who wrote the storyline for the Halo franchise) and it shows. It's sad, but Bungie will never again be what they were...what Halo made them. That was a combination of talent that is almost impossible to replicate.
  • | Narz |
    This is insane. I would say this is viable for a lawsuit, but at the end of the day this could be a blessing in disguised.
  • john_7463
    seriously this guy and a few maybe 1 or 2 more key bungie members and we have a possible comeback of a good game destiny is without any word to say the shittiest excuse for a game i have ever played mindless crap felt so bored playing it the music in halo and the story made the games so good they lost their lead writer and now this guy FUCK you bungie your dead to me you shit on your xbox fans with the release of this unfinished trash. Im glad this guy has been fired because he can move on hopefully be hired by microsoft along with the lead writer joe staten and we can again get a great game thank you microsoft for abandoning this abortion of a game. there was no merit in spending unnecessary money on it it turned out to be a flop their name as a developer is the only thing that had any merit and now so too is that gone.
  • [[Deleted]]
    I'm sure if you have "Created the soundtrack to Halo" on your Resume... your going to be ok.

    just saying.

    Since no one's really given a conclusive reason.. it really could have been anything from problems with other staff or management to simply wanting a new sound and not wanting upcoming games like "Destiny" to have an audio feel similar to Halo or being compared to Halo simply because Martin worked on it. (which is kind of moot since somewhere, someone is going to make that comparison anyways).

    But all in all, I hope he does well in whatever he decides to do, even if its something completely different.

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