Destiny composer wins case against Bungie

O'Donnell, Destiny's composer, wins dispute against Bungie and keeps company shares as a founder.

Destiny's composer, Marty O'Donnell, and Bungie's president, Harold Ryan, settled an ongoing dispute out of court this week. O'Donnell wanted to continue to hold stock as a founder in Bungie, although he is no longer an employee. The judge in the out of court ruling found O'Donnell in the right.

O'Donnell with other Bungie developers announcing Destiny for PS4

Last year, O'Donnell settled for over $95,000 against Bungie in a dispute over unpaid benefits when Bungie fired him "without cause". O'Donnell's termination stemmed from a conflict involving an online discussion over Twitter when Activision (Destiny's publisher) changed the music in a trailer for E3 2013. 

 O'Donnell, believing that "he was maintaining Bungie's artistic integrity" tweeted  "that Activision had composed the trailer's music -- not him." Bungie believed that this tweet fueled a "negative online discussion" that "hurt the team".

Other complaints stem from O'Donnell wanting the game to be playable first before completing the music - although O'Donnell did, in fact, complete the whole score only for Activision to replace it. 

 O'Donnell working with Sir Paul McCartney of Destiny's soundtrack

Regardless of whether O'Donnell's actions (and complaints against him) justify his termination, he remains a stock holder in Bungie as a founder. He has since started a new game development company named Highwire Games, and will continue to compose music for games. 

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An undergrad working torward a BA in professional writing in between GTAV and Destiny binges.

Published Sep. 5th 2015

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