Former Bungie composer Martin O’Donnell calls the deal with Activision ‘bad from the start’

Destined even further.

The former Bungie composer Martin O’Donnell has spilled some pretty serious tea regarding the partnership with Activision, calling the deal “bad from the start” and “not a match made in heaven at all” during an interview with HiddenXperia and flying directly in the face of Bungie’s official line that Activision wasn’t an “overlord.”

O’Donnell, who was on the board of directors at the time, shouldered some of the blame for the decision in spite of assumptions that making the deal was “a risk right from the get go” and “exactly as bad as we thought it to be. ” He also recounts what he called a “red flag” moment while having dinner with some of the big execs at Activision before the deal was signed.

“I’m sitting next to this Austrian guy, and he says ‘Hey, Marty, I hear that you have this saying: be nice to the goose.’ […] and I told him it’s important to be nice to the goose, because the goose is where the golden egg comes from. […] And he goes, ‘Yeah, I like that story, golden eggs, the goose, you know but sometimes there’s nothing like a good foie gras.’

“I’m in the middle of sipping some wine and he says that and I’m like ‘Oh my God.’ I felt like I was in a Twilight Zone episode. What I should have done is stood up, flipped the table, and told all the other Bungie guys, ‘We have to get away from here, now.'”

“I thought we were protected […] and I was wrong, My gut instinct was ‘This is bad, we shouldn’t do this.’ That’s hindsight, though.”

Readers will recall that Bungie and Activision signed a four-game partnership in 2010 that was suddenly split, causing no less than three different lawsuit threats from investors. Martin O’Donnell was also the one who won his court case against Bungie, retaining the shares that he was owed after he was terminated “without cause” in 2014.

The video is embedded after the break, set to the point where O’Donnell answers the question about his feelings regarding the Activision/Bungie split.


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Bruno Brito

‘Yeah, I like that story, golden eggs, the goose, you know but sometimes there’s nothing like a good foie gras.’

That’s the queue to punch someone.

Tuor of Gondolin

Bungie should punch itself as it chose to get in bed with Activision.

Bruno Brito

Doesn’t deny my point :P

Tuor of Gondolin

Nope. :)


I mean, obviously. If a company like Activision or EA is buying you out then they’re going to basically going to chop you up, wring you out and basically squeeze every last red cent they possibly can out of your name and brand you’ve established until you’re used up and worthless. Look at Bioware and slowly Blizzard for examples of this.

As a relatively new comer to Destiny 2 (New Light player) I have mixed feelings. There definitely seems like there was a lot more content under Activision in past years/seasons. Like Shadowkeep was mediocre expansion with 2 new strikes, 1 new raid and since then we’ve gotten very little the rest of the year beyond some temporary content that disappears each season (vex instance, sundial, public event/heroic lost sectors, public event/dungeon). The game hasn’t really grown and a lot of my time is spent doing older content especially now that a lot of it is going away. I get where the vets are mad cause if I had done all that content already before Shadowkeep then this last year has been a bit of a let down in terms of new stuff to play.

As a new comer however I’d be kinda annoyed under Activision’s plans to just pump out a new game every 3-4 years forcing me to restart all my game/progress again. I get why they want to do this to sell more game copies and rebuy old/new cosmetics but I think that’s a pretty shitty business model and one I’d definitely fall off of. Far better to improve/expand upon an existing game than just blatantly trying to resell me all the same things again.


Well, Activision is the company that in the last 17 years published 17 Call of Duty main line games and 12 spinoffs, so forcing players to shell out more money every year for the latest installment of their franchises is what I expect of them.


I like how it was bad from the start but that activision was actually the only company to give bungie what it really wanted.