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Ex-Bungie composer Marty ODonnell wins legal fight (document in the OP)

He said it was a baseless assumption - which is correct.

Reading the brief, it's pretty clear Marty needed to be fired, given the state of the audio, the audio team, and his unwillingness to fully engage in catching up. Bungie clearly erred in withholding his shares and back vacation salary, but that is now remedied. Looks like the best outcome is what happened: Mary left, and he got his pay and stock (eventually).

Presumably he will sell his shares now? I can't imagine it being a good idea to hold onto them?
 

SenjutsuSage

Halo TV Series Promoter - Live from: Reach
read the last sentence of 5. he considered it to be the high point of his career. if activision didn't want to release the soundtrack, and then ignored it for the trailer, it would show that they didn't care much for it period.

Hmm, so he really believes this tops the legendary Flintstones Vitamins jingle? :)
 

BokehKing

Banned
Someone else at Bungie should have also taken a look at who was no longer at Bungie, and thought about why they weren't there anymore and asked themselves, "What the hell are we doing?"
You act like this was an IW/Activision level of falling out
 

gatti-man

Member
How many first gameplay trailers has Bungie released for Destiny? One. Exactly one. Unimportant, right?



They lost their iconic sound guy and their lead writer. Pretty big deal if it was tied to how Activision was forcing them to change.

Yes it is unimportant. And Activision was only doing what it was allowed to do contractually. Honestly his behavior about it is adolescent.

Yeah, the first glimpse the public got of gameplay of Bungie's newest game since Halo was totally unimportant. Brilliant logic.

Truly it is unimportant. And as an adult and an employee he should understand that in a trailer game music may not be what's best. In movie trailers it's very very common for different music to be played. He was unprofessional and should have backed off. He ultimately had no choice.
 

Troy

Banned
Yes it is unimportant. And Activision was only doing what it was allowed to do contractually. Honestly his behavior about it is adolescent.

Yeah, the first glimpse the public got of gameplay of Bungie's newest game since Halo was totally unimportant. Brilliant logic.
 

Vestal

Gold Member
Yes it is unimportant. And Activision was only doing what it was allowed to do contractually. Honestly his behavior about it is adolescent.

Yeah sure.. The first gameplay look at the first new IP you have done in over 12 years and instead of you having control of that trailer a fucking publisher and marketing team gets their crummy hands on it.


RIGHT
 

Flintty

Member
That was a fascinating read. Well done Marty, I'm glad you won the case. No surprise to see Activision being dicks.
 

gatti-man

Member
Something a man considers his best work is unimportant. Genius.

For a trailer. Once again this is all about a trailer. Not the game, a trailer.

Yeah sure.. The first gameplay look at the first new IP you have done in over 12 years and instead of you having control of that trailer a fucking publisher and marketing team gets their crummy hands on it.


RIGHT

Yes publishers and marketing teams do control marketing and trailers.
 
For a trailer. Once again this is all about a trailer. Not the game, a trailer.

Why would he not want his work showcased on arguably the/one of the biggest stages for promoting and presenting video games?

Its also a slippery slope. Bungie's fans have come to expect his music, if he didn't put his name on it and people hear it and not like it that could be potentially damaging to his reputation (I say this in-line with what Bungie argued about affecting sales)
 

FyreWulff

Member
An E3 trailer. You know, E3? That little thing? I guess that's not really important.

Remember how it was so much better under MS?



The publisher choosing the music over being buried at E3 by your own boss is astoundingly quaint in comparison.
 

Bio

Member
It's crazy how fast Bungie went from being a fan favorite to generally hated, reminds me of Bioware.

The Activision effect. Same thing happened to Blizzard, except Blizzard was loved way more initially so it didn't fall down to the same level.
 
The Activision effect. Same thing happened to Blizzard, except Blizzard was loved way more initially so it didn't fall down to the same level.
Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't Blizzard still holds more power than Activision in terms of making their own choices?
 
I've been reading through the document. Pretty interesting so far.

- Bungie's employee agreements are full of drafting errors
- they were getting pissy because he showed his music from Destiny to a handful of parties, with no financial gain whatsoever
- they basically told him they were taking his shares in a letter
- sounds like the board rushed to get him out the door, when they probably could have waited a bit longer and got him to divest more of his stock
- Bungie tried to claim O'Donnell was violating a non-compete agreement, but couldn't prove it
- it makes the case that Howard Ryan (the CEO) was so pissed about O'Donnell complaining about the E3 trailer that he decided to fire him as quick as possible without thinking of the ramifications

Bungie came off looking like a pack of clowns. Couldn't prove hardly any of what they were alleging, and the only thing they managed to make stick was O'Donnell giving out music before it was commercially released.
 

Apt101

Member
Sounds pretty ugly all round. Seems fair decision on balance though.

O'Donnell appears to have been perfectly in the right. As petty as Bungie has been shown to be here, and with what other ex-employees are now saying, I have a hard time even believing their claims regarding his performance down the stretch. Besides, I've personally seen corporations use that play before (embellish or fabricate performance complaints, then attempt to strip the person of everything while terminating them).

I think the good guy won here, deservedly.
 
Remember how it was so much better under MS?



The publisher choosing the music over being buried at E3 by your own boss is astoundingly quaint in comparison.

I'd forgotten about that. Makes me wonder even more why they chose to partner with Activison of all publishers.
 

Stinkles

Clothed, sober, cooperative
Yea most of the original Bungie team is gone iirc. Bunch of them ended up at 343 industries.


Only a few actually. Obviously the handsomest. But frankly Bungie retains staff at or better than the industry average. I'm not taking sides, merely clarifying that there's no brain drain of Bungie folks to 343 or anywhere else. And claiming I am handsome.

I'm fond of everyone involved.
 

riotous

Banned
Only a few actually. Obviously the handsomest. But frankly Bungie retains staff at or better than the industry average. I'm not taking sides, merely clarifying that there's no brain drain of Bungie folks to 343 or anywhere else. And claiming I am handsome.

I'm fond of everyone involved.

Many a fair maiden have swooned for your glorious baldness.

Never know what to make of stories about business disputes; I mean.. publishers fund things. they have a say. Feel like any industry involving creative people you get disputes, and it's hard for me to place blame as an outsider. Business people gon' business and creative people gon' keep not caring about business
 

watdaeff4

Member
Presumably he will sell his shares now? I can't imagine it being a good idea to hold onto them?

Depends on how the Articles of Incorporation was drafted regarding stock shares and the types he has.

If written in a way that could let them trivialize the value of his shares, yes. If not, then depends on if he thinks they will be worth more in the future than they are now. Basically he needs to make that decision based on his wallet, not any emotions.
 
Remember how it was so much better under MS?



The publisher choosing the music over being buried at E3 by your own boss is astoundingly quaint in comparison.

Wasn't there story there that they didn't want to show it at the press conference or something strange? I can't remember exactly but... a Halo game should be at one of Microsoft's biggest shows which is presumably how they (MS) felt too
 

FyreWulff

Member
I'd forgotten about that. Makes me wonder even more why they chose to partner with Activison of all publishers.

Because they're the publisher that could do what they wanted. Activision also has MMO experience via Blizzard. They've also largely stepped out of the way re: content policy. We're not privy to the pitches back and forth between Bungie and various potential partners.

I rib MS a lot as well, but really, they were a publisher too. Publishers can do stuff you don't like, but they also allow you to do things you can't do on your own. If you want access to their money, connections, infrastructure and expertise, you have to make some tradeoffs. You want to do something creative, they need to ensure their investment. You want to make a game for your fans, they want to sell your game to people that don't know about you yet. Absolutely nobody will give you a lot of money and just go "do whatever you want, we'll just write checks". That just doesn't happen. Ever.

And Bungie shouldn't be intersted self publishing. Sadly, as I've posted elsewhere, the industry has many graves filled with companies that tried to be everything and spread themselves too thin, because they were too concerned over having a label of self-publish vs rational expectation. I'm guessing they realized this and this is why Bungie Aerospace was quietly ended. When you let the publisher do the publishing you get to focus on the developing. Same with their run under Microsoft. Hell, if Bungie had been self publishing, we wouldn't even have Bungie today. That's an absolute fact. They wouldn't have made it without Microsoft to weather their storms.

Ultimately, the Marty v Bungie is "bunch of people fighting over money and it got to a point that went public". It looks the situation is now resolved after some punches back and forth from both parties. I also expect certain people close to certain sides to feel very emotional and public over it; there is nothing wrong with that, because people get emotionally invested in their work and business.. Kind awkward for people friendly with people on both sides of the equation, but it tends to happen when you involve money in relationships.

I don't think anyone on any side of this finds this enjoyable, at any rate.

Wasn't there story there that they didn't want to show it at the press conference or something strange? I can't remember exactly but... a Halo game should be at one of Microsoft's biggest shows which is presumably how they (MS) felt too

Bungie wanted to show Halo 3: ODST (Then called Recon) off at E3. They had a documentary and reveal all lined up and planned for it. Don Mattrick killed it in the 11th hour to advertise the game at a much later time. As a result all their plans were scuttled and the documentary never saw the light of day.

There's a whole long line of story and so on over that, but the letter was because Bungie had a countdown and everything going and after Mattrick pulled the plug, they had to put that up.
 
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