In an exclusive interview, Bungie CEO Pete Parsons talks to GameCentral about the future of Destiny 2, Bungie and its split from Activision.
We thought we’d go to the top and ask Bungie CEO and Chairman Pete Parsons about the future of the game, but also the legacy of the developer itself.
What followed was an earnest conversation about the pandemic, the power that Destiny 2 holds when social interaction is harder to come by, and Bungie’s approach to crunch and culture. And of course, how that split with Activision came about, why it happened, what Bungie lost during the transition, and what the future of Destiny, and new games, look like as an independent entity.
Patrick Dane: Going back to the culture of Bungie, again, I mostly hear passionate things from Bungie designers and how they enjoy working there. That is not true of everywhere. How do you go about creating a positive development environment? Especially with conversations about crunch going around the industry, how do you go about looking after your team?
Pete Parsons: Well, we have been super fortunate. We learned some painful lessons going all the way back, just for a moment, to 2004. Well, with both Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2, we learned some painful lesson as related to crunch and just how hard that can be. The thing that we realised, and I’m really proud of the team for realising this early on, is if we want to make these highly engaged games, that, at the risk of sounding like I’m saying buzzwords, when you make a game like Destiny, or you make the game that we have on deck next, you realise that the moment you launch is the starting line, right?
So, one of the things that we want to do is we want to make sure that Bungie as a company is a centre of creative and technical excellence. And you can’t build a centre of creative and technical excellence where people – once again, I said this about our community, I will reflect the same words for employees – where you feel like as an employee, you can come no matter who you are, where you’re from, which is actually even changing for the better with the pandemic, or how you identify that you can come and feel like you can do your best work. And you cannot do your best work if you’re crunching.
So what I’m so proud of is that the team and I look at people, certainly people on the line, but you also Patrick O’Kelley, Mark Noseworthy, David Allen and our production crews, Nya Shirzard. I mean, these are people who understand that this journey is really important if we’re going to get the best of people, and we’re not going to get the best of people if we’re crushing them, so we can’t do that.
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