Bungie has been working on several new games for three years now, according to CEO Pete Parsons. He addressed the studio’s future games and split with Activision in a wide-ranging interview with Metro. Asked about Bungie’s January 2019 split with publisher Activision, which while high-profile was seemingly amicable, Parsons said that the studio’s consistent desire is “for creative independence.” Obviously that means control of Destiny 2, but Parsons segued into discussing future Bungie games.
It’s not a huge surprise that the studio has other projects in the works. It filed a video game software trademark in the EU for Matter in 2018. In 2019, Bungie also planned to release a non-Destiny game at some point before 2025. This year, a job listing was mentioned working on something “lighthearted and whimsical.” Christopher Barrett is also currently listed as the game director of an unannounced project.
“So we started about three years ago, Jason [Jones] and Jonny Ebbert and Zach Russell and a few of us started working on new incubations,” said Parsons. That would have been in 2017, just ahead of Bungie’s decision to take on a huge cash infusion from NetEase in 2018 and shortly followed by its split from Activision. Parsons also said that M.E. Chung, designer on Destiny’s social systems, was working on an incubation project.
The incubation process, said Parsons, was more about building up good teams than ending up with publishable games, but it also sounds like he’s happy with how the games are shaping up. Parsons noted that new incubations “continue to really show promise—actually, ironically, we expected a decently high failure rate from the incubations and what’s happened is, we are pretty excited about the work that’s being done not just on continuing the Destiny universe, but because we’ve been able to build such a deep bench of talent, these incubations are really amazing.”
Supporting these incubation games projects is clearly a large priority for Bungie. Parsons noted that the developer was hiring new employees at a “faster rate than we thought we would” despite the Pandemic. Bungie moved the entire studio, aside from a handful of critical IT operations security personnel, to indefinite at-home work starting in March. Parsons said that now “something like almost a quarter of everybody who now works at Bungie has never set foot inside the studio. Which breaks my heart, but it is also a testament to the work that the teams have been able to do.”
Parsons didn’t say more about how many of those employees are on future games, but did say “I think you will be pretty excited. I wish I could say more, but I think you will be pretty excited.”