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Veteran Bungie composer Michael Salvatori reportedly departs amid layoffs

Bungie has reportedly cut ties with Michael Salvatori, the veteran composer who has worked with the studio for over 25 years, amid a round of layoffs at the studio.

Salvatori’s history with Bungie dates back to his work on 1997’s Myth: The Fallen Lords. His credits include multiple Halo titles, including 2001’s Combat Evolved, as well as both Destiny games and their expansions.

On Monday, Bungie became the latest Sony Interactive Entertainment studio to be hit with layoffs. Shortly after the news was confirmed, fans noticed that the websites of both Salvatori and fellow composer Michael Sechrist had been updated to remove some references to their work on Destiny, while adding they’d “Gone fishin’”.

There are conflicting claims about Salvatori’s reported exit from Bungie, with Destiny 2 community animator Carson Reed claiming he was laid off and Windows Central reporter Jez Cordon hearing he may have retired voluntarily.

Salvatori worked with fellow composer Marty O’Donnell on the music for the original Halo titles as part of their company, TotalAudio. During the production of the first Halo, O’Donnel was hired by Bungie as a full-time employee, while Salvatori remained independent, although he eventually took a staff job with the studio in 2011.

While the scope of the job cuts at Bungie remain unclear, the studio has reportedly delayed Destiny 2’s upcoming expansion as well as its next full game, Marathon.

Destiny 2’s The Final Shape expansion was announced in August when it was given a February 27, 2024 release date. However, according to Bloomberg‘s sources, the expansion was recently delayed until next June, pushing it out of parent company Sony’s current fiscal year.

Veteran Bungie composer Michael Salvatori reportedly departs amid layoffs

Marathon was announced in May for PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC. While a launch window wasn’t confirmed, it’s claimed that the sci-fi PvP extraction shooter has been delayed to 2025, suggesting it was previously targeting a 2024 release.

Sony acquired Bungie in July 2022 for $3.6 billion. Prior to the deal’s completion, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said the deal would “be a catalyst to enhance our live game services capabilities” and represent “a major step forward in becoming more multiplatform”.