Bungie Management Accused Of Crunch Culture, Toxicity, Harassment, And Discrimination
The ripples from the California DFEH’s lawsuit against Activision Blizzard continues to affect the gaming industry as yet another video game company is accused of sexism, racism, and poor treatment of its employees. Thanks to IGN’s recent exposé, Bungie now joins the growing list of abusive companies which, aside from Activision Blizzard, also includes Riot Games, Ubisoft, and Sony Interactive Entertainment.
The explosive article tells the all-too-familiar story of a workplace where management is given “rockstar” treatment and remain unscathed in spite of numerous complaints against them. Testimonies from several current and former Bungie employees reveal that they were constantly in crunch time and burnouts were an all-too common. Toxic managers yelling during meetings and throwing chairs at windows didn’t help either. In addition to throwing temper tantrums, IGN’s sources also reported male upper managers mistreating transgender employees, harassing female employees, and using racist slurs.
Bungie CEO Pete Parsons penned an open letter apologizing to all employees who might have fallen victims to toxicity and inappropriate behavior within the company.
“I want to apologize to anyone who has ever experienced anything less than a safe, fair, and professional working environment at Bungie,” wrote Parsons. “I am not here to refute or to challenge the experiences we're seeing shared today by people who have graced our studio with their time and talent. Our actions or, in some cases, inactions, caused these people pain. I apologize personally and on behalf of everyone at Bungie who I know feels a deep sense of empathy and sadness reading through these accounts.”
Parsons also outlined the steps that the company has taken to prevent future incidences of abuse and misconduct in the office, including the removal of reported offenders and setting reasonable release dates to avoid crunch culture.
“As CEO, it is my job to factor both the past and the future and be accountable for all of it, here and now. Speaking with the team at Bungie, reading the stories, and seeing both known and newly surfaced accounts, it is clear we still have work ahead of us,” he added. “I am committed to it. We are not yet the studio we have the potential to become, but we are on our way. And we will not rest or slow these efforts because we recognize that the journey of inclusivity, diversity, and equity is, in itself, the destination we all strive towards. This is critical to achieving our vision and fulfilling the potential of the welcoming, equitable home of creative and technical excellence Bungie should be.”
You can check out Pete Parson’s full letter on the Bungie official site.