News broke early in the wee hours of the morning that Bungie’s board of director’s voted to have company composer Martin O’Donnell fired.
I’m saddened to say that Bungie’s board of directors terminated me without cause on April 11, 2014.
— Marty O’Donnell (@MartyTheElder) April 16, 2014
The only official word we have on Martin O’Donnell’s firing comes from a post titled “There are those who said this day would never come…” by Bungie community manager Deej which reads,
“For more than a decade, Marty O’Donnell filled our worlds with unforgettable sounds and soundtracks, and left an indelible mark on our fans. Today, as friends, we say goodbye. We know that wherever his journey takes him, he will always have a bright and hopeful future. We wish him luck in all his future endeavors.”
The language in the post is fairly cut and dry giving no details into a situation that is leaving many scratching their heads. Martin O’Donnell’s history with Bungie spans almost 14 years. He began his time with Bungie as many video game employees do, with a contract job. O’Donnell composed the music for Oni, as well as the Myth series under his company, TotalAudio. His final contract was to be Halo: Combat Evolved after which Bungie hired him on full time.
O’Donnell spread beyond the roles of a typical composer and became heavily involved with almost all audio aspects of the Halo series of games. He directed the voice talent and overall sound design for the Halo trilogy as well as Halo: Reach and Halo 3: ODST.
O’Donnell’s long time partner with TotalAudio, Mike Salvatori was working with him on the score for the upcoming game Destiny along with former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney. No announcement has been made if working relations between the three were part of any termination decision by Bugie’s board of directors and we can only speculate until someone leaks something or a more detailed announcement comes from Bungie. The fact that his termination was handled by the executive board means that there is a lot more to this story than we know so far.
With Martin O’Donnell being fired from Bungie, the effect on Destiny’s soundtrack is unknown. No official word has been given as of yet if he will be replaced or if Salvatori will continue on with assistance from McCartney. Destiny is slated to release on September 9, 2014 for the PlayStation 3 and 4 as well as the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The trailer featuring Martin O’Donnell’s theme for Destiny is below.
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