Many within the gaming industry were shocked and perhaps a little saddened to learn back in April that veteran composer Martin O’Donnell – who is most famous for his musical work on the Halo series – had his contract at Bungie terminated. Bungie suggested that the separation was mutual, but O’Donnell contested that he had been terminated without good cause by the gaming developer.
At the time, Community Manager David Dague, read:
“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.”
Now, according to VentureBeat.com, it has become clear that there was no mutual agreement, and in fact O’Donnell has just won a court ruling that entitles him to unpaid benefits and damages, from having been fired without cause. Bungie will pay O’Donnell $38,385 in unpaid work and work-related benefits, and another $38,385 in damages – with the total settlement weighing in at $95,019.13.
Bungie have not commented on the news as of yet, but this story adds to the growing list of employment issues that we are seeing at game development studios worldwide – what with many studio closures and down-sizing efforts.