Confirmed: Halo’s Martin O’Donnell sacked by Bungie

Halo legend Martin O’Donnell tweeted today something truly shocking and bizarre: he was sacked from Bungie last week.

Bungie have confirmed that O’Donnell has indeed left the company in a short post on their official website. Entitled “There are those who said this day would never come…”, the statement 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.”


Having been sound director at Bungie since 2000, the artist co-wrote the scores for the five Halo titles, Oni, and the upcoming Destiny with Michael Salvatori. The artist has a legion of fans, nicknamed “The Marty Army”, and is behind the best-selling video game soundtracks of all time. With Bungie now independent from Microsoft, O’Donnell had been co-writing the soundtrack for Destiny and producing the orchestral suite Music of the Spheres with Salvatori and Paul McCartney.

At present, we don’t know anything further about the circumstances behind O’Donnell’s termination and the future of Destiny‘s music. We’ll update you as more information comes available. To learn more about O’Donnell, read our indepth biography.

Posted on April 16, 2014 by Chris Greening. Last modified on April 16, 2014.

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About the Author

I've contributed to websites related to game audio since 2002. In this time, I've reviewed over a thousand albums and interviewed hundreds of musicians across the world. As the founder and webmaster of VGMO -Video Game Music Online-, I hope to create a cutting-edge, journalistic resource for all those soundtrack enthusiasts out there. In the process, I would love to further cultivate my passion for music, writing, and generally building things. Please enjoy the site and don't hesitate to say hello!

9 Responses to Confirmed: Halo’s Martin O’Donnell sacked by Bungie

  1. kurobake says:

    As one of the employees there with the longest tenure, I’m sure this news isn’t sitting well with a lot of people. I am, however, selfishly and narrow-mindedly looking forward to hearing his music in new kinds of games. I personally think his musical talent vastly outclasses Bungie’s catalogue.

  2. I’m excited to see what he does next too. He could have a very successful freelance career or become an audio director at another big developer.

  3. Joe Hammond says:

    I’m still a little shocked by this news, what the hell Bungie?!

    This news story actually got BBC coverage, it’s obviously a big deal.

  4. It got picked up by the national press here too. Everyone I’ve talked to, including industry members, were gobsmacked too. I think it’s as big as if Nintendo crazily decided to sack Koji Kondo — Halo has made that impact. It’ll definitely be a big knock to Destiny’s publicity and Bungie’s reputation.

  5. As sad it makes to me to see the heart & soul of Bungie go out like this, in a way, it’s also a good thing.
    This could Marty’s chance to possibly return to the Halo franchise (if 343 will let him), ’cause I think he & Kazuma JinnouchI of 343 Industries would make a great team if they scored either Halo for the Xbox One or Halo 5 together.

  6. While it wouldn’t surprise me if something like this happened, I’d actually be more excited to see Martin O’Donnell engage in some sort of freelance career again. I think this would ensure fresh soundtracks for Halo and O’Donnell alike.

  7. Josh Barron says:

    At least Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori’s score to Destiny will be used in the game. I’m also hoping that O’Donnell will return to the Halo franchise. For some reason, if O’Donnell had score Halo 4 I might have forgiven its lackluster story. I couldn’t stand Neil Davidge’s take on the sound of Halo as it failed to elicit as much emotion as the previous scores had done.

  8. Hence why I said before that Marty O’Donnell & Kazuma Jinnouchi might have been a great team, but I place particular emphasis on the words, “might have been”. I think we all need to focus on “what is”, rather than “what could be”. You know, at least until we get told otherwise.

  9. Guys, I think I may have found some information to add on to this from Bungie’s side of the fence (specifically, Bungie’s COO, Pete Parsons).
    It may not be much, but it’s certainly a helluva lot better than nothing at all.

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