Martin “Marty” O’Donnell, the longtime Bungie composer behind the music of Destiny and the Halo series, is no longer employed by the studio, as both confirm. According to O’Donnell, who shared the news on Twitter, he was “terminated without cause” by Bungie’s board of directors on April 11.
The response on the studio side doesn’t offer any additional details, though that’s not surprising given that it’s just a farewell post. Bearing the title “There are those who said this day would never come…,” Bungie community manager David “Deej” Dague writes:
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.
There’s no sense yet of what O’Donnell’s next move, but he likely won’t have any trouble finding more work. His pre-Bungie company TotalAudio broke into video games in 1997 with Cyan’s Myst sequel, Riven. It was during this gig that he was introduced to Bungie’s early first-person shooter effort (and Halo precursor) Marathon. O’Donnell eventually hooked up with the Halo studio, with TotalAudio provided the music for the RTS Myth: The Fallen Lords and its sequel, Myth II, as well as Oni.
The Oni gig was preceded by contract renegotiations that ended with O’Donnell formally joining the Bungie team, less than a month before the studio was purchased by Microsoft in 2000. He’s been there ever since, lending his talents to both the Halo series and some portion of the upcoming Destiny.