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Uh oh, Bungie's Marathon gets a new director as the game's creative leadership is reportedly rejigged

The extraction shooter’s under new management, and that may not be where the changes end.

A character being shot in Marathon.
Image credit: VG247/Bungie

It’s been a rough last little bit for Bungie, despite Destiny 2 having continued to get some interesting little additions from time to time. Now, the studio’s Marathon reboot has switched directors, amid reports of a wider shakeup going on around the shooter.

This latest development follows layoffs at the studio late last year, which were followed by reports that Sony has the option to dissolve Bungie’s existing board and take full control of it if it misses its money-making goals by certain margins. Those cuts saw both Destiny 2’s The Final Shape and Marathon be hit with delays, with this being the first big news on the latter since that point.

So what’s happened? Well, first of all, previous project lead Christopher Barrett has officially been swapped out for Joe Ziegler, who has taken over as game director, having previously served in that role for Valorant.

“For the last [nine] months I’ve been working on Marathon as the game director,” Ziegler’s wrote in a tweet confirming the switch, “We’re still baking, but I’m excited to share with you more info on the game as we get closer and closer to bringing it to all of you.” So far, so game development, eh?

Well, according to IGN, Ziegler’s appointment to the role is part of a wider shakeup of the game’s creative leadership and direction. One potential change cited in the report is a shift from having custom player characters to having an ensemble of heroes players could choose between, which sounds like it might not allow you to imprint your personal style on the shooty person you’re playing quite as easily.

IGN also suggests that this is all happening while “ongoing anxiety” hangs over the studio, with some staff fearing that the release of The Final Shape, which is currently set for June 4 this year, could be followed by a fresh round of layoffs, possibly depending on how the expansion performs.

Hopefully that doesn’t end up being the case, especially given how terrible 2024 has been in terms of games industry layoffs to this point, with publishers and studios big and small - including both Microsoft and PlayStation - having slashed headcounts.

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