A week after a major report from IGN detailing troubling allegations of workplace culture, crunch, and hiring practices within Bungie, the studio’s Head of HR has stepped down from her role.
In a company-wide email seen by IGN and sent earlier today, Gayle d’Hondt — who has been with the studio since 2007 — says that in order for Bungie to move forwards from the problems that have plagued it for years, it will need to do so with its HR team “largely comprised of people new to Bungie.”
“I know that they need to be trusted to be your advocates – not labelled as ‘enablers’ or seen as company resources who provide bad actors with safe harbour,” part of the email says, before adding that her time at Bungie had been punctuated with “deeply challenging interpersonal conflicts”, up to and including the firing of colleagues for “performance, bad behaviour, and for discrimination, racism, and sexual harassment.”
Alarmingly, d’Hondt also mentions in the company-wide email her own experiences, singling out abuse she had suffered from “a man, an executive, and someone I thought was my friend at Bungie — which resulted in Bungie firing him.”
She ends the email with “I am proud of the work I did at this company. I believe I made recommendations that were in the best interest of our people and in service of the company we wish to become. I also believe we made some mistakes, and that to become the better version of ourselves – the company I know we can be – we have to acknowledge and confront them, in good faith, and grow together.”
The original report highlighted particular problems with crunch among Bungie’s narrative team, along with stories of “structural failures with a group of managers who became known for berating employees, encouraging crunch, and consistently delivering racist and sexist remarks.”