IGN’s Rebekah Valentine posted last week a report on Bungie’s internal struggle for a better working environment. Unlike the current situation at Activision Blizzard, Valentine’s report seems to describe more of an ongoing initiative to improve more than a decade of toxicity. This week, Gayle D’Hondt, the company’s longtime HR director, is stepping down.
This news also comes from Valentine at IGN. Following her previous report, Valentine got hold of an internal email sent by D’Hondt making the announcement. As she steps down as senior manager of employee relations at Bungie, it appears D’Hondt is still with the company. At least for now, as the email mentions, both parties will determine “the appropriate next steps.”
– Bungie (@Bungie) December 10, 2021
D’Hondt recounted her time in HR, saying she believed Bungie’s HR department was doing a good job, including an executive she herself was the target of abuse. She also notes “we’ve made mistakes and in order to become the best version of ourselves – the company that I know we can be – we have to recognize them and face them, in good faith, and grow together.”
Work environments at video game publishing and development companies have been an explosive topic during the pandemic. Labor issues in general have exploded, but as a result we’ve seen the notoriously secretive gaming industry more than ever the target of public scrutiny. That said, it’s likely that many stories like this will roll out of Bungie and other offices sooner rather than later.