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Halo music creator wins legal settlement for unpaid wages from Bungie’s chief (exclusive)

Above: Marty O'Donnell, former audio director at Bungie.

Image Credit: Bungie

Marty O’Donnell, the well-known music composer for the sci-fi shooter series Halo, has settled a lawsuit against Bungie chief executive Harold Ryan.

King County Superior Court judge Jeffrey Ramsdell in Seattle has approved a deal in which Ryan will pay O’Donnell more than $95,000 to settle legal claims related to a lawsuit that O’Donnell filed in May. The lawsuit offered a rare glimpse on what was happening inside Bungie, the original Halo developers who is now at work on the big online shooter Destiny.

O’Donnell was fired on April 11 as audio director at Bellevue, Wash.-based Bungie “without cause,” according to the lawsuit. He was hired in May 2000 and produced the pulse-pounding soundtrack that helped make Halo a memorable hit. Over its lifetime of sales, Halo has grossed an estimated $3.4 billion, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in Superior Court in King County in Washington.

O’Donnell said in the filing that Bungie and Ryan gave no explanation for the firing. The suit notes that Bungie has a policy to pay employees accrued but unused vacation, paid time off, sabbatical time, and other benefits. Ryan and Bungie reportedly promised to pay.

The suit was filed May 1. In an answer on May 27, Bungie and Ryan denied that O’Donnell was due any relief. Under the agreement, Ryan will pay O’Donnell more than $38,385 in unpaid work and vacation time, as well as another $38,385 in double damages. With attorney’s fees and interest, the total judgement for O’Donnell will be $95,019.13.

A spokesperson for Bungie has not answered a request for comment.

More information:

Bungie was founded in 1991 with two goals: to develop games that combine brilliant technology, beautiful art, intelligent stories and deep gameplay, and then sell enough of those games to achieve our real goal of total world domination... read more »

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