Halo Composer Marty O’Donnell Tells Fans to “Destroy” Previously Shared Destiny Music In Court-Ordered Video

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Image: Bungie

Marty O’Donnell, the legendary game music composer behind most of the Halo soundtracks, has published a video telling fans to “destroy” any of the Destiny music that he graciously shared in 2019 following his bitter exit from Bungie and Activision. The video was mandated by King County Superior Court, which determined earlier this year that O’Donnell violated the terms of a previous lawsuit when he uploaded videos of Music of the Spheres, an ambitious, eight-part score that Bungie ultimately released in 2018 following a leak. O’Donnell has also been ordered to pay his ex-employer back tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.


“I do not have, and have not had since at least April 2014, the legal authority to possess or distribute non-commercially available material related to Destiny or Music of the Spheres (including material I composed or created while working for Bungie),” O’Donnell says in the video.

“This material is owned by Bungie. If you posted any of these assets on a website or other publicly available platform, you should remove the content immediately. If you have copies of these assets, you should refrain from sharing and destroy any copies of them.”

“This request does not apply to any Destiny or Music of the Spheres material that you lawfully obtained from commercially available sources.”

A summary of what went down between O’Donnell and Bungie/Activision, courtesy of Kotaku:

[…] Activision decided to not use his music for Destiny 1’s E3 2013 trailer. According to court docs from back in 2015, O’Donnell was furious about the change and directly complained to Bungie CEO Harold Ryan. The rest of Bungie management agreed that Activision overstepped and filed a formal complaint, but the publisher overruled it. O’Donnell’s plans to release the project as a separate release were denied by both Bungie and Activision. This ultimately led to O’Donnell going online when the Activision-scored E3 trailer premiered and tweeting that the music was not Bungie’s, leading to a clash with the developer and eventually after further issues between the studio and composer, he was fired without cause on April 11, 2014.

Lawsuits followed. In one lawsuit—which O’Donnell won—he still was ordered to return “all material” from Destiny and Music of the Spheres—not just the final scores, but every version, component, and variation.

However, in 2019 (following 2018 leaks of Music of the Spheres score online) O’Donnell began uploading music from the project. Bungie’s lawyers argued this directed violated the previous injunction and in May 2021, a judge ruled in Bungie’s favor.

O’Donnell’s most recent compositions can be found in the soundtrack for Golem, a VR title that was released by Highwire Games in November 2019. Highwire was founded by the composer in 2015.

Source: Marty O’Donnell (via Kotaku)

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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