Bungie Unveils PlayStation Showcase Surprises
May 24, 2023 - Bungie
Today we showed Bungie fans worldwide a glimpse of our future at the PlayStation Showcase, in the forms of two major game announcements. First up, we officially announced Marathon to the world! This is the first completely new project from Bungie in more than a decade. Marathon is a sci-fi PvP extraction shooter where players will embody cybernetic mercenaries known as Runners. Exploring a lost colony on the mysterious planet of Tau Ceti IV, Runners – working solo or as part of three-person crews – will fight for survival, for riches, and for fame.
To coincide with the announcement, we also released our premiere CGI trailer, debuting the first look at the world of Marathon, the Runners fighting for survival, and the game’s bold visual style:
We’re incredibly excited to announce the game and to share our vision for the future. We know that you are curious to know more, and we will have much to say in the future. For now, know that Marathon is currently in development on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC, featuring cross save and cross play. Check out the Marathon site to learn more about the game and follow Marathon on social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) to stay up to date. Below, don’t miss a Q&A with Marathon General Manager Scott Taylor and Game Director Christopher Barrett, where they discuss debuting Marathon to the world.
Destiny 2: The Final Shape
Talk about major cameos! Also, during today’s Sony event, we showed off the first look at Destiny 2: The Final Shape, including the brief appearance of everyone’s favorite Hunter, Cayde-6. We’re delighted to say that actor Nathan Fillion is reprising his role as Cayde for the Destiny Universe.
Today’s tease of the next Destiny 2 expansion was just that: a teaser. The epic conclusion to the Light & Darkness Saga is on its way and we can’t wait to share more with you in August during our Destiny 2 Showcase event. Look for this livestreamed show on Tuesday, August 22, where the Destiny development team will be breaking down everything you need to know about The Final Shape and provide a look forward into the future of Destiny 2.
Whew! It’s been an incredible, exhausting, and exciting day for Bungie. We hope you enjoyed all the fun today and look forward to sharing more with you in the future!
Marathon Announcement Q&A: Scott Taylor and Christopher Barrett
Today you announced Marathon – the first entirely new project announcement from Bungie in more than a decade. How hard has it been keeping this under wraps for so long?
Scott Taylor: So hard! It’s so wild to be talking about this in front of the world. I mean it’s been under wraps for so long, but as a team, we’ve been completely immersed in developing this world behind closed doors at Bungie. Even though there’s still a long way to go before release, it’s fantastic to be able to open up (even just a little) and share what we’ve all been working on.
The name “Marathon” obviously conjures up visions of the original game from 1994 but this is something new.
Christopher Barrett: Finding the right balance is one of the most fun parts of development! We have a tremendous amount of respect for the original Marathon games and, from the very start, we’ve wanted to honor that, especially the mythology, story, and themes of the world. At the same time, our vision for this game is something new. It’s not a direct sequel to the originals, but something that certainly belongs in the same universe and that feels like a Bungie game. Finding those opportunities to nod to the universe’s lore, while also getting to build something different and new has been one of the best parts of developing this game so far.
It’s our aim to create something incredible both for players who are completely new to the Marathon world and for those that have been waiting years for more stories in the Marathon universe. You don’t need to know anything about Marathon to understand or play this game, but if you do, we’ve made the experience with references and deep cuts you’ll recognize.
You mentioned that Marathon will “feel” like a Bungie game. What does that mean for you?
CB: There are many elements to what makes a Bungie game. To me, it runs the gamut from the incredible feel of the weapons to beautiful and evocative world building, rich in lore, immersion, and opportunities for incredible adventure.
With Marathon, one of the areas that is a big focus for us is our player-based storytelling. The original Marathon games revealed story moments through terminals, all in text. But now we have so many more ways to immerse players in this world, both in and out of game. We’ll be carrying that through in the design of this game.
Our design philosophy here is to have players affect the story of the world through their choices and their actions. This approach also lets us shape the overall narrative direction of the game experience while giving players a direct sense of agency and power.
Marathon is designed from the start as a PVP-focused game and won’t have a single-player campaign. Instead, with the PVP experience as our foundation, we’re creating opportunities for player-driven stories to unfold, stories that are integrated with the overarching game narrative. We’re building a world full of persistent, evolving zones, where players create their own journey with every run they take. That might mean an unforgettable firefight against another crew vying for the same loot, or a last-second extraction while beset on all sides.
Beyond just the “story of your last run” however, we want to give players the chance to affect these persistent zones and the larger world as a result. For example, imagine a crew discovering a previously undiscovered artifact that, when activated, opens a new area of the map for all players to explore. In essence, we’re creating a game where the actions of players can have ramifications for the world and players with each unfolding season.
So, a new kind of storytelling for Bungie. What else will feel new for players?
CB: Well, it’s a PvP-first game, something we’ve never done before. That means a focus on all the things that people think about when they think of great competitive experiences. Things like creating moments of tension, and building weapons that look, feel, and sound amazing. We also want to make sure players have tons of strategic choices, both in terms of the gear available and their loadouts, but also on the ground in terms of tactical options, entrance and exfil points, and so on.
Beyond those fundamentals, we’re also focused on approachability and competitive integrity, which are huge points of emphasis for us. We’re prioritizing security and focusing on vigorous anti-cheat measures, as well as dedicated servers, global data centers, active community conversation and feedback, and more. Ultimately, we want to ensure that the competitive experience in Marathon is fair and fun for every player.
‘Extraction shooter’ brings to mind players dying, losing their stuff, tedious gear management, a huge time investment to get back what was lost, and so on. How is the team approaching these kinds of issues with Marathon?
CB: This is something we think about on a regular basis. We want the game to have a sense of danger and tension, we want to it to be thrilling, and to always have the sense that “this run is going to be unforgettable.” At the same time, it’s true that the traditional extraction genre tropes can be frustrating, especially for new players.
One of the ways we’re addressing this is by making the core fantasies of survival and extraction fun, clear, and easy to understand. We want people to quickly understand fundamentals like healing, or oxygen, or how to organize their gear. After all, if they get those things intuitively there’s much more room for tactical thinking and creativity. You know, it’s our job to create the fun and the fantasy, not the busy work and tedium.
The second thing is – and I can’t talk too much about this right now – is that there are so many ways to win in Marathon, and only some of them require getting out alive. In essence, we think there’s an opportunity for players to still have fun, to be fulfilled and rewarded even if they don’t make it to an exfil.
Do you only fight other players in Marathon?
CB: The heart of Marathon’s gameplay experience is PvP but it isn’t the entire story. We’re building a rich, immersive world that will have ample opportunities for exploration and conflict – both against other players and AI-controlled enemies. Combine that with the different objectives and motivations that players will have for each run, as well as the narrative doors that can be unlocked as players discover things and accomplish tasks, and it creates this really rich palette of gameplay possibilities that will only continue to grow and evolve.
You said Marathon is currently in development. What does that mean and do you have a timeline for when fans will hear more about the game?
ST: There’s still a lot of work to do before launch or even before we’re ready to talk about the game in more detail. The team is hard at work, and we’ve got a great base to start from but there is still so much more to do, including continuing to grow our team. That’s one of the most challenging parts of game development: hiring when everything is still under wraps. Now that we’re announced, I’m excited because we can be much more candid about the positions we are looking for and talk more openly to candidates about the work that’s going on and our vision for the game. If you’re interested you can check out our Bungie Careers page to see our open positions, which we’re constantly updating with new roles as needed. Come work with us. We’re working on something we feel is really special.
I know that fans are interested in learning more about Marathon. Believe me we can’t wait to show you more. And while I can’t give a timeline on when that information will be coming, what I can say is this: The next time you hear from us about Marathon, we’ll be able to show you the gameplay and be much closer to launch.
We can’t wait for more. Until then, do you have a story to share from your best Marathon run so far?
ST: So many come to mind. It’s funny, because for me when I think of my “best” runs, I don’t necessarily jump to a run where I got the biggest artifact or dominated with kills. I think about how excited I was to share something insane and unexpected that happened with my friends on the team. For example, I always like to go into the world with a plan, but then be open to that plan being challenged by what I see happening around me.
One time I was on my way to collect some data from the greenhouse to complete a contract for Traxus. I got completely lit up by another crew and some ticks that were poisoning me. I escaped, somehow, but I was in rough shape, and I changed my objective to just getting out alive. As I tried to sneak my way to the exfil I came across a container with a weapon I’d been looking for with some of the best mods in the game. So now I was doubly focused on getting out alive! As I made it to the exfil I saw a crew on top of a building looking for Runners. I was able to hold my exfil as they came after me and get out. I was so tense coming out of that and couldn’t wait to share what happened.
For more on Marathon, visit www.marathonthegame.com.