Fired 'Halo' Composer Wins Settlement Over Unpaid Wages (Report)


Renowned "Halo" music composer Marty O'Donnell has prevailed in his wrongful termination lawsuit against the president of Bungie, the original developers of the popular sci-fi shooter series. A judge in King County, Wash. has approved a settlement awarding O'Donnell more than $95,000.

O'Donnell was fired on April 11 from Bungie, where he worked as audio director since 2000. On social media and in the lawsuit, he claimed the termination was "without cause" and that the company and chief executive Harold Ryan offered no explanation for the move.

Filed in May, the lawsuit accused Ryan of "willfully and intentionally" causing Bungie to violate a company practice of paying terminated employees unused vacation, paid time off, sabbatical, and other benefits. According to O'Donnell, Ryan and Bungie agreed to pay him those benefits.

Ryan issued a response to the suit weeks later, denying all allegations.

Under the agreement, as first reported by VentureBeat, Ryan will pay O'Donnell double of what he's due in unpaid work and vacation time ($38,385 x2) plus attorney's fees and interest, bringing the total judgement to $95,019.13. Bungie has not issued a comment on the settlement.

The "Halo" series has grossed an estimated $3.4 billion since launching in 2001 and has spawned films, toys and several popular soundtracks. Starting with the music for "Halo 3," O'Donnell incorporated large orchestras -- as opposed to synthesized instrumentation.

Bungie has moved on from "Halo" and is now prepping a new shooter called "Destiny," which O'Donnell had been working on before he was terminated. Listen to his pulsating theme for the game below.


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.