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Destiny 2 under fire for Game Awards Community Support nomination

After laying off more than 100 people, mostly in the community team, Bungie's Destiny 2 Game Awards nomination has left a bitter taste.

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Being nominated for a Game Award is usually a cause for celebration, but for this year’s “Best Community Support” category, one company has remained awkwardly silent: Bungie. The makers of Destiny 2 are currently at the center of a lot of community backlash after more than 100 people were laid off last month, many of whom were in the community support and social side of the company.

The irony of being nominated for an award whose main contributors are no longer part of the company was quickly pointed out by many former members of the Destiny 2 community team. Liana Ruppert, who got laid off after recently joining as the game’s community manager, responded on X (formerly Twitter) with “While the timing on this [nomination] couldn’t be more ironic, I will shout it until the day I die that the group I got to work with is some of the best in the [business].

“If Destiny wins, I will celebrate THEM, the people, and the player support team.” Other former members of the team took the news less lightly: Griffin Bennett, the former social media lead at Bungie, tweeted “A reminder that your quality of work does not matter. In the end, you’re just a number.”

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This news stirred up some old grudges, too. In 2019 Destiny 2 won the same award it is being nominated for now, and the team that was responsible for all the community support back at the time was not invited to the ceremony, and was later reprimanded for celebrating the victory.

We know all this thanks to a caustic twitter post by former Community Manager at Bungie, Dylan ‘dmg04’ Gafner, who resigned some time ago to become Valorant’s principal community manager at Riot Games. “Cheers to studios who send their community teams to award shows when nominated for community specific awards,” he writes in a November 13 tweet. “Kudos to those that don’t reprimand their community team for celebrating upon a W, too.”

An infographic showing the games nominated for The Game Awards 2023's Community Support category, including Destiny 2

As many users pointed out on X, if Destiny 2 wins, the community could witness one of the most awkward acceptance speeches of all time – after all, the people Bungie would be thanking for the award are, mostly, not in the company anymore. Nevertheless, there are a few on X who advocate for the win, despite the layoffs and the backlash. It could, in fact, be a sign of support to those that lost their jobs, maybe boosting their careers with such a prestigious recognition.

Bungie has remained silent about the nomination, not even celebrating it like other candidates did. Many were quick to point out that maybe this is for the better because as soon as the company would publish anything they would be submerged by an avalanche of backlash. Now only the award night on Thursday, December 7 will tell how this story is going to end.