Joe Blackburn will be stepping down as game director of Destiny 2 and will be leaving Bungie to pursue new adventures. Blackburn took on the role of game director for Destiny 2 on his return to Bungie in 2020 after a stint at Riot. The position he’s leaving will be filled by Tyson Green, a Bungie developer who has been working with the company since the early days of Myth 2.
Joe Blackburn announced his departure as game director, and subsequently Bungie, in a series of posts on Twitter (now X), on January 30, 2024. While the series of Tweets started out as outlining the milestone Bungie has just achieved in the development of The Final Shape, the messages quickly revealed his future plans.
Next month, The Final Shape will be hitting one of its most critical internal milestones: a ritual we call the End-to-End playtest.
This ritual has been a key part of development since Forsaken.
It’s multiple days of consecutive internal playtesting that not only generates incredibly valuable closing feedback on everything coming this summer, but also spiritually kicks off a shift towards bug fixing and polish work.
Heading into this milestone, I’ve gotten to play 100s of hours of The Final Shape, and what the world-class talent here at Bungie has created has quickly become of the things I’m most proud to have worked on throughout my career.
This ritual will be especially meaningful to me personally, as it will also serve as a moment to pass the torch of Destiny 2 Game Director to the next era of leadership as I head on a new adventure outside the walls of Bungie.
As we hit End-to-End next month, Tyson Green will take the reins as D2 Game Director. If you’ve followed Bungie for any length of time, you’ve heard his name. From Halo PvP to the creation of Exotic weapons in D1, Tyson has been a critical part of Bungie’s legacy since Myth II.
As a deeply invested Guardian before starting here at Bungie, getting to be a part of the Destiny 2 team has been the privilege of a lifetime.
I am and will forever remain a lifelong Bungie fan and believer in what the teams within its walls are capable of.
I’ve still got some time before I pass the torch, but as I look forward to taking a big break from social media, I know I’ll see yall around the Tower. It is going to be great to play Destiny alongside all of you.
From the messages Blackburn has posted, it sounds as though The Final Shape has hit an important stage of completion where the developers can play from start to finish in what’s known as End-to-End playtest. This is the final push before release, where a lot of bugs can be found and squashed.
This internal playtest will be starting in February, at which point Tyson Green will be the new game director of Destiny 2. Green will be known among many Bungie game veterans as the one responsible for things like the REX Easter egg in the original Halo. According to Halopedia, Green served as a campaign level designer for Halo 2 and the multiplayer design lead for Halo 3. Green has also served as the systems creative director for Destiny 2.
While the role of game director for Destiny 2 is in safe hands, it goes without saying that the community will feel the loss of Joe Blackburn. Recently, Blackburn has stepped in front of the camera to have some candid chats with the community, garnering a whole lot of good faith. No doubt the community at large hopes that Tyson Green is able to take a similar stance of openness.
With The Final Shape set to launch on June 4, 2024, Bungie is on the last leg of the race to deliver a product that delights and surprises players. We recently got to chat with a few developers about Season of the Wish and what comes next, and it seems like everyone is excited about what’s to come.
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