Sony might own Bungie, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping Bungie from announcing its latest project for Playstation, Xbox and PC. In a rather surprising reveal during the Playstation Showcase, the legendary studio that brought us Halo and Destiny is returning to its oldest series, Marathon. This will be their first new project in a decade, so the hype is real.
The first Marathon game was released back in 1994 and Bungie would follow it up with two sequels before being bought by Microsoft. In the first game, players took on the role of a security officer attempting to repel an alien invasion onboard a colony ship named Marathon.
But this new game is a little different. In a small interview on the Playstation Blog, Bungie’s Christopher Barrett says: “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. “
The biggest change is that this new Marathon game won’t have a singleplayer campaign, focusing entirely on player versus player action.
“Marathon is designed from the start as a PvP-focused game and won’t have a single-player campaign.” said Barrett. “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.”
There’s also an emphasis on players being able to effect the world. Barrett provided this example; “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.”
Barrett wrapped up the short interview by saying that while they have no release date to share, the next time we see Marathon will be when they have gameplay ready to show.
Given Bungie’s success with Destiny 2 as a live-service game and Sony stating that one of the reasons they bought Bungie was to help out with their numerous upcoming live-service titles, I think we can safely assume Marathon will be one of those live-service projects.
Personally, I’m a little deflated. When the Marathon logo popped up I was incredibly happy to see Bungie returning to the series and even happier to see them tackle a new, singleplayer shooter after so long working on Destiny. The announcement that Marathon will actually be a PvP game burst my bubble, though. Hopefully once I see the gameplay Bungie will make me a believer.