The Covid-19 pandemic might not be over, but 3 years in, it sure feels like society is ready to pretend that it is. But with Riot recently courting criticism by dropping vaccine and mask requirements as it asked developers to return to the office (and Activision quickly rolling back its own plans to end vaccine requirements), Bungie has decided that there's actually no good reason videogames can't be made remotely.
Last night, the Destiny developer announced that most current and future roles will be available remotely or on a hybrid basis, as long as you live in what it calls "Bungie-approved remote locations".
Bungie is going digital-first. Most current and future roles will be fully remote eligible in these states with more coming soon! https://t.co/5Jv3FZRv28 pic.twitter.com/Ot43z9tgZmApril 12, 2022
Elaborating in a reply, Bungie's Matt Purcell explained that the state restrictions are largely down to taxes and employment laws, things that take "time and effort to get set up on a state-by-state basis". That said, it's possible that over time the selection may expand, and a handful of roles on Bungie's jobs board are already available remotely from anywhere within the US.
It's a welcome contrast to broader societal moves towards forcing workers back into offices, both within and beyond games, and a reminder that there is nothing inherent to games that requires them to be made in a packed building. The last 2-3 years has seen developers and publishers struggle to adjust, and plenty of games saw major delays—but they didn't stop coming out entirely.
More than just working under Covid, going remote opens up access to developers who may not live near expensive cities or are unable to work on-site for various reasons. Bungie's not the first studio to do this, though it's definitely one of the biggest, and will hopefully encourage more in that direction.