Valorant game director Joe Ziegler leaves Riot for Bungie

Joe Ziegler LinkedIn profile pic
(Image credit: Joe Ziegler (via LinkedIn))

Joe Ziegler, who spent 12 years at Riot Games—most recently as game director on the hit shooter Valorant—has a new home at Destiny 2 studio Bungie.

Ziegler announced his departure a couple weeks ago, saying he was "departing with a heart full of gratitude for Riot Games and all of you for the amazing memories we've shared together." He didn't reveal where he was headed at the time, though, saying only that he would share his new home "very soon."

Today he dropped the other shoe, saying on Twitter that he was headed to the house that Destiny built. "Update: Happy to announce my new home is at Bungie working on new stuff that hopefully will one day get to be played by you all," Ziegler tweeted. "Much <3."

(Image credit: Joe Ziegler (Twitter_)

Ziegler hasn't shared any more information about his new gig at Bungie, but his LinkedIn profile indicates that he's taken on the role of game director, similar to the positions he held at Riot. But director of which game, exactly? That's the big secret right now. He could be taking on a role with Destiny 2, but I think it's more likely that he'll help head up one of the non-Destiny games that Bungie currently has on the go. 

There are at least a few to choose from. In 2019, Bungie CEO Pete Parsons said the studio hoped to release a non-Destiny game sometime before 2025, and in mid-2021 the studio began hiring for an all-new "multiplayer action shooter." There's also something called Matter, which may or may not be in active development, and something else that will apparently be "comedic with lighthearted and whimsical characters." 

Bungie has historically been a one-game-at-a-time studio, and since 2014 that game has been Destiny. But now that Bungie is backed by Sony, it can at least theoretically bring more resources to bear, through both in-house expansion and support from other Sony studios.

Hopefully, Ziegler will shed some light on what he's getting up to at Bungie fairly soon—we'll let you know when he does.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.