Former VALORANT game director joins Bungie, ramping up new competitive shooter speculation

Anticipation is rising.

Former VALORANT game director Joe Ziegler, one of the first and most prominent figures behind the successful multiplayer shooter’s development, has joined Destiny 2 developer Bungie as a game director and could potentially lead the development in Bungie’s next competitive shooter project.

Ziegler is credited with coming up with the idea of developing VALORANT while he and other designers were theorizing other Riot titles, according to an interview with Polygon back in 2020. Ziegler eventually took on the game director role for VALORANT until December 2022 and has now landed at Bungie.

With experience as a game director for one of the most popular multiplayer competitive shooters in recent memory, Ziegler’s arrival at Bungie could be a strong indication that the competitive PvP title the company has been incubating is moving forward with its development cycle.

Over the past couple of years, Bungie has created numerous job listings on its site for new projects, including an “incubation multiplayer systems designer” who would focus on “competitive multiplayer game mechanics that provide strategic depth and opportunities for counterplay,” which is about an apt description for a game similar to VALORANT as you could ask for. Other current listings (as of Dec. 19, 2022) for the roles of lead combat designer, level designer, gameplay designer, economy designer, and others could also be for this project.

At the beginning of 2022, Sony bought Bungie for $3.6 billion and brought it on to its ambitious plan to launch more than 10 different live-service games between then and the end of 2025. One of these potential titles is the supposed competitive title from Bungie titled “Project Matter.”

Ziegler has not publicly commented on what he’s working on with Bungie as of yet, but the wording of his announcement does lean toward the idea of him working on a new title that’s a long way away from a potential release, as opposed to working on more current Destiny 2 development.

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