Don't forget they fired their award winning composer who'd been with them since Marathon (?) days & treated him bad while doing so - made me wonder what was going on over there at the executive level (and add a bit of apprehension for this game's release - which turned out to be warranted).
The problem is Activision. That's the problem with Activision - they are all about the money, and even Kottick's admitted to it. And they've already forced Bungie's hand - it's presumed Activision put pressure on Bungie's board to fire Marty. He's been there since the beginning I believe - one of the founding members.
Unfortunately, Marty had the last laugh. First, the courts awarded him unpaid overtime and vacation accrued ($30K, plus another $30K for being idiots for not just giving it to him, and $40k in attorney's cost). And in the past couple of weeks, the courts also re-awarded him Bungie Founder's Shares, that Bungie tried to illegal take from him.
Well, the courts ruled that according to the terms of issuance, yes, Marty is due all his shares (even ones that weren't issued yet), undiluted. The argument that he left was invalid since the only way the shares could get cancelled was if he voluntarily left. Since he was forced out, he's still due all shares. And Bungie even protested saying Marty would use his shares to screw up the business because he holds powerful shares as an ex-employee forced out. The judge disregarded that reason basically stating that Bungie made the bed.
So $100K and powerful shares because Activision didn't want him. (Probably because he cost a lot of money and with Paul McCartney's special track). And Marty's not obliged to sell those shares, either. So he technically still has a say.
Bungie's following the path of Blizzard - from great gaming company to hollowed out shell coasting on a name.
Hell, Bungie/Activision made a super classic mistake - they didn't let game reviewers have a go in advance. The cynical response (and history has shown it to be true) is that it's because the game is so bad, they can at least count on a few early sales before reviews basically end up killing sales. They tried to couch it in terms of "we want everyone to evaluate it on the full content with real players" but that rings hollow - the easiest way to do that is to recruit a bunch of beta players for a special play session for reviewers.
Ars Technica wasn't kind to it either. Their same-day early review showed a lack of content (though they were kind in saying "the servers worked". Their later review calls it "Rent it" saying there's not enough content for whatever-kind-of-game-it-is.
Somehow, after taking 4 years to do it (2010 - Halo Reach), to release this disappointment means that Bungie probably had a few ideas for a Halo MMO like game in the background, then used that. And tons of committee meetings later, well, you have this as everyone tried to get their say in the game. Resulting in something no one is quite sure what it is.
Hell, I suppose the final insult is when Activision reported "shipped" numbers. Well, at least they got a bunch of money from Sony for exclusives.