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Something to look forward to: Before Halo and Destiny, the first-person shooter series Bungie was known for was Marathon. Recent reports indicate the company plans to reboot its 1990s classic, albeit in a format much different from the original trilogy and perhaps more suited to modern FPS tastes.
Sources told Insider Gaming this week that Bungie Software is planning the first new entry in its classic Marathon series in over 25 years. The reports describe the new title as an "extraction" shooter, not unlike Battlestate's Escape from Tarkov or Crytek's Hunt: Showdown.
For those unfamiliar, Bungie released a trilogy of first-person shooters for Macintosh in the 90s called Marathon. Some considered the initial 1994 entry the Mac's answer to Doom, which popularized first-person shooters the year prior. The original Marathon was also the first shooter to introduce mouse look up and down, which soon became standard through later influential games like Quake. Some elements of Bungie's most famous series, Halo, originated in Marathon.
All three original Marathon games have been available for free on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Linux for over a decade.
Unlike its forebears, the new Marathon title won't be a traditional campaign-based shooter if rumors prove true. Instead, Bungie is planning what some have started calling an "extraction" shooter.
After selection missions and loadouts, the game will have players hunt for items, complete objectives, and try to escape safely. Similar to Hunt and Tarkov, players lose all their gathered loot if they die before escaping. Extraction-based shooters typically involve player-versus-player-versus-enemy (PvPvE) gameplay, in which players must contend with both human and AI opponents.
Although Bungie is reaching into the past, it's doing so to make something similar to its most recent work – the online-focused Destiny. Bungie allegedly wants the new Marathon to be an "ultimate" live-service title, featuring rewards and progression through multiple seasons.
Rumors have hinted at what Bungie may be cooking up for a while. Destiny 3 development rumors appeared four years ago. In a Q3 2021 earnings call, Bungie's new owner Sony confirmed ambitions to use Bungie to launch 10 live service games before March 2026. One of these might be Bungie's project codenamed Matter, and the new Marathon title.
Sony has released many successful story-oriented games as of late like God of War, The Last of Us, and Horizon, but few live-service games compared to Microsoft (Forza, Halo, Sea of Thieves) or Ubisoft (Rainbow Six, The Division). Sony's new initiative aims to leverage Bungie's expertise to diversify its portfolio.