Bungie is reviving its Marathon IP to create a Player versus Player extraction game. It’s the long-awaited next title from Bungie that we’ve been waiting years for the Destiny and Halo creator to announce, and the Sony-owned studio did it right in the middle of today’s PlayStation Showcase.
Bungie has only dropped a teaser and website so far, but Marathon is currently in development for PS5, Xbox Series S / X, and PC with full cross-play and cross-save. Here’s how Bungie describes Marathon:
become a runner in bungie’s new sci-fi pvp extraction shooter. compete for survival, riches, and renown in a world of evolving, persistent zones, where any run can lead to greatness.
It looks like Marathon will be set in a sci-fi universe in 2850, with “clone technology” that includes synthetic bodies and conscious shifting abilities. Players are known as Runners in the game, and the brief teaser trailer shows players in an arena with full-body armor and the usual assortment of weapons to take out opponents.
“We have a tremendous amount of respect for the original Marathon games and, from the very start, we’ve wanted to honor that, especially the mythology, story, and themes of the world,” explains Marathon game director Christopher Barrett in a blog post. While this latest version of Marathon isn’t a direct sequel, it will have references for players of the original first-person shooter that debuted in 1994 on the Mac.
“The original Marathon games revealed story moments through terminals, all in text,” says Barrett. “But now we have so many more ways to immerse players in this world, both in and out of game. We’ll be carrying that through in the design of this game.” As this is a PvP game there is no single-player campaign mode and Bungie is creating persistent and evolving zones in Marathon.
In a separate Bungie blog, Barrett also confirms dedicated servers for Marathon and “vigorous anti-cheat measures.” Destiny 2 players have had to put up with peer-to-peer connectivity, so it’s a welcome change that Bungie is moving to dedicated servers for Marathon.
Extraction shooters have been growing in popularity among shooter fans recently, with Hunt: Showdown, Second Extinction, and The Cycle: Frontier all experimenting with the format. Bungie is a big name, putting Marathon immediately in the leagues of Escape From Tarkov and Call of Duty: Warzone’s DMZ mode.
Bungie hasn’t mentioned a release date yet, but the studio said in the past (before the Sony acquisition) that it planned to launch at least one new IP by 2025. “While I can’t give a timeline on when that information will be coming what I can say is this: The next time you hear from us about Marathon, we’ll be able to show you the gameplay and will be much closer to launch,” says Marathon general manager Scott Taylor.
Update, May 24th 5:20PM ET: Article updated with comments from Bungie.