Halo: the composer sues Microsoft for non-payment, it could block the TV series

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Marty O’Donnell, original composer of Halorevealed that he and fellow composer Mike Salvatori have filed lawsuit to Microsoft in June 2020 after spending 10 years arguing with the Redmond company regarding their requests. Now, the two are about to attempt mediation, but in the event of bankruptcy it would all end up in court.

The composers say they have licensed the Halo music to the original developer of the saga, Bungie, which was acquired by Microsoft prior to the franchise’s launch in 2001. By the time of the acquisition, O’Donnell had just become a full-time employee of Bungie, serving as the studio’s audio director. Salvatori remained independent, working at O’Donnell Salvatori Inc, of which O’Donnell also remained a part.

Microsoft states that Halo’s music was created under an employment agreement rather than a license and that therefore it is Microsoft that has the rights to what O’Donell and his colleague created.


“It was never an employee job,” he argued O’Donnell. “It has always been a licensed deal.” O’Donnell said the lawsuit is not intended to gain control over Halo’s music. The couple wants to be paid the royalties accumulated over the years.

The accusation against Microsoft is breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty to develop royalty income in a joint venture, breach of duty to act in good faith and fairness, failure to provide an accounting partnership, unjust enrichment, and unlawful interference.

If an agreement between the companies is not reached during the mediation, which is scheduled for next week, the case could end up in court.

The report also reveals that the composers’ legal team has been tasked with figuring out whether a preliminary injunction could be granted for block the release of the Halo TV show made in collaboration with Paramount, which is expected to debut on March 24, 2022.

In the past, Marty O’Donnell won the legal battle with Bungie for unfair dismissal.

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