After a six month gap I recently jumped back into Destiny 2, and even for me the seasoned player, I was bewildered by the activities that were available. Between the usual Strikes, quick Crucible action and tackling a Forge, Destiny 2 has grown into something that its developer Bungie has always wanted it to be: A proper hobby. There’s always something to do, always a new high to hit and the road to Shadowkeep looks filled with all manner of activities to last long enough until the Season of Opulence wraps up.
The Annual Pass may be just what Destiny needed when it arrived hot on the heels of two lacklustre expansions and the far hotter Forsaken expansion. Splitting the Destiny 2 experience of live content updates into seasonal drops that further refined and tweaked the experience, the focused seasons put Destiny 2 on a track that not only catered to its fanbase but doubled down on being the kind of game which isn’t trying to appease as many demographics as possible.
“”Are we a AAA blockbuster retail game for Walmart? Diet Halo? WOW with guns? We’ve been tossing this around for a long time,” Destiny 2 general manager Marc Noseworthy said to PC Gamer.
We want to pick a corner and stand on it. Let’s not worry about Joe Walmart, like, someone who buys GTA and one other game. We don’t want to be that one other game. That person doesn’t want Destiny. They’re not going to marry Destiny the way we want players to marry it, you know? The Annual Pass is the shape that we want things to take: spread the peanut butter evenly over the bread.
At the same time, Destiny 2 is preparing to welcome a massive influx of new players when it goes free to play in September. New Light will open up a large swathe of the game to newcomers, while the financial model ahead will be easy enough to understand: Grab one of the four new seasons for a few dollars or in one Annual Pass package, hop into a massive expansion that arrives on an annual schedule. What Bungie is looking to do going forward, is to make certain their sandbox is still flexible enough to handle this new content without creating too many barriers for new players.
“We need to keep giving you reasons to champion the game to your friends,” creative director Luke Smith explained.
We need to keep doing right by our players. Players want us to deliver joy to them at least every three months and in a pretty substantial way. But will that really satisfy players? Will that really drive the game and push it forward and create interesting pursuits? And what we need more than anything else is just systems that make you wanna chase the thing and make the content that already exists more meaningful.
Ever since the Activision split came along, Destiny 2 has been fine-tuning its foundation to feel more inviting, more meaningful and less predatory in nature. With a freemium fanbase around the corner, Bungie’s got a hell of a road to travel. So far, it looks like they’re making some good decisions on which routes to take.
Last Updated: July 2, 2019