This week may have been the most important week that Destiny has had in a long time. Not only did we get Crimson Days – for better or worse – but we finally, finally got some actual guidance on what is coming down the pipe for Bungie/Activision’s game. The timing also sheds, potentially, a little light on why things have been quiet lately. Let’s talk about it.
First off, Bungie’s been saying for a while now that there’s something else coming this spring. There’s still no definitive time for when that comes our way – my guess is still April – but we know now that it’s a PvE themed event. And in truth, Bungie for the first time switched up their terminology with it – they’ve been calling all of this recent content “events”. This week they called it a content update – not the same that they’ve called the DLC, but still a different term could mean a little different actual content. And based on some of the details they outlined, that looks pretty true. A Light Level increase is coming – the first since the launch of Hard Mode put it at 320. The real eye-catcher to me though was that they said the content is designed with replayability in mind. That sounds like Strikes/Raids/Arena kind of content, and not timed content like Festival of the Lost/SRL/Crimson Days. Trying to predict what that is is a little silly right now though since we have absolutely nothing to go on, so I’ll hold off on that. I do have something that I hope it is though.
The other real big news dealt more with the long-term future for the game. Kotaku had an article a few weeks back saying that Destiny 2 was pushed back to 2017 – it had yet to even be announced and it was delayed. What we learned yesterday was that is indeed the case – the true, full sequel to Destiny will hit next year. We are getting something substantial this year though – with a “large expansion” this fall. My guess is that will be somewhere in between The Taken King and Dark Below/House of Wolves; probably paid content too – Bungie/Activision needs to bring in some revenue this year aside from just Silver purchases. And here’s the thing – that could be exactly what the game needs. Pushing a true sequel back to next year should make everything better. It gives Bungie more time to craft exactly the game that they want – and take everything that the community has said about the state of the game. My biggest hope is that they do move away from last-gen consoles – it has to be only on PS4/Xbox One. The only real question that I can’t help but ask is timing – 2017 is a long time away, and is a big window for launch. If it’s fall 2017, that might end up being too little, too late.
Finally, my last takeaway from this week’s news is one that I don’t actually know is fact. It’s the timing of the news – Bungie put up their Weekly Update literally minutes after Activision posted their investor call notes. I don’t know for sure – and we probably won’t ever know for sure – but it really feels like that Bungie was held up a little by Activision on this. Maybe it was behind an NDA to not say anything before the investor call. Maybe it was a good faith thing to push both items up in the news cycle. Maybe it’s a result of the CEO shake-up at Bungie. Regardless, I think it made me think that Activision has a little more control over Destiny than we maybe thought. There’s still a long time to go – it’s still a ten-year plan for the series after all – so there’s still a lot to learn.