Bungie is splitting with Activision (opens in new tab) and gaining total control of the Destiny IP, and while we can only speculate on what exactly that means for the series in the short-term (opens in new tab), the shift will undoubtedly change the game in the years to come. Destiny 2 director Luke Smith discussed the studio’s post-Activision path in the latest This Week At Bungie blog post (opens in new tab), affirming that Bungie will only put more into Destiny going forward.
“Long-term, Bungie is committed to Destiny,” Smith said. “We created the universe and we hold its future entirely in our hands. The vast majority of the team is hard at work envisioning future experiences, enemies, and ways to play the Guardian you’ve been building since 2014. We’re going to keep doing that. We’re thinking about what it means to be truly independent, what it means to self-publish, and crucially, what Destiny’s future can now look like for our players. It was a busy Fall, and it is going to be a busy year. When I look ahead and think about Destiny and where it could go, I see a bright future, with roots in a memorable past. Not everything has been lost in the dark corners of time.”
Smith didn’t say any more about those dark corners of time and what exactly was lost in them, but he did shed some light on the studio’s more immediate plans for Destiny. As previously reported, Bungie is committed to delivering the content on Destiny 2’s annual pass (opens in new tab) DLC roadmap. According to Smith, the next chunk of content on that roadmap, the Joker’s Wild, will benefit from the missteps of Black Armory.
“We’ve learned a lot from Black Armory that we will apply to future releases,” Smith said, “most notably that we’d like the beginning experiences of content drops to be a better point of convergence for the player base. In Black Armory, we set the Power requirement for the first forge too high, and that meant it wasn’t a great chance to jump into some new content. We want to find the line between new content that many players can play, and aspirational content for players to progress toward. We’re exploring improvements to catch-up mechanics for players in upcoming seasons.”
Smith also touched on one of the bigger question marks hanging over Bungie’s separation with Activision: what about Activision-owned partners like Vicarious Visions, who worked on Destiny 2’s PC port, and High Moon Studios, who pitched in on Forsaken? Well, as expected, those partners are staying with Activision, so all the work will fall to Bungie. However, Smith said Vicarious Visions is “currently readying their Destiny swan song with content that will appear in the upcoming Season of [Redacted],” cheekily alluding to the mysterious Penumbra DLC that will polish off the annual pass. Vicarious Visions has done right by Destiny 2 in the past, so it’ll be interesting to see another collaborative effort from them.
When Activision expressed disappointment (opens in new tab) with Destiny 2: Forsaken’s sales numbers, Smith took to Twitter to publicly rebut the sentiment. At the time, he said, “We are not disappointed with Forsaken. We set out to build a game that Destiny players would love, and at Bungie, we love it too. Building Destiny for players who love it is and will remain our focus going forward.” It sounds like that approach hasn’t changed.