Thoughts On Destiny 2
Since its initial release in 2014, Destiny immediately became a fan favorite for almost anyone who played the Halo series. If you were a fan of Master Chief, it was a shoe-in that you would fall in love with the Guardians. After four expansions Bungie finally decided to retire the original Destiny and reboot the series through a second game. Arguably the most exciting detail in this release is the inclusion of PC gamers through the Blizzard app. This inclusion sounded great at first, but much like the rivalry between Xbox and PlayStation, I don’t think Bungie anticipated the level of backlash that arose (or maybe they did). A divide was created between the two consoles when Bungie initially released information that PlayStation players would receive additional content at no cost just because of the platform they chose. This divide has continued into Destiny 2 but now includes PC players who were forced to wait seven weeks before being able to play. Like many other people, I chose to buy the game on Xbox in September just to buy it a second time in October on PC.
Bungie’s new release in the Destiny universe has received a lot of criticism over the last two months but is any of it justified? Most people who have picked up the game just to create one character would say it is unjustified. If you’re one of the top 1% that plays multiple hours a day, you would agree with what is being said (and maybe you’re the one saying it). The controversy that arises in the Destiny community right now is the lack of “end game” content. Once you play the campaign, level up your character close to the max power level (305), and complete the raid, there is no additional content for you. Sure, you can play the crucible and trials of the nine, but how long will it take for that to become tiresome. The release of Iron Banner and Faction Rallies can assist with breaking that lull in content but one week is not enough time to correct the current precedence: there just isn’t enough content to keep people around.
The Current State of the Game
The current state of the community can be summarized in one simple question. When you develop a game, do you base it on the 99% or the top 1%? At first appearance, you may say that 99% is much larger than the 1% and that justifies building a game towards the majority. Let me attempt to sway your opinion.
In the business world, it is common knowledge that when you develop a product, you must first know your “target market.” You should learn what they like, how they like it, what makes them pull out their wallets, and how to keep getting into their wallet. This basic formula is one of the primary differences between a successful business and a failure. Underestimating your target market or making it too broad will result in your product not receiving traction and failing. Unfortunately, that is what Bungie has done. By building a game to the 99%, they have created too broad of a game that appeals to no one. This is much of the same thing that happened around the initial release of Destiny. They developed a game with an inaccurate definition of their target market, and they almost failed. The top 1% of players are the only reason Destiny existed past the first two expansions.
Alternating a little bit; let’s take this from another perspective (if that wasn’t enough to convince you). What is the typical investment of the 99%? One base game. That’s it. This comes down to about $60 (based on your region). How does that compare to someone in that top 1%? I can only speak for myself, but I have not stopped playing Destiny since the beta in 2014, and I’ve spent about $350.00 on the series. I purchased the base game twice (I started playing on Xbox 360 but later switched to Xbox One); I bought all four expansions; I bought the Taken King twice (expansion for me and the whole disk with all expansions for a friend that I wanted to game with); Rise of Iron, and Destiny 2 for Xbox One and PC. Oh, and I purchased about $20 of silver when that first released. I have spent the same amount as six other people we could lump into the “99%”. I will most likely buy the expansion pass on Xbox One and PC (another $60) while continuing to buy each expansion afterward on both systems. I may even buy a PS4 to play with my brother-in-law. In addition to spending this money, I will continue to play Destiny 2 while most of the players in the 99% have already moved on to Call of Duty or Battlefront 2.
We could summarize the pain felt by the Destiny community in a straightforward statement. The real players who kept the series alive feel betrayed. They stayed around while everyone else left. They gave Bungie constructive (for the most part) criticism that resulted in a fantastic product by the third and fourth expansion. The Taken King was a great game that was the result of collaboration with the Destiny community. Had it not been for that top 1% and the right amount of response from Bungie, Destiny could have become the Division (R.I.P.).
I will give a little bit of credit to Bungie who appears to be making positive strides towards revamping Destiny 2. They made all the money they wanted from the 99%, and now they’re shifting towards that 1% who will come back when they make changes.