Is this an abrupt end for last gen players?
A few days ago, Bungie finally pulled back the curtain on Rise of Iron, the new and final expansion for their shared world shooter Destiny. As with most things Destiny related, this one ran into a bit of controversy, as it was revealed that the expansion would only be available to Xbox One and PS4 owners. If you were still playing on the PS3 or 360, you were basically shit outta luck on that.
Naturally, last gen owners didn’t take that bit of news particularly well, and Activision and Bungie later clarified by stating that they were exploring options to help the transition for last gen players to avoid being screwed over. The details haven’t fully been hammered out yet (the expansion drops in late September, so we probably won’t know until July at the earliest), but there is a question that should be talked about, namely if Bungie should really be giving last gen players access to the expansion on the PS3 and 360.
On one hand, you could say that last gen players should’ve sucked it up by now and gone to a current console. Both have been out for three years and now have multiple features and games that make them well worth the price, and they’re both now much more affordable than they were at the beginning of their life cycle. It’s not even like this is the first game to stop supporting last gen consoles; Mortal Kombat X danced around delaying the PS3 and 360 versions before WB finally cancelled it, and Black Ops 3’s last gen version just only has the multiplayer that comes with the disc and no single player content. Some may feel like the old gen players are entitled about wanting an upgrade for when they switch to current gen and they’re trying to get out of the $30 that other Destiny players will have to fork over.
When it comes to Destiny specifically, Bungie and Activision made it very clear that last gen players could get a digital version of the game for free before early January of last year. Doing so kept all of your character progress, your gear, and stats, (even the season pass and expansions) and you could always continue playing on the last gen system if you so wanted to. It isn’t like they just told people on the last possible day, it’s something that they talked about in the months leading up to release and reminded players of fairly often. It was a straightforward process that had little to no roadblocks at all. Not to mention that by now, the amount of players who are playing Destiny on last gen consoles as opposed to current gen has to be stacked in favor of the latter at this point.
On the other hand, for Bungie to stop supporting Destiny content with Rise of Iron being an expansion as opposed to just stopping at Destiny 2 is a different thing. The difference between this and say, MKX is that the latter matter of fact goes “here, we’re gonna save you $60 because this isn’t up to our standards.” Last gen Destiny players have probably already spent at least $120, if not more, just thanks to the base game, two expansions, and Taken King bundle. While they may not be happy to spend $30 on one final adventure in Destiny, it does feel dickish to suddenly be cut off at this point in the first game’s life.
It may have been a given that Destiny’s future adventures wouldn’t continue on the PS3 and 360, but cutting support for the systems off before the new big game comes just feels completely mean and arbitrary. When the PS4 and Xbox One first came out, it felt logical and made sense to stick with the game on the last gen consoles. That’s where most people were still playing their games, and aside from some better graphics, there was nothing to really justify getting the game on PS4 or the Bone. This is a prevailing thought that people still have, and the reactions to Rise of Iron being current gen only have shown that.
Perhaps this would be better accepted if Rise of Iron wasn’t $30 or Bungie had revealed this information earlier, but now, it just comes off as not caring about a part of their community that’s poured the past two years and however many dollars into this game. That’s definitely not the case, of course Bungie cares, and if they wanted to show that, they should definitely make Rise of Iron available to the last gen players. At this point, it feels abrupt to end the adventures of last gen Guardians, and if nothing else, they deserve some closure.
Plus, Rise has a fire axe, and that’s something that everyone should get to experience.