Going for the gold.
With Rise of Iron nearly here, Bungie revealed new PvP updates coming to Destiny at Gamescom 2016. While players will be receiving new maps and the game mode Supremacy, it’s the addition of customizeable Private Matches that was by far the most surprising. This has been a requested feature from the Destiny community since the title’s inception, and demand only grew with the massive success of The Taken King expansion.
There is little doubt that Private Matches will inspire users to create some amusing and unique game types to play with their friends, but it’s the possibility for Destiny to finally break into the esports scene that’s interesting. This title has always suffered from a true lack of organized competitive play, despite modes such as Trials of Osiris and Iron Banner. Trials of Osiris’ 3v3 gameplay took Destiny by storm and offered the closest experience for a real competitive scene, but the only way to play in pre-determined matches was for two teams to search for a match at the same time. This was obviously highly inconsistent.
Destiny has had almost all of the tools surrounding its PvP gameplay to develop a healthy competitive scene. Given that Bungie has done a good job with balancing weapons, sub-classes, and maps, private matches were the last piece of the puzzle missing. However, with them now arriving, we have to ask if it’s too late to develop a strong esports scene.
While it’s true that Destiny has a strong community presence in general, with the second installment set to release next year, there isn’t a lot of time for an esports scene to truly cultivate in the original title. Games like Overwatch have been building a competitive scene since the actual game was in Beta, while Destiny is a title just beginning on that road well past its initial release and hype.
The primary success of the addition may turn out to be a test of Destiny 2’s perspective esports opportunities. Bungie is no stranger to the esports scene; Halo 2 was one of the most popular competitive shooters in history. Destiny may not live up to the scale of DOTA 2 or Overwatch, and it may not sell out arena tournaments in the coming months, but this small feature could breath new life into a slightly stagnant title and a part of the community that has been largely ignored. That community, hopefully, will transfer to and flourish in Destiny 2, which is likely to include the most vital gameplay introduced throughout Destiny’s complicated lifespan.
Either way, it will be quite curious to see how much, if at all, the competitive scene will grow from the addition of Private Matches. It’s something that Destiny has desperately needed since Trials of Osiris was introduced and may very well help this title rise above all others this Fall. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Update (August 17, 2016):
MLG has picked up Destiny and a large amount of teams are already registering to compete against each other. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise as players have been waiting to truly test their skills against one another since the game’s release. Now we have to wait and see if Destiny draws enough viewers to be a sustainable model and if it can grow to the level of other popular competitive shooters.