Bungie is taking full control of Destiny, and is effectively now an independent studio, as crazy as that sounds.
While it was well-known that not everything was going as smoothly as both parties would have liked, I don’t believe many anticipated that a split would happen now, smack in the middle of Destiny 2’s lifespan.
I would have guessed they both would have stuck it out through Destiny 3 considering how much money is at stake here, but here we are. What the heck happens now?
For the short term, there shouldn’t be any immediate major changes. Bungie isn’t going to delete Eververse or anything dramatic like that.
I’m no developer, but based on everything I’ve learned about game development over the years, I feel pretty confident in saying the Annual Pass content is probably still good to go as planned. After that though, your guess is as good as mine.
Previous history would suggest that a major Destiny 2 expansion would release this September, and that Destiny 3 would follow the year after that.
Bungie and Activision splitting throws previous history out the window. It’s not relevant anymore.
The plan of scattering numbered Destiny games (1, 2, 3) out a few years apart with expansions, DLCs, and micro-transactions to hold the line was a strategy that both Bungie and Activision “agreed” to.
Presumably, considering all of the rumblings of friction we’ve heard over the years, and that they are today splitting up, that plan isn’t something either or both sides are happy with anymore. If it was, then why would this be happening in the first place?
If you were really looking forward to another major expansion in 2019, and Destiny 3 not terribly long after that, it’s fair to feel a little scared today.
I don’t believe anyone other than the parties involved knows the specifics of this break up, and how that will impact the financial support of the development of Destiny.
Is Activision going to be supporting the unreleased Annual Pass content that is already 1/3 complete? Will the stress of self-publishing act as a financial drain on the company, and if so, will that slow down development? Will Bungie seek a new publisher?
These are just a few important questions worth asking that will dramatically impact the future of the franchise that we don’t have answers to right now.
While there are lots of reasons we can come up with to feel a bit worried for Bungie and the franchise, there are also reasons for optimism, especially if you’re just a fan that doesn’t have to stress out over paying the bills and just want to play a good game.
For example, if hypothetically Bungie was working double time to hit those traditional deadlines in order to appease Activision and its investors, then the news today would imply that they don’t have to anymore.
They have the freedom to delay anything they want to give themselves more time, and ensure that the product they ultimately release will make the fans happy first and foremost, not investors.
Also, Bungie now has the creative freedom to develop whatever the next major Destiny game is however they want, and again, without having to make sure Activision’s investors are satisfied with the direction.
If Bungie feels the best course for the franchise is to delay Destiny 3 out a few years and launch it with all kinds of content we’ve never seen before because it’s in the best interest of the long-term health of the franchise, they can. Assuming they can figure out financially how to do that.
Right now, though, it’s all just speculation. Any, all, or none of the scenarios I’m floating out in this article could come to fruition. Feeling scared, optimistic, apathetic or none of the above are all valid feelings right now.
The one thing that is definitely true regardless of how you feel is that it’s going to be a fascinating next few months for Destiny fans.