Bungie has been going through a difficult time for some time. After facing a lot of criticism from its community about Destiny 2’s season model, the studio was forced to react. Between emerging domestic policy documents and dwindling audiences, the storm may well last longer than expected.
A seasonal model that is running out of steam and is boring players
A bit of history to understand the problems. Destiny 2 is a massively multiplayer shooter and looter FPS that remains in a class of its own. Its foundations were laid in 2014 with Destiny first of the name before evolving in 2017 with the release of the second opus. Developed under the auspices of Activision, it was when Bungie decided to part ways with the US publisher in 2019 that the game took its current form.
From there, Destiny 2 will adopt the free-to-play model with a succession of paid seasons, punctuated once a year by a large expansion that advances the story and integrates significant new features. First criticized due to content considered lacking by the gaming community, Bungie had for the first time redesigned the model of its seasons emphasizing lore. Since then, each of them has included a story that spans 7-8 weeks and revolves around one or two playable seasonal activities with 3-6 players.
Three years later, players have finally had enough of it and are telling Bungie more and more about it. And it is the lack of communication on the part of the developers that has set fire to the gunpowder in recent days. The studio persists in not revealing anything new, preferring to wait just a few hours before its release. Except that after three months of a season that has nothing else to offer, many would like a form of excitement to build as the next one approaches.
An official statement that combines mea culpa and letter of intent
Of course, it must be taken into account that these are criticisms made in particular by active players on social networks and in particular on Twitter. In fact, these are not necessarily representative of the thousands of regular players of the title. However, they are enough for the study to have decided to answer them.
It was Joe Blackburn, the game’s director, who took the floor through a Twitter thread to clarify the studio’s position on community feedback. This statement will then be taken up as is by the official account of the game. In essence, he explains that he has heard the criticism and expresses the studio’s desire to respond positively to it.
However, he urges players to be patient as there is a long time between receiving feedback and applying it in-game. But it confirms that the studio is working to achieve better synergy between the seasonal content and the rest of the game, but it will be necessary to wait until at least the end of 2023 before seeing the concrete realization.
Internal Policy Notes Emerge From Files Concerning Destiny Players
Critical or not, the numbers speak for themselves. When referring to the peak player count on Steam for each season launch, we see that over the past twelve seasons, the most recent season has one of the lowest numbers of concurrent players. The Season of the Seraphim, launched on December 6, convinced only 122,000 players compared to 193,000 in the previous one. Only the Season of the Worthy had gotten worse in March 2020.
Considering that this is a game released five years ago, this score is still a slight to the creators of Halo. And even if the release of Lightfall, the next expansion in February 2023, revives interest, it will still be necessary to achieve player retention beyond that. However, the discovery of a presentation made by the CEO of Bungie, Justin Truman, on the occasion of the Game Developers Conference came to add fuel to the fire.
Among much information about the evolution of Destiny 2, we learn that the studio has decided to voluntarily restrict itself so as not to offer too much content at once. The goal is to avoid setting player expectations too high. For example, adding two new raids at the release of an expansion would create a standard that would lead to frustration if not met during the next expansion.
This, therefore, did not stop reacting within the Destiny community, which, however, repeatedly points the finger at the lack of new content and the permanent recycling of the studio. If the current season hasn’t silenced the critics, all eyes are on the next expansion that will have to reconcile disgruntled gamers with the studio. Then we will know if Bungie has known how to listen to his fans and will be able to get out of a bad streak that has tarnished the epilogue of a fifth year of Destiny 2 that had started so well.
We take your feedback on the structure of the current seasons very seriously. Our team prides itself on taking creative risks for Season progression, but it will be some time before your feedback trickles into game development. Preview: https://t.co/BXy3rjudCr
— Destiny 2 (@DestinyGameFR) December 8, 2022
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