We’ve all played Destiny. And when I say everyone, I mean all good gamers. A game that was considered the most expensive cultural work in history at the beginning of the last decade has managed to remain relevant after almost 10 years.
After announcing The Final Form, the latest expansion that we have been able to see at Gamescom 2023, the game’s developer studio, Bungie, has talked to several media about the future of the IP. Something very interesting after being bought by Sony.
Specifically, it is the folks at The Verge who have extracted some very interesting words from Joe Blackburn, current game director and head of Bungie to talk about Destiny.
An arc that is not very popular
Destiny 2: Lightfall was something unusual for Bungie. The studio presented Lightfall as the beginning of the greatest battle between light and darkness we’ve ever seen. “The battle begins here and now,” said Commander Zavala in an epic launch trailer.
For many, the reality is that the story was mediocre. Even six months later, Lightfall has mostly negative reviews on Steam, a sign that fans expected more.
The stakes are now high in The Final Form, Destiny 2’s upcoming expansion that will conclude Destiny’s saga of light and dark in February, a story that has been told for nearly 10 years.
But with the unrest in the Destiny community, how will The Final Form attract back disgruntled or no longer playing Destiny 2 players, and what does the future hold for the Destiny universe?
“The Final Form, we knew from the beginning, was going to be the most basic thing we’ve ever released. What I hope is that, if you ever liked Destiny, this expansion is for you,” explains Joe Blackburn, Destiny 2 game director.
It looks like The Final Form will return to the kind of storytelling and experience that Bungie is best at, something we saw recently in The Witch Queen. Bungie is remaining tight-lipped about the narrative details of The Final Form, but we do know that players will enter The Traveler, a mysterious entity in the Destiny universe that hangs motionless in the sky as a source of light for Destiny players.
There will also be a battle against The Witness, the main antagonist of Destiny’s light and dark saga who commands the Black Fleet, an armada of pyramid ships that players have seen a lot of in-game and in trailers. But once this battle is over, what will happen to Destiny’s future?
From seasons to episodes
Bungie is moving to what it calls episodes, three blocks of new content per year for Destiny 2 that are slightly larger in scope than what is now offered seasonally. “We see episodes as the evolution of the seasonal model, not the evolution of Destiny as a whole,” Blackburn says.
If you remember the great Forsaken DLC, it was also three installments of content in one year. But it often felt slow, like you were waiting for something to happen in the game. “Three a year allowed us to do bigger, more cohesive stories…we’ve learned a lot in the last two or three years from our seasonal model about how we can do things better,” Blackburn says.
Each episode will include three acts, with new missions, story, armor, weapons and activities. Bungie is also committed to offering a new exotic weapon and a new exotic mission in each episode of the first three (Echoes, Revenant and Heresy) that begin after The Final Shape. It’s also interesting that Bungie has scheduled this content to begin in March and not immediately after the release of The Final Shape.
So what happens to the big annual Destiny 2 content release that players have been waiting so long for – is it going away? Blackburn declined to answer directly, instead referring to a statement on Destiny 2’s Twitter account.
Although this statement says neither yes nor no to a big annual DLC. “What we’re trying to do is not scare people that Destiny 2 is going away. It’s not. Our support is not going to end,” Blackburn explains. “We’re also trying to focus on what’s in front of us and not pivot the conversation to the next two years.”
So Bungie doesn’t seem willing to talk specifics, and I think a lot of that is because the studio is still figuring out exactly how its narrative for Destiny 2 will evolve beyond the immediate focus of The Final Form and the year ahead of us.
Only time will tell if Destiny survives… or if 2024 is its final farewell, just the year in which it will be a decade old.
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