In 2015, Activision introduced the gaming industry to the world of Destiny. People immediately fell in love with the blend of science fiction and fantasy. Like most successful MMOs, Destiny found a way to constantly bring players back to the game. Bungie did this by perfecting the craft of keeping the bait on the end of the hook super interesting. Once a player finished a week long grind to obtain the rarest gear and weapons, Bungie introduced the Destiny community to the world of MMO raids. The spike in difficulty, alongside the reliance on teamwork, led to countless hours of sometimes frustrating yet ultimately fulfilling gameplay. Unfortunately, the first expansion for Destiny didn't go over entirely well. Many players felt that the content didn't justify the price and that it was obvious what Bungie was trying to do. Bungie rebounded by releasing back-to-back expansions receiving positive critical reception. Many players are hopeful that Bungie's willingness to listen to criticism and correct their content accordingly means that the sequel will everything they want and more.
After two years and multiple expansions, Activision is set to release the follow-up to the 2015 hit this year. Not much is known about Destiny 2, but thanks to a recent earnings call with investors, Activision has let us in on some interesting details. Below is a list of the 15 things we already know about the highly anticipated sequel to Destiny. Everything isn't necessarily confirmed, but it is based on some type of credible evidence.
Now, not every follow-up to a game is numbered. That being said, Activision is the king of franchises. They understand that sequels tend to sell better than the original. Now, we can all agree that it will more than likely be called Destiny 2. That being said, many rumors in the gaming realm are stating that the title may be a little more than just a simple 2 added to the end of the original. There is a rumor that the game will be called Destiny 2: Forge of Hope. This specific rumor has been straight up denied by Bungie, but you never know. Activision, the publisher of Destiny, also publishes the Call of Duty series. Call of Duty has seen plenty of subtitles over its numerous years in the industry. This means that it wouldn't come as a surprise if this rumor ends up being true. Do you think Destiny will follow in its footsteps?
Destiny was known for having a very hardcore and dedicated community. However, during an earnings call with investors, Activision reiterated their main focus during the release of Destiny 2. They've stated that they want Destiny 2 to provide a fun and enjoyable FPS experience for a vast and casual audience. This isn't really a surprise when it comes to the launch plan for a new video game. Publishers want their games to sell as many copies as possible. Casting as wide of a net as possible, while still including mechanics and systems for the more hardcore gamers, allows the game to appeal to the widest demographic possible. This shouldn't concern those who want a deeper game that rewards the truly committed. As time goes on, the main player base shrinks and developers are left catering to those who are passionate about Destiny 2.
Contrary to popular opinion, games are cheaper than they've ever been. Unfortunately for your wallet, however, Activision will have multiple editions of Destiny 2 depending on what you want out of your experience. Now, these editions can vary in price but we can almost guarantee at least three versions. The base edition of the game will retail for $59.99 USD, the deluxe edition will probably retail for either $69.99 or $79.99 USD, and we can also guarantee that there will be some type of absurdly priced special collector's edition. The beauty in these editions is that you can pay for what you want. Most players spring for the base edition, but thanks to console memberships and sales, you can usually get the deluxe edition digitally for a price close to what you would pay for a retail copy of the base version.
When a game is released to the praise in which the original Destiny experienced (after its expansions), many people fear that the sequel won't meet the expectations people have for it. Fortunately for many Destiny fans out there, the team at Bungie are the ones primarily working on Destiny 2. Activision knows what Bungie is capable of and we would probably never see them give the franchise to any other studio. Some worries started accumulating when rumors discussed multiple teams working on the sequel. The truth of the matter is that this practice isn't too far-fetched in game development. Almost every game is a culmination of work by multiple studios dedicated time and effort into a single project. Yes, there is a primary developer, but it isn't uncommon for studios to get a little help to make the game as polished as possible.
In the same earnings call in which Activision discussed the audience in which they're targeting with Destiny 2, they discussed what the story of the game hinges on. They've stated that the key to the story of Destiny 2 rests on the shoulders of relatable characters and accessibility. There were many criticisms of Destiny's story that Bungie is probably hard at work on fixing. At times the narrative was a little all over the place. Many of the characters were forgettable and left the story before they even reached a quarter of their potential. Many players felt as though it lacked any memorable fights and was filled with pretty much the same tasks in different areas. These factors caused the story to feel repetitive and unimaginative. Hopefully, Bungie takes all of these criticisms and delivers a truly fascinating and thrilling story in the sequel.
Now, in no world would Activision sign an exclusivity deal for Destiny 2 for any amount of time. Let alone a year in which Microsoft might launch a new generation of consoles with Project Scorpio. A very specific rumor that has yet to be confirmed states that Destiny 2 will not only launch in the Fall of 2017, but that it will be exclusive to the PlayStation 4 for three months. This rumor might sound absolutely ludicrous to you and that's because it is. Though Activision partnered with PlayStation in regards to the marketing of the first Destiny, Activision rarely, if ever, makes their games exclusive. They're one of the largest third party publishers in gaming and earn a tremendous amount of gross revenue due to their polygamous nature in relation to their console partners.
This may come as a bit of a surprise considering their lackluster involvement in an already lackluster narrative, but the Cabal seem to not only be a central focus of Destiny 2, but the primary adversary for players to unload their bullets on. Thanks to a leak via a Mega Bloks Destiny 2 toy, we found out that the player will fight the Cabal at some point in Destiny 2 at the very tower in which players called home. Though the giant sturdy Cabal were a common threat throughout the original Destiny storyline, it seems that their involvement in the second game will be more than just a simple footnote. A lot of Destiny revolved around a player's mobility and their willingness to learn the layout of their surroundings. It will be interesting to see if Destiny 2's combat relies more on intimate and equally intimidating battles.
According to the same Mega Bloks toy that unveiled the future of the Cabal, the Tower from the first game will be destroyed. Whether this results in a new and improved hub or a completely new community area is unknown. Other reports have stated that a majority of the game will take place on and revolve around Saturn. Does this mean that the new player hub will also be based in Saturn? We really don't know at this time. The most promising thing for Destiny fans is that it has officially been confirmed that the central hub will be "larger, denser, and more detailed than the one in Destiny." The idea of implementing a central community area in a console game was a brilliant way of introducing one of the most prominent and equally fundamental parts of MMOs. Hopefully, the second iteration brings Destiny players even closer together.
One of the defining parts of the original Destiny was its expansions that seemed to gain in critical reception as they were released. Bungie listened to the feedback and, for the most part, delivered improved DLC that satiated the hunger for more Destiny. If Activision's previous business practices are any indication, we can look forward to another Season Pass packed full of content. Look for the pass to include the expansions we're used to and much more. Though the last two expansions were well received, there still was a sense that players felt a lack of content that didn't necessarily justify the price of the Season Pass. It is ultimately up to the individual to justify what the pass is worth to them. In order to make the smartest decision when it comes to these things, simply wait until you have all of the information necessary before blindly buying into something you might regret.
This is probably the most heartbreaking news off all to loyal Destiny fans. It seems that your character will not transfer over to the sequel at all. This means that all of the progression, loot, gear, and weapons players have grinded for are pretty much lost to time. Here's what they had to say about it:
"Specifically, the class, race, gender, face, hair, and marking selections for all characters that have achieved Level 20 and completed the Black Garden story mission will carry forward... We also plan to award those veteran accounts with honors that reflect your Destiny 1 accomplishments."
Despite that announcement, here's hoping that the countless hours spent in Destiny will transfer over in some discernible fashion. Hopefully, they understand that burning your most fervent fans by not rewarding their dedicated commitment to your platform could have unforeseen ramifications.
A major area of criticism in the original Destiny was the density, size, and liveliness of the planet specific areas. A lot of these areas felt motionless and empty. They never really felt as though they were living breathing areas. Apparently, this was a primary area of focus for Bungie. A leak states that the developers want these planet hubs to be "play-in destinations" that will offer players more things to do in the way of events and small town-style areas. It seems that making these areas feel denser and deeper is of importance. They want players to feel as though their exploring and helping a real group of people as opposed to exploring marooned areas and ghost towns. Hopefully, we get to meet some interesting AI characters along the way.
Another report that has been floating around the video game realm for quite some time is the notion that Destiny 2 would be a substantial expansion for the first game and not necessarily a complete sequel. These reports have been laid to rest by the often mention earnings call Activision recently had with investors. Activision stated that Destiny 2 will, in fact, be a "full sequel" and that it's not just an expansion as some people may have anticipated. The reason those earlier reports gained so much prominence is because of Activision's affiliation with World of Warcraft and the similarities between Destiny and prominent MMOs. In most MMO games, there is never really a sequel. They instead release a timely and regular schedule of expansions that either offers new content or completely change the game from the ground up. At least we now know how Activision plans to handle the franchise moving forward.
This bit of news might be the straw that breaks the Destiny's back. Multiple sources are reporting that Destiny 2 will release simultaneously on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. This is very interesting considering the original Destiny has yet to make its way to PC. From Activision's standpoint, this would make perfect sense. Opening your franchise to a new and vast player base will only grow potential profit exponentially. Players on PC are familiar with the MMO genre and will probably be clamoring to get their hands on a Bungie game for once. The franchise could see a tremendous spark with this community and will only be stifled depending on how open they are to the community of mod makers on PC. If this rumor holds up, look for Destiny 2 to easily break the sales numbers of its predecessor.
Are you telling me there's a story? Activision and Bungie know, despite the overwhelmingly positive reception, that Destiny had one major, glaring weakness, its story. In a time in which multiplayer games are all the rage, people are willing to call you out on a half-baked narrative. Activision has stated that they promise to deliver a story in Destiny 2 that is not only cinematic, but interesting enough to the player that it captivates them in unimaginable ways. Now, these are simply just words for the most part. Words from a publisher who wants you to buy their game. However, considering Bungie's track record, look for Destiny 2 to make strides in the franchise and possibly engage players in an enriching and captivating story many people felt robbed of in its the first iteration.
Guess what? Destiny 2 is, in fact, coming out in 2017. In the Fall of 2017 to be exact. During an earnings call with investors in which we learned more than we should of, Activision stated that Destiny 2 will be releasing this year. It was rumored in early 2016 that it would be releasing by the end of the year. As we saw, that didn't happen. The more interesting part about the release of Destiny 2 is what a delay out of the year could mean for Bungie. According to multiple reports, if Bungie doesn't release Destiny 2 by the end of 2017, Activision assumes control of a percentage of stock that Bungie employees have in the company. This may not be true, but that fact that this is even a thing in some instances is quite interesting, to say the least. Are you excited for Destiny 2?