Bungie’s Destiny 2 launched with some renewed sense of purpose last year for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. Bungie wanted to prove that the vision the studio originally had for the first game was going to be fulfilled in Destiny 2. Despite the promises and pomp that came with the game’s promotion, apparently, Destiny 2 has been a disappointment for Activision.
The news comes courtesy of a recent earnings call reflecting the performance of Activision’s divisions within the last quarter [via Game Informer], where it was noted that Destiny 2 has been under-performing in the market.
There have been attempts to rectify this issue that were put into place rather quickly, such as having the game given away for free for PC gamers, and including Destiny 2 in the PlayStation Plus subscription package as part of the free games line-up for September. However, even with those efforts, it seems Destiny 2 just isn’t succeeding the way investors would like in terms of market performance and player engagement.
Activision’s long-term plan to make the game more successful is to have content made and released at quicker intervals, as well as ramp up the monetization for the game.
Now typically any core gamer who has been following the market over the last few years already sees the writing on the wall and knows exactly what “monetization” means in a case like this. Some headlines have already ripped apart the subtext and simply came out to say that this means more cash shop items, possibly loot boxes, or other aggressive forms of microtransactions.
The only other monetization alternative would be a subscription fee on top of the $60 for the base game and the $40 for the expansion packs. There have been some new deluxe bundle packs where you can get the base game and the expansion packs that have released up until this point for $50, but even suggesting that people have to pay subscription fees on top of the high entry prices would likely turn off even more gamers than those who have already abandoned the game at this point.
The main issue is that a lot of gamers have complained that Destiny 2 just isn’t worth the amount of money that Activision is trying to pilfer out of them. This was evident when gamers rebelled when the whole XP scaling issue cropped up in an attempt to get gamers to buy XP pots from the cash shop, or the shader scandal that tried to lure gamers into paying for premium content.
Many gamers have compared Destiny 2 to Digital Extremes’ Warframe and noted that the latter game offers so much more content with fair prices and cash shop content that actually compels players to want to spend money on the game.
Perhaps a better solution to fixing the Destiny problem isn’t to implement more of the systems that players despise, but instead work on turning the game into a must-play experience that compels gamers to want to spend money in the cash shop to support the development? Otherwise, relying on scandalous monetary tactics hasn’t worked out well so far, and it has only continued to push gamers away, which in turn has cost Activision money.