Bungie promises 'long-term' commitment to Destiny

Despite NetEase investment for new project, Destiny is still the long-term goal.

Bungie is still all in on Destiny.

The company said in a statement that despite receiving a $100 million investment from the Chinese company NetEase for a new IP, it is still committed to working on the franchise “long-term” in light of its recently-announced divorce from Activision with the series.

Destiny 2 game director Luke Smith, now Destiny’s franchise director, said that a “vast majority” of the studio was still working on the series, with others - including Bungie co-founder and project lead on Destiny 1, Jason Jones.

“We created the universe and we hold its future entirely in our hands,” said Smith. “The vast majority of the team is hard at work envisioning future experiences, enemies, and ways to play the Guardian you've been building since 2014. We're going to keep doing that.

He added that Bungie was “thinking about what it means to be truly independent, what it means to self-publish, and crucially, what Destiny's future can now look like for our players,” adding he sees “a bright future, with roots in a memorable past. Not everything has been lost in the dark corners of time,” a reference to the Vault of Glass raid from Destiny 1.

Speaking with GameDaily last week, several analysts said that as it steps into a new world of becoming a new publisher, it will still need a partner for distribution.

“Where they don’t have expertise is in physical distribution if needed and I wouldn’t be surprised if it signed with Activision or another suitable publisher on a limited distribution-only deal,” said IHS Markit’s Piers Harding-Rolls, with DFC Intelligence’s David Cole adding that game distribution was a weakness “Bungie needs to fill.”

In the Bungie statement, Smith also gave thanks to the support given by Activision and the subsequent teams in the company that worked on creating content since the first game’s launch in 2014.

“Our sincere thanks to the people at Activision who've helped bring Destiny to our players, High Moon Studios for their wonderful collaboration on Forsaken, and Vicarious Visions who helped establish a Destiny community on PC, worked with us on Warmind, and who is currently readying their Destiny swan song with content that will appear in the upcoming Season of [Redacted].”

The aforementioned Season of [Redacted] will launch the game’s summer roadmap of content, headlined by the last DLC for Annual Pass owners, Penumbra. Before that, Season of the Drifter launches this spring, with the DLC Joker’s Pass launching within that period.

“In the short-term, we're continuing to build the content we’ve promised for the Annual Pass,” said Smith. “We've learned a lot from Black Armory that we will apply to future releases, most notably that we'd like the beginning experiences of content drops to be a better point of convergence for the playerbase.

“In Black Armory, we set the Power requirement for the first forge too high, and that meant it wasn't a great chance to jump into some new content. We want to find the line between new content that many players can play, and aspirational content for players to progress toward. We're exploring improvements to catch-up mechanics for players in upcoming seasons.”

Going by the roadmap that Bungie laid out for Destiny 2 around the release of the expansion Forsaken, which launched last September, anyone expecting Destiny 3 before 2020 will be sadly disappointed. But that doesn’t mean to expect Bungie in its new found freedom to sit on its laurels all of a sudden.

“It was a busy Fall,” said Smith, referring to the release of Forsaken and the content that’s come out since, “and it is going to be a busy year.”

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Johnny Cullen is a freelance writer and author from Derry, Northern Ireland who has written for Eurogamer, VG247, Official PlayStation Magazine UK, and so many more since July 2009. Come @ him about The Last of Us, Metal Gear Solid 3, Jonsi and Alex, or the Four Horsewomen of WWE on Twitter @JohnnyCullen.

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