Destiny 2 will soon move into its third year starting with the Shadowkeep expansion releasing on October 1st. While the hype is high among fans for all the changes and content coming to the game with Shadowkeep, the question of "What's next?" is starting to pop up.
With Destiny 2's rough launch and first year, in some ways, it feels like Destiny 2 is just now getting back on track to the hopes and vision fans had for the game. But within the conversations that Bungie is having while talking about Shadowkeep, a certain statement keeps coming up when developers talk about the game: Destiny 2 cannot go on forever.
Destiny 2 launched after the conclusion of Destiny 1's third year, so if Bungie sticks to the same timeline, Destiny 3 could launch in the fall of 2020. Or, perhaps Bungie could stretch Destiny 2 further than the original game and takes it into a Year 4. It is unknown when the franchise will move on to Destiny 3, but at some point, it will most certainly have to, and here are five reasons why:
5 Destiny 2 has technical limitations
As Destiny 2 grows in size, Bungie has said that Destiny 2 is not built like other games such as World of Warcraft that pretty much go on forever, launching expansion after expansion. Even though Bungie wants Destiny to be an action MMO, it seems that the technical limitations of how Destiny 2 is built will never quite allow it to live on infinitely in the same way as some other MMOs out there.
Destiny franchise director Luke Smith admitted in one of his "Director's Cut" commentaries about the game that Destiny 2 literally cannot grow infinitely:
"The game continuing to grow forever isn’t something we can support. Destiny’s simulation, fidelity, and architecture fundamentally make it a big game. I’ve seen a lot of 'game X does it, why can’t Destiny?' but the referenced games and ours have very different technical profiles."
Looking beyond the scope of what the game and its servers can handle, there is also personal practicality that comes into play when it comes to technical limitations. This fall's Shadowkeep expansion will require 165 GB to install. Put simply, Destiny 2 is getting bigger every season, and if Bungie were to continue building onto Destiny 2 instead of moving onto Destiny 3, the hard drive space required for players to run the game would become a restriction for some players.
4 Destiny 2 is getting bloated
Despite a plan in Shadowkeep and in Year 3 to reallocate Powerful Rewards in the game, as well as a plan to make some activities season-based, Year 2 has exponentially bloated Destiny 2. There is so much to do at this point in the game and so many Powerful Reward sources, that the game has lost some of its momentum. Instead of giving players a meaningful experience of activities, the game can feel more like a checklist of homework that needs to be completed each week.
Bungie already has plans to fix this in Year 3; however, it highlights the necessity for Destiny 3. Destiny 3 provides a reset button for the series, restructuring the activities and the progression and cleans the slate for players to re-engage with the universe.
3 An entry point for new players
With a clean slate comes a perfect entry point for new players to be introduced to Destiny. As much as an expansion like Shadowkeep looks amazing to current players, there is a huge learning curve for players coming in for the first time. Someone brand new to Destiny 2 starting in Shadowkeep has been left out of two full years of experience with and learning of the game and its systems.
By no means does that mean Destiny 2 will never garner new players. But Destiny 3 would allow for one of the best entry points for new players who would start on the same or similar level as every other veteran player of the franchise. Just as an example, this was actually a major part of Activision's strategy that they mentioned ahead of the launch of Destiny 2. The sequel was meant to introduce new players to Destiny in a way and grow the global reach brand in a way that another expansion to Destiny 1 never could. In the same way, the buzz naturally generated by a numbered sequel and the fresh start of a new game in Destiny 3 would undoubtedly pull a new audience to the franchise.
2 An opportunity for innovation
Class abilities. Clamber. Endless sprinting. These were all innovations that Destiny 2 introduced into the franchise. In many ways, it is hard to go back to playing Destiny 1 without missing some of the innovations that the sequel introduced. Despite the game's flaws at launch, Destiny 2 has moved the franchise forward in many ways that only happened because the game was restructured in a full-fledged numbered sequel.
The same opportunity exists with Destiny 3. With Bungie talking about emphasizing the MMO and RPG elements of Destiny in the future, it may take a restructured Destiny 3 to fully realize the vision the developer has for the franchise. Destiny 2 was built upon a certain framework that is not easily changed. It took all of Year 1 for Bungie to revamp the weapon system that launched with Destiny 2 because it was such a core part of the game.
Many players have complained about Destiny 2's locked subclass trees need to change, but that appears to be another element of the game that would take a lot of effort to alter, and not planned to change anytime soon. Destiny 3 allows for an overhaul to that system (and others like it) to be built from the ground up for a sequel rather than trying to fix it in the existing foundation of Destiny 2. Examples like this one serve as an illustration as to how the franchise could benefit from a Destiny 3.
1 A new collection of content
Veteran fans have expressed the desire to go to Europa or Old Chicago or Charlamagne's Vault. These are all places that have existed as concepts at some point in the development of Destiny but have never actually realized in any game up to this point (there are rumors that some of those destinations may be in Destiny 3). As stated before, Destiny 2 cannot keep adding content, so a Destiny 3 provides an opportunity not just for innovation but for new destinations and huge pieces of content that could not exist within the architecture of Destiny 2.
Starting fresh means new worlds, new art, new assets, new activities; a brand new foundation on which to build on. Just as players cannot revisit all of Destiny 1's destinations in Destiny 2, the same would be only natural for Destiny 3. Those worlds will continue to exist in previous games, but a new entry in series allows for all new content in a much bigger way than an expansion or even an entire Year of seasonal updates can bring.
Destiny 2 is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.