Destiny fans are in the dark, and with rumors and anonymous sources becoming more common every day, it’s time for Bungie to start opening up about their plans for 2016.
Content drought, Destiny malaise, or “dead game”—whatever you want to call it, that’s the current state of Destiny and its playerbase. With very little information about what is coming to Bungie’s shared world shooter in 2016, fans are growing restless. Add to that the fact Bungie has appeared less than honest recently, and their community is feeling completely left in the dark.
In recent months, Bungie has shown an overall lack of communication with its community. Bungie stealth implementing skill-based matchmaking without telling fans was a major misstep, leaving fans feeling slighted.
Compare that to Year One, and whether it was a happy accident or a well-executed marketing plan, Destiny‘s first year appeared to be a well orchestrated roadmap that provided content, updates, and experiences to fans. But Year Two has been anything but – characterized by vague statements from Bungie, which has allowed rumors to spring up on a regular basis.
If rumors are to be believed, Destiny 2 has been delayed out of its September 2016 launch window and well into 2017, leaving Bungie as a studio in turmoil suffering from lack of communication or clear vision. Hopefully those are, in fact, just rumors, but with news yesterday of studio head Harold Ryan’s resignation and Pete Parson’s appointment as new CEO, it definitely doesn’t look good from the outside.
At best, it makes Bungie look like they have a serious communication issue inside (and outside) the studio. At worst, it appears they’re hiding something. The leadership change is reminiscent of the veteran developers at Bungie who jumped ship along the way during Destiny‘s development. People like Joseph Staten, who apparently left after his story was completely thrown out a year before release. That was bad news then, and it’s hard not to think of it with the latest shake up.
If Bungie wants to keep the community engaged and positive they need transparent communication, and they need it now. They’ve taken the first step by bringing back connection-based matchmaking to Iron Banner this week, and keeping that dialogue open as they continue to tweak matchmaking server-side, but that’s just the beginning.
What fans need most for Year Two is a clear roadmap for the year ahead and the journey to Destiny 2. All we know at this point is the next live event, called Crimson Days, is coming in early February, bringing with it a new Crucible game variant called Crimson Doubles. Beyond that, the developer has said another experience is coming “larger than anything you’ve seen since the release of The Taken King,“ but that is painfully vague. Bungie needs to do better.
Bungie has always avoided giving details too early, saying they don’t want to promise deliverables that don’t make it through development or end up going late, but now is the time to give fans as much information as possible. It may be time to fudge on that strategy a bit, and go ahead and show fans what the next year looks like. Take the update schedule EA just announced for Star Wars Battlefront; it clearly lays out the roadmap for that game. And even though they don’t have many details for Expansion Pack 4, they at least give it a general time window.
At this point, Bungie needs to communicate clearly what is coming in 2016, providing scope and time windows. Fans are much more willing to forgive a slip from a launch date if they have an idea of what’s being worked on. It’s a preferable situation than feeling completely left out.
And what if Destiny 2 is delayed out of this year? Bungie should say so. Even if the sequel hasn’t been formally announced, it’s confirmed as in development. Whether it’s fair for fans to expect it this year or not doesn’t matter, that has become the expectation. And now is time for Bungie to address it, clearly and honestly.
Speaking for the fans, we love Destiny. We are just tired of feeling like we’re wandering in the dark without clear communication. We want Bungie to be open and honest so that we can feel like a part of the conversation. With new leadership at the studio, there’s no better time to come out strong with a vision and roadmap for the year ahead. We want to trust you, Bungie. Show us that you trust us too.
Are you still playing Destiny? What do you want Bungie to deliver in 2016?