After launching back in September to glowing impressions and reviews, the shine has come off of Destiny 2 a bit. While fans were generally happy to see the inclusion of a stronger story, cutscenes, and new locations to explore, the lack of a meaningful endgame, heavily modified PvP mechanics, and an overreliance on microtransactions have ultimately undermined the strength of the game. It now appears that many of these issues can potentially be linked to a rocky development cycle which included a complete reboot.
Appearing as a guest on the DTR Podcast, video game journalist Jason Schreier goes on record to reveal that Destiny 2 went through a massive reboot midway through development sometime in early 2016. The change in direction also saw a reorganization of Bungie's staff including the game director of Destiny 2 getting replaced by The Taken King director, Luke Smith. The result of the reboot ultimately gave the studio a very short turnaround of 16 months to put the game back together in order to meet the set launch window.
Due to the lack of development time and ambitious DLC schedule, Schreier mentions that some planned mechanics and content had to be cut, such as removing the old planetary locations. This enabled the studio to focus on only the new stuff rather than worrying about making the old content fit in as well. It's also entirely possible that this short cycle is the reason why the same traditional enemy factions made a return to the sequel instead of there being new factions to fight.
The Destiny franchise is no stranger to last-minute reboots. According to reports, the first game in this franchise also received a complete overhaul during the middle of active development. Many elements like characters and mechanics were either changed, re-purposed, or removed entirely. Cutscenes and plot, two items which were heavily criticized at launch, were also removed and replaced by Grimoire Cards, which held much of the lore and story outside of the actual game. The late reboot also saw a few longtime Bungie staffers leave the company as well, including veteran writer, Joe Staten.
Destiny 2 is available now on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Source: DTR Podcast