In a surprise move earlier today, Bungie announced that it was delaying the upcoming expansion for its popular shooter, Destiny 2. Originally slated for release on September 17, the Shadowkeep expansion has been pushed back by two weeks to October 1. While the news is no doubt disappointing for fans looking to venture back to the Moon, the delay isn't all bad and may even be a positive development this fall.
Here are a few reasons why the delay may actually turn out to be a good thing.
The September Schedule
While the Fall and Holiday schedule is typically a busy time in terms of major game releases, September 2019 has already slatted to be incredibly busy. The main competition this month was coming from Gearbox Software and the next entry in the very popular looter shooter genre, Borderlands. Borderlands 3 arrives on September 13 and if previous games are any example, it's not going to be a short game with multiple planets to explore, four classes to try out, and untold amounts of loot to collect.
The busy September release schedule doesn't stop there, however, as there are plenty of other notable games launching throughout the month. Two other big names includes Microsoft's Gears 5, Capcom's newest expansion with Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, and you also have Nintendo launching its remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening as well.
Considering the limited time and money that many fans would be facing, playing all these games significantly at launch would be very difficult. With Destiny 2: Shadowkeep now outside of that busy release window, fans will have more time to invest in other lengthy titles like Gears 5 or Borderlands 3.
For Bungie, Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is its first major test since breaking off from Activision. Without that extra company looking over its shoulder, Bungie is free to create the experience they want, a fact which Luke Smith and Mark Noseworthy made painfully clear during the Shadowkeep reveal. The company is slowly bringing the Destiny franchise closer to that action MMORPG space many fans have wanted the studio to go in since the start. Part of that shift is developing new foundations and tools to support this change, something that takes time to do right.
Part of these new systems include New Light, a free to play version of Destiny 2, as well as being able to cross-save between platforms. Thankfully, the delay isn't going to impact that feature as the news also confirmed that it is still planned to come online this summer ahead of the expansion.
Get it Right
The other side of that coin is that the pressure is now all on Bungie to deliver not just new content, but quality as well. Prior expansions like Forsaken were aided by support studios like High Moon and Vicarious Visions. These support studios assisted Bungie in all sorts of development from PvP maps, story content, items, and more.
As the company stated in its blog, part of being independent is knowing what's best for the game and the players, even if it's the difficult choice. While the post didn't get into specifics as to why the delay occurred, the company realized that in order to fully realize the potential of the expansion and post-launch plans, it needed some extra time behind the scenes. As legendary Nintendo developer Shigeru Miyamoto once said, a delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever.
With so much competition and options available for players, games have less time to make an impact with a player. Through this delay, Bungie wants to make sure it gets it right on day one and prove that the studio can do this without another company helping.
Destiny 2 is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.