As Destiny 2 enters its third year, players may be wondering if, like Destiny 1, this is the game's final year of new content and a Destiny 3 is expected to release in fall 2020. Based on the information that developer Bungie has given about Year 3 and new comments about the life of the game beyond Year 3, it is safe to say that Destiny 3 is definitely not coming out in 2020. And, in fact, Destiny 3 could be many years away.
While it is unknown when Bungie is planning to release an eventual Destiny 3, it is possible to start narrowing down when the earliest timeframe that a sequel to Destiny 2 could appear. First off, in Bungie's latest ViDoc, Destiny franchise director Luke Smith said that Bungie has a five-year vision for Destiny 2. It's unclear if he meant that Destiny 2 is planned to be a five-year game or if Destiny 2 has five-years planned out from this point.
If the former is true, and Bungie plans to take Destiny 2 through Year 5, that means two more full years of content after the upcoming Year 3, which starts off with the Shadowkeep expansion. Destiny 2's Year 5 would end in 2022, and if Destiny's release schedule holds true, that could mean that a Destiny 3 could release in September 2022. But if the latter scenario is true and Bungie is planning out to Year 8, that would mean Destiny 2 could be the main entry in the franchise through the year 2025.
However, what seems most likely at this point is that Bungie put its five-year vision in place during the current Year 2, with plans for the game through Year 7, or the year 2024. In one segment of Bungie's ViDoc "The Moon and Beyond," developers Luke Smith and production director Justin Truman are in one of Bungie's conference room plotting out the future of the game on a whiteboard. On the board is listed Year 3's four seasons (8, 9, 10, 11) followed by columns for Year 4, Year 5, Year 6, and ending with Year 7. Not only does this look like the obvious trajectory for the game, but for those who know anything about Bungie as a developer, it tends to gravitate toward the number seven, which would be a serendipitous situation if Destiny 2 were to end on this number.
So then, if Destiny 2 is planned out to the year 2024 and, at the earliest, Destiny 3 would likely be out in the fall of that year, will Destiny 2 be ported to next-gen consoles, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox's Project Scarlett? That's completely unknown at this point but Bungie will probably need to consider it. The next PlayStation and Xbox are expected out next year in 2020, so if Destiny 3 doesn't come out until 2024, that's four years into a new console generation with Destiny 2 as the main entry of the series. And with Bungie's new vision for the game that it keeps repeating, for Destiny 2 to be "an amazing action MMO, in a single, evolving world, that you can play anytime, anywhere with your friends," it points towards opening up more ways for people to engage with the game, such as the Stadia version coming this fall.
So while we'll have to wait for an official announcement from Bungie about Destiny 3, it looks like it could be years before it comes out. Could all those rumored leaks about Destiny 3's new enemy race show up in Destiny 2 instead? It's all a mystery at this point. In fact, Bungie said not long ago that even a Year 4 would depend on players' reactions to Year 3. But at least this newest information gives an idea of what Bungie could be planning.
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep releases October 1, 2019 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, with a Stadia version in development.