Bungie's Destiny may very well be one of the best games of the last year, but that's largely due to its polished graphics and tight mechanics. It's well established among many fans that the game falls flat in other key areas, including a ho hum story that feels like background noise at best. Whether you blame the fact that the story may have been changed prior to release or that phoned in performance from everyone's favorite Game of Thrones actor, the end result is the same. Destiny's main plot left a lot to be desired.
So it's easy to be at least a little excited at today's news that Bungie has officially hired one of the top writers from Guild Wars 2 as its new "Loremaster." John Ryan is leaving ArenaNet after over five years working on lore, narrative and dialogue for its flagship game. He's also written content for Microsoft Game Studios and before that worked for various media publications, including MSNBC.
Ryan posted about his departure from ArenaNet on Twitter, and said that he plans to start working at Bungie next week. It's not clear just how soon Ryan will be able to make an impact, as the next expansion, House of Wolves, is already far along in development. But Bungie is supposed to have another major content release planned for this fall, and might already be working on Destiny's sequel.
Some of Bungie's top people liked to draw comparisons to Lord of the Rings and other epic stories, back when Destiny was still in development. That comparison looks laughable now, but Ryan's hiring might be a step towards that lofty goal. It will be interesting to see who or what he draws inspiration from, as some fans have already shown it's not that hard to think of a more interesting story than what players were given at launch.
The way that Destiny has struck a chord with fans, in spite of all its flaws, has drawn comparisons at times to another huge franchise that had a shaky first game. When the first Assassin's Creed came out, the game was welcomed by immediate hardcore fans, despite some middling reviews. Ubisoft was then able to take everything it learned from the first game to knock Assassin's Creed II out of the park. It feels like Bungie is currently sitting at a crossroads where it may have that same opportunity with Destiny, and there's little doubt that the current player base will clearly remain hooked for a while. If Bungie and Ryan can manage to finally give players the epic opus they were initially promised, Destiny may be able to soar to even greater heights.
Even after Ryan's hiring, Bungie still has 71 open positions on its job board. Good luck, Guardian.
Destiny is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Its next expansion, House of Wolves, will release sometime after March.