Over the past week or so, much has been made about the price of Destiny: The Taken King. As the first “major” expansion for Bungie’s MMO/FPS hybrid, The Taken King represents the next step in what is a 10-year plan. For all intents and purposes it is Destiny 1.5, and it costs $40.
Now, for most gamers a new release for $40 would be an easy sell, but for Destiny that price tag carries a lot more weight. Given what gamers already know about Destiny’s make-up, value is a lot harder to quantify. Some feel that Destiny is a tremendous value, given that they log multiple hours a day in the game. While others feel slighted by the thin, repurposed content and lack of tangible story.
Needless to say, going into Destiny: The Taken King there is a greater concern over whether the game is truly worth the $40 asking price. Some would say it is, while others would say it isn’t. So who’s right? Let’s dig deeper.
Destiny: The Taken King's DLC
While we don’t know everything about Destiny: The Taken King, we do have a general sense of the expansion’s content. According to Bungie, the expansion will include new story missions, some new strikes, new crucible multiplayer maps, a new raid, and new loot (armor, weapons, etc.). The expansion will also introduce a new subclass for each of the main Guardian classes, those being the Sunbreaker Titan, the Stormcaller Warlock, and the Nightstalker Hunter.
However, those general pieces have yet to be fully fleshed out, which has led to plenty of gamers trepidation. Taken King Creative Director Luke Smith claims that the DLC expansion is a great value, but his comments also led to some raised eyebrows from gamers as well. Some saw Smith's Eurogamer interview as a little too overconfident that fans would pay whatever price Activision charged. But as we know, gamers don’t want to pay for something upfront and not feel a sense of regret. The House of Wolves DLC, for example, didn’t include a new raid, and many bought the DLC specifically for that raid.
Yes, Destiny: The Taken King is Worth $40
Obviously, there are plenty of gamers who were already set on buying Destiny: The Taken King and need no convincing. They were going to buy the expansion no matter the price, and likely have paid $80 for the Taken King Collector’s Edition, so there’s no need to sell them any further. For others, though, it’s worth looking at the individual pieces of content and determining the value.
Ostensibly, Destiny: The Taken King will include the same amount of content packaged with Vanilla Destiny, save for an additional set of subclasses, but for $20 less. There will be a new raid, new strikes, new story missions, new maps, and new gear, presumably in the same quantity (or close to it) as what was on Destiny’s disc. And even if there are not as many story missions or strikes, Bungie is charging a lower price for the content anyway.
Without making excuses for Bungie or Destiny, if players felt satisfied with paying $60 for the main game, then $40 for an expansion that features close to the same amount of content shouldn’t be as hard of a sell. The “bang for your buck” quotient should be just as high this September as it was last September.
No, Destiny: The Taken King is Not Worth $40
However, while there is perceived value in Destiny’s content, gamers also have the advantage of hindsight impacting their decision this time around. While many gladly paid the $60 last year, they did so assuming Destiny offered a massive MMO-like world featuring content capable of sustaining hundreds of hours of play. The Destiny beta grabbed many a gamer's attention, and was perhaps the game's greatest piece of marketing. Little did we know that the beta represented a surprisingly large chunk of the final game's content.
Yes, Destiny is capable of supporting hundreds of hours of play, but gamers are really just re-running content rather than experiencing anything new. All told it takes about 10 hours to complete the main story missions, and those are pretty thin to begin with. So, as the adage goes: fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.
Where most went into Destiny expecting one thing, they got another. And for that reason few can be blamed for being skeptical of Destiny: The Taken King, not to mention being concerned about paying $40 for a product that, by all accounts, seems very similar to Destiny.
And that’s truly the value proposition of Destiny: The Taken King in a nutshell. Those gamers who saw Vanilla Destiny as a tremendous value are likely more than willing to pay $40 for content that’s similar in quality to the first game, despite being labeled an expansion. Those who found Destiny to be lacking in any way, however, are unlikely to be swayed by a slightly lower price point.
How do you feel about Destiny: The Taken King? Will you be paying the $40 for the expansion or do you want to wait for reviews and such?
Destiny: The Taken King releases September 15, 2015 for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.