Destiny 2 was released back in September of 2017 to positive critical reception. Critics praised the gameplay, the Leviathan Raid mechanic, and the story, which many considered vastly superior to its predecessor.
But as you can imagine, Destiny 2 had quite the storied development. Great games don't just come out of nowhere, and Bungie tends to put a lot of care, thought, and attention into the gaming worlds they create. As such, there are a lot of fantastic stories and interesting tidbits surrounding the development of the sequel to the first Destiny. These are just a few of them. Today, we'll be looking at 10 interesting secrets behind the making of Destiny 2.
10 Bungie Planned To Release A Sequel Every Other Year
Only two months after the original Destiny was published, Activision announced that a direct sequel (as well as numerous expansion packs) were already in development. Uncovered documents later revealed that Bungie and Activision planned to release a full-length Destiny sequel every other year, as well as numerous expansion packs meant to bridge the gaps between releases.
Looks like they were going with the Ubisoft method of business! As such, Destiny 2 was meant to be released in 2016, but was eventually pushed back a year for further development and polishing.
9 They Catered To More Casual Fans
A major criticisms of Destiny was that it wasn't very accessible. Worst of all, it was grind-y, which is something that many players hate. After all, who wants to do the same thing over and over and over again for little gain when they could just throw on Call of Duty?
Destiny was also considered to be a commercial disappointment, forcing Activision to make the game more accessible for casual players. According to CEO Eric Hirshberg, "[They] made it more accessible to someone who just wants to have a great, more casual first-person action experience." We think they succeeded.
8 Bungie Broke A Promise
One of the major criticisms fired at Destiny 2 was Bungie's broken promise. In the past, Bungie promised fans that all of the characters and their respective progressions would carry over from the original Destiny.
However, this turned out to be a bit of a fib, as the only thing that carried over was the character's physical appearance. Even then, this only carried over under certain parameters, like if they completed the Black Garden quest from Destiny. When asked to explain, Bungie simply stated that they wanted to be "unencumbered by the past."
7 A Compromise Was Made
As you can imagine, players of the original Destiny were more than a little pissed off when they learned that their progression did not carry over into the sequel. While it was far too late into development to change anything, Bungie did come up with a compromise.
Veteran Destiny players were awarded with unique emblems that explained and acknowledged their unique accomplishments from the first game to other players. Of course, some people think that this wasn't good enough. What about you? Was it good enough, or a lame compromise?
6 The Score Was Meant To Invoke Tragedy
The score for Destiny 2 was a complex and likely very expensive collaboration between a number of musicians and composers such as Michael Salvatori, Skye Lewin, C. Paul Johnson, Rotem Moav, and Peter Schlosser. This was a different line up from the original Destiny, aside from Michael Salvatori and C. Paul Johnson, both of whom worked on the original alongside Martin O'Donnell and Paul McCartney (yes, THE Paul McCartney).
According to them, they wanted to "capture the somber spirit of a civilization confronting immense tragedy." Yep, sounds about right. No pun intended.
5 A Promotional Poster Was Leaked
In today's day and age, leaks are a relatively common occurrence (much to the chagrin of secretive video game developers everywhere) and Destiny 2 was no exception. On March 23, 2017, almost six months to the day before the game's official release, a promotional poster was leaked by Lega Network.
This poster revealed the name - Destiny 2 (how original) - the official release date, and the fact that Bungie would be opening a public beta for the game. Only a few days later, Bungie officially released their own promotional material, and the hype had officially begun.
4 The Game Was Rebooted Midway Through Development
"We have to start over" is something no one wants to hear, especially a video game development company deep into a work in progress. Unfortunately, that is exactly what Bungie was forced to do.
While appearing as a guest on the DTR Podcast, journalist Jason Schreier revealed that the development team was forced to scrap majority of their work midway through development in order to start over again. When all was said and done, Bungie had just 16 months to completely retool and polish the game in time for its scheduled September 2017 release.
3 The Internal Team Was Shuffled
A large part of the retooling was a complete shuffling of the development team. During the reboot, a few longtime Bungie employees left the company, including veteran writer Joseph Staten, who famously penned the Halo games.
The game's director was also let go and replaced by Luke Smith. Smith had worked on Destiny as the design lead under director Jason Jones. He was promoted to game director for The Taken King, and he was brought in to help direct Destiny 2 alongside Christopher Barrett and Ryan Ellis. So now you know why Destiny 2 felt so unique!
2 Many Mechanics Were Cut
As you can imagine with a game cutting a large chunk of its progress, many sacrifices were made to get Destiny 2 out on time. According to Jason Schreier, many aspects of Destiny 2 were cut after the retooling, including the option to revisit old planetary locations.
The developers also mentioned that they wanted to eliminate the old content to focus entirely on the new, which is something we can respect. Of course, this brings to mind the whole "character progression" debacle, and that wasn't nearly as cool. Oh, what could have been with this game...
1 Bungie Thinks Their Trajectory Is Unsustainable
Destiny 2 was praised for its consistent onslaught of post-release content. Unfortunately, this is wreaking havoc on the development team, most of whom just want to close their eyes and rest for a bit. According to director Luke Smith, Bungie is starting to burn out on Destiny 2.
Smith stated: "The scope of what we delivered...[took] a toll on the Bungie team. I had conversations throughout the year with team members...about the grind of working on Destiny. Working on the game was starting to wear people down." Sadly, this is another example of overworked employees in the video game industry.