Bungie is rediscovering itself following its separation from Activision, but the future of Destiny 2 remains undefined. Even the game's upcoming expansion, Shadowkeep, remains mysterious in many ways. Dedicated Destiny fans are taking the opportunity to speak their mind, whether that involves new features, balance changes, or bigger changes to gameplay. Among those fans is Microsoft corporate vice president Mike Ybarra, who has ever been comfortable speaking his mind.
Speaking on Twitter, Ybarra added his preference for Destiny 2's future direction to the conversation. Ybarra, in response to an article about Destiny 2 quality of life changes, said, "I like that things are hard to get and this rare. I wish we had more of it." He's referencing how Destiny 2 has certain challenging quests and difficult to obtain weapons. This type of gameplay is a common example of what Destiny 2's most dedicated players want more of.
Ybarra's comment serves as an example of the difficult position Bungie is in with regards to Destiny 2's future. The article Ybarra is responding to is about a patch Bungie is issuing that will make several of those types of challenging content easier. Ybarra's comment implies disagreement with the nerf while not saying so specifically. It's a sentiment not uncommon in Destiny 2's most hardcore player base. If the reason why someone is playing Destiny 2 is the difficulty, then why would anyone want it to be easier?
Bungie is clearly listening to this subset of its Destiny 2 players. Being able to better cater more towards these players is likely one of the biggest reasons Bungie likely left its contract with Activision. It's the content Destiny 2's biggest fans want, but it's also the kind of content Bungie most wants to deliver. However, a studio as big as Bungie understands that a game like Destiny 2 can't survive on a hardcore community alone. Appealing to a broader, and more casual, playerbase is important, too.
I like that things are hard to get and this rare. I wish we had more of it. https://t.co/qXCGWk9mkA— Mike Ybarra (@XboxQwik) August 3, 2019
Bungie has already spoken about its near-term plans for Destiny 2. Shadowkeep itself will lean more heavily into the MMO and RPG aspects of the franchise. This means that players will have more options for building out their characters in the way that they want. Bungie also wants to create more living, evolving content that changes over time based on player involvement. These are all changes that appeal to the more dedicated and hardcore player base like what Mike Ybarra wants.
However, Bungie is making moves to appeal to the broader core audience as well. Destiny 2: New Light will offer a completely free-to-play option for new players. Cross-saves will allow more casual fans to transfer to different platforms, to find friends no matter where they play. Making Destiny 2 easier to play how players choose to play is a hallmark of attracting new players and retention.
All that said, as Ybarra's tweet shows, appealing to all players all the time is impossible. Shadowkeep is going to be a major test for Bungie and all players are watching.
Destiny 2 is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, with a Stadia version also in development.