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8/14/2023
First Person Shooter Destiny 2 MMOG

Destiny 2: The Evolution and Future of a Franchise

Three years after Bungie released Destiny for the PlayStation and Xbox consoles, Destiny 2 first became available for gamers on September 6, 2017.  There were many expectations members of the gaming community had as the next chapter of the Destiny saga began to make its mark.  Did Bungie succeed in this goal?  According to the 2017 Game Awards and the Game Critics Awards, yes it did.

Destiny’s Activision Journey

Originally, Destiny 2 was published by Activision in 2017 as a pay-to-play game for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles.  This was also the case when it was released for Windows.  On October 1, 2019, it became a free-to-play online game under the New Light title, which was followed by the game’s release on Stadia.  By December 2020, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S also began to utilize the games as a service model.

The change from pay to play to free to play came about after Bungie acquired the rights to the Destiny franchise on December 31, 2018.  Now with Activision out of the picture, Bunbie’s Destiny had a bright new future to look ahead to.



Goodbye, Activision

For Bungie, breaking ties with Activision was the best move they could possibly make.  With the surge of bad press associated with Acitivion due to a chain of events, staying as far away from that company as possible until Microsoft (hopefully) takes over would be wise for any game developer.   

From this gamer’s point of view, the mythical sci-fi storyline that made Destiny famous isn’t much different from the Guardian protagonist Bungie marked as the game’s main character.  In the game, players assume the role of Guardian in an effort to protect the Earth’s only safe city left.  Through the use of a power source known as Light, a team of protectors strive to save humanity from different alien races that threaten to take the world over with its Darkness.



Destiny’s New Light
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Since breaking ties with Activision, Bungie brought forth seven expansion packs.  The first was the Curse of Osiris and the second was Warmind.  In order of release, the next five were Forsaken, Shadowkeep, Beyond Light, The Witch Queen, and Lightfall.  Starting with Beyond Light, Destiny 2 offered players the opportunity to use Darkness as a power source in the game.  As far as Bungie and the gamers were concerned, this began a new era for the Destiny franchise that allowed the additional expansion packs to bring forth a broader spectrum of options for players.

The eighth and final chapter of Destiny 2 is The Final Shape.  This one is destined to conclude the first saga of Destiny and is referred to as the “Light and Darkness Saga.”  When Destiny 2 entered its fourth season that introduced Beyond Light, it marked a new era for Destiny as a franchise that still has millions of loyal players all over the world.



Destiny vs. Destiny 2

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As to be expected, whenever there is a sequel lined up to pick up where the original story of a game leaves off, there are expectations that spring up among fans of the game and critics.  Destiny was no exception as it released Destiny 2.  For the most part, it was well-received by both as it was noted about the game’s storyline, gameplay experience, and visual appeal.

The fans were still able to enjoy the role-playing first-person shooter game in solo mode while still being able to access its massively multiplayer online (MMO) elements.  However, they key difference was the original had limited communication options while the sequel embedded a system known as “Guided Games.”  This allowed players to seek out clans as they embarked on raids.  It offered a player-versus-player (PVP) instead of strictly sticking to its previous player-versus-environment (PVE) mode.




Destiny’s Future
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As the eighth and final expansion pack for Destiny 2 serves as its final chapter, fans of this franchise in the gaming community are wondering if there will be a Destiny 3.  Unlike Destiny and Destiny 2, Bungee has now become its own publisher.  Destiny 2’s The Final Shape is slated for release in 2024.  So far, Bungee and Destiny have enjoyed a solid track record that would suggest perhaps a Destiny 3 is possible.  However, Bungee is also the developer behind Halo, which has a rich franchise history of its own.

Although Bungee is no longer with Activision, it still has a parent company that’s pulling all the strings.  As of 2022, Bungee and Destiny have been answering to Sony Interactive Entertainment.  This is the same gaming giant behind the PlayStation consoles that is currently engaged in a corporate war against Microsoft and its Xbox series.  Caught in the middle is Activision, which Microsoft placed a bid to take full control of the company, its assets, and its future.

Also caught in the middle is Bungie as Sony has been doing everything it can to prevent Microsoft from bringing Activision into its fold.  In the process, gamers have also found themselves in a situation that has much in common with a child watching squabbling parents fight over who has the right to what.  Currently, Sony’s answer to slap Xbox in the face is to make their most recent games exclusive only to the PlayStation consoles.  Should Bungie release a Destiny 3, what kind of fate is in store for it?  Will it join the ranks as a PlayStation exclusive or will Sony learn to ease off?  Only time will tell.

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