Game developer Bungie described the future roadmap of his extensive online shooter Destiny 2 in detail in a Twitch live stream on Tuesday. It includes news about where the game is going this fall and how the studio will support it as the new Microsoft and Sony consoles arrive. Perhaps the biggest news was the announcement of not just one, but three new major additions that would keep the game active until at least 2022.
Typically, Bungie's Destiny series, first released in 2014 as the first new feature of the Halo creator, follows a somewhat consistent release rate. Minor updates were made and released every few months, which led to a significant expansion of the fall. For Destiny 1, the cycle lasted four years. The same goes for Destiny 2, which was launched in 2017 and since then has two major autumn expansions and a seasonal update model that Bungie optimized to find the right formula.
That seems to be changing, at least on the whole. Bungie has rarely spoken about his plans beyond the coming year. But game director Luke Smith announced today that Destiny 2 will see the Beyond Light expansion released on September 22, The Witch Queen in 2021 and Lightfall in 2022 this fall. There are no release dates for these last two Expansions, but we can assume they're going to be in the fall too, and Smith said Bungie will continue to revise how the game stays active and committed in the months in between.
All three extension names were displayed on the screen as part of Destiny 2. Although Bungie has not explicitly announced that it will not release another proper sequel, many players will have to switch to a new game and everything will lose their progress on the existing one – it seems pretty certain that Destiny 3 is not on the horizon, at least not long after 2022. Although Smith said in an interview with streamer Ben "DrLupo" Lupo after the unveiling, "We I don't mean to do one" when asked about another sequel.
The big focus of the fall expansion, Beyond Light, is that players take control of the dark, a kind of original evil that is the main opponent of the series and the opposite of the protagonist's supernatural powers (called light). It will include a new target, the icy Jupiter moon Europa, and a new enemy that is somehow intertwined with the ongoing Darkness narrative. It will also bring back a popular Destiny 1 character, the Exo Stranger, and bring together a number of other story threads that Bungie has been creating for some time.
Bungie does not plan to make a "Destiny 3".
Players don't have to wait too long to get an idea of where Bungie is leading the game in the fall. The next seasonal update, the Season of Arrivals, will be released today for all major platforms. It will include a dungeon going live tonight, as well as a number of story beats and activities that are likely to take the narrative towards Beyond Light in September.
In addition to all of this expansion-related news, Bungie announced it will support the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles for Destiny 2, including free upgrades for current game owners on the platform they play, and performance guarantees of 4K and 60 fps .
There was also a "Destiny Content Vault" unveiling that allowed Bungie to erase old content and bring fan favorites from Destiny 1 back into a new, separate experience that will live alongside the main game. According to Bungie, the goal is to better manage game updates, keep file size small, and enable the studio to prioritize newer content better. It begins with a revival of the series' first raid, the Vault of Glass.
All of these updates mark a pretty serious new direction for Destiny this fall, reflecting Bungie's major changes it made to the game's structure and business last year after breaking with publisher Activision and making Destiny an independent franchise Has. These changes affected Cross-Save support and a new free-to-play model. Both have made the game much more accessible to new players and made Bungie an industry leader in supporting movement between platforms.
So it's good to see that Bungie will continue to do so as new consoles arrive. Bungie has not yet announced an exact date when Destiny 2 will be available for Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. It is currently unclear how the upgrade process will work for current players who want to play the Beyond Light expansion when released for the transition to the new consoles and transfer all of their progress and purchases. However, given the smooth implementation of Cross-Save, it's likely that Bungie will have a coherent system in November when the new consoles are expected to hit the market – or at least early 2021.