The Curious Case of Destiny 2
Destiny is a curious case. When the first game was released in 2014, it became clear what type of game this would be: hardcore fans only. The metacritic scores are still good for the game, though it averages a 6 from users. But I remember hearing from cohorts that the biggest issues they had with Destiny was lack of endgame content, low support from the developers, and no character growth. Big things that you have to have in an MMO world. And with Bungie at the helm, known for turning out great products with the Halo franchise, the game quickly turned into a disappointment.
So I was surprised when people were quickly jumping into Destiny 2 once the first set of game trailers released. On the one hand, it's great that they were willing to give the franchise another shot. On the other, it seemed early on that the problems of the past game were going to haunt the sequel. The developers had a lot to prove that this game wouldn't be like it's predecessor.
The current state of Destiny 2 is questionable optimism. For some players, the game is better then the first. Others say it's worse, most likely due to continuing issues since the game's release. The metacritic scores are all over the chart. Most user reviews are not favorable. You can't go to a gaming site without seeing articles about Destiny 2 that follow the latest updates, or pan it. And of course, more merchandising! Some regular streamers are jumping ship, while others are picking it up for the first time. Bungie continues to apologize and work towards making the game better. While other gamers are praising Bungie for their efforts and continue to support them. Even the content creators are struggling to figure out how to approach the game. Negative responses get more clicks, but some streamers and YouTubers want to show off the things the game does well.
What is this game? Destiny 2 defies all logic on consumerism. Is it the Bungie-Halo effect? Is it the loyal fanbase? There is something very unique in Destiny 2 in being able to defy the odds and continue to press forward where other games with controversy have faded into the background. See Star Wars: Battlefront II. The brand name is strong enough that if Bungie were to announce a Destiny 3 for next year, I have a feeling everyone would be on board. No questions asked.
As I stated at the beginning of this article, I haven't played the game. I have enough MMO's in my life that taking on another is more then I can handle. But I've watched people play it. The game looks nice. The progression system feels a little clunky. The emphasis seems to be more on the look and less on the substance, but maybe that will be patched in later. It's not a game that would normally catch my attention - endgame is important in all MMO's and I've been told that Destiny 2 lacks that.
But people are still supporting this game. This isn't like Final Fantasy XIV where the game was so unplayable that the best option was to destroy it and start over. Destiny 2 is very much a playable game, but not necessarily a viable MMO in it's current state.
It will be interesting to see what happens to Bungie and Destiny 2 in the coming months. Will they continue to press on and provide full support to this title? Or will they cut their losses and move on to the next project? This is Bungie. This is a studio that won't shut down from 2 confusing game outcomes. But will that affect their fanbase? Will it cause people to turn and question about quality control/business decisions?
I can't help but be curious about where Bungie will go from here. Destiny 2 continues to baffle and amaze me with it's resilience.