Last month, Bungie announced a plan to introduce cosmetic microtransactions to Destiny, and mentioned that this would allow the smaller future story content patches to be released for free. However, an earning call earlier this week revealed that Activision seems to believe that expansions and microtransactions can exist side by side.
“I think they're already co-existing. We had a full year of expansions to the game that have been very well received and sold quite well.
"More recently, you've seen us introduce smaller, in-game purchases that allow people to customize their experience and express themselves; those have been very well-received and have sold well also. I think we've already shown that DLC and microtransactions can co-exist and that our community is hungry for more great content.”
-Eric Hershberg, Activision Publishing CEO
It is unclear if the initial plan of smaller content updates in Destiny being free because of microtransactions has changed or not, with Hershberg saying that he had no announcements about a change in their financial strategy.
“As far as any shifts in strategy, I don't have any announcments today, but I think we have a lot of options at our disposal. And the reason for that of course is that we have such great engagement with this game.”
It is no surprise that another massive multiplayer game owned by Activision is going a route to squeeze out as much money as possible. World of Warcraft received a poor reception when they introduced microtransactions while still charging for expansions and a monthly fee. It will be interesting to see if the lack of a subscription fee will be enough to keep Destiny in the good graces of its playerbase. With such a large number of registered players, however, I doubt even making a move that annoys a large number of people will have a meaningful impact on the bottom line.