There are a lot of leaks going on recently, and some of them came from Engadget, which accidentally broke the embargo on some big news for Destiny 2, right ahead of Bungie's live stream, which happened on Twitch and YouTube. The game is going free-to-play on September 17 when the new expansion Shadowkeep is released. More specifically, the core game of Destiny 2 is going free-to-play and changing names to Destiny 2: New Light. This version will feature all year-one content freely, including foundational modes, activities, and rewards. You can still see screenshots of the Engadget leak here.
Last November, Bungie gave the game away for free to keep on PC, so this new move to free-to-play builds on top of that, which will very likely increase its player base a lot in the coming months, not to mention the move to Google Stadia with cross-save, which will allow players to juggle their progress between one platform and another, even PlayStation 4, which wasn't 100% certain prior to the reveal. This will lead to a new chapter in the groundbreaking looter-shooter, with a lot more flexibility for both veteran and new players.
Destiny 2 Game Director Luke Smith enthused about this new chapter, as cross-save and cross-platform technology along with the move to free-to-play will reach a lot more players in more platforms. The move will also allow the game to become of an MMORPG experience rather than a looter-shooter with RPG elements. Bungie has a lot of plans for player customization to empower players in this new chapter of the franchise, which will become available with Shadowkeep.
The stream featured many interviews with Bungie developers as they provided their perspectives on what's in store for Destiny 2 as Shadowkeep releases.
After the ViDoc where these Destiny 2 changes were discussed, there was a brief Question and Answer segment hosted by Datto. Returning to the Moon in the latest expansion it is explained that Eris Morn has returned and found something even darker than the dark below. They hope to dig deep into her story with this expansion. The Moon isn't the place that guardians remember it with this expansion, the map is now twice as big, and contains new structures and enemies. The changes to the Moon will give familiarity but also a fresh take. It was explained that the Moon was decided as the setting because of the internal developers love for the different stories told on the moon.
Starting today everything in Destiny 2 until now is going to be bundled together and dropped to $40 but none of the content is required to play new expansions. This will allow people to pick back up into Destiny 2 where they want. This will be the same for full seasons as well. The team at Destiny felt it was unfair to ask for money upfront when they haven't even released names of expansions and count on fans to believe in them, they want people to know what they're purchasing.
Talking about the variety of different activities such as PvP, PvE, missions, raids, strikes and more developers acknowledged that they feel they've underserved to their fanbase but with a new approach to not releasing everything with the DLC it allows them to release content more frequently and steadily as opposed to long droughts of content. To address the elephant in the room on the Bungie-Activision split it was explained that because it was known Bungie was able to get themselves in a strategic point where while they've lost the support they're able to stand on their own without feeling like there's a chunk missing.
For the third set of interviews Destiny 2 New Light was the focus. While tailored to new players it can be experienced by all and is a way to get people into the world of Destiny faster where they can catch up with their friends or play at their own pace as they want. While there will be some Destiny 1 moments though they wanted to clarify that it is Destiny 2. As you play the world will expand so that players don't get access to absolutely everything but that they will be naturally guided through the process and the world will open up. While it's being tuned new Guardians will start at power level 175 so that you can jump right into the latest action. This will be available on all platforms.
For a final guest, Luke Smith came on to talk about the Google Stadia partnership and how they're now wanting to add so much more depth to the characters and gameplay that they're comfortable starting to call Destiny an MMO, but avoid a lot of the baggage that can come from that. Whereas the Destiny 1 expansions rounded out to be "Monster of the week" the hopes with Shadowkeeper is to create a more direct path so that the universe seems like it's growing and moving in a direction. Datto even took the time to post as the hypothetical mad internet user accusing the development team of reusing assets and how the steps that they've taken are so much more.
To round out the interview the topic of Destiny 3 was brought up, Luke Smith responded to this by saying that anything beyond what has been discussed today is a long way out so don't expect to hear anything on it for a while.
Are you excited for the future of Destiny 2? What do you think of the move to free-to-play and cross-save? Let us know in the comments below!