Destiny 2's latest expansion, Forsaken, was a massive hit among players and critics alike. We gave it a four out of five star in our review, and this rating was the overall average among most outlets. Bungie and Activision finally managed to deliver an experience that lined up with their promises. However, we can't forget how long it took to get here — and more importantly, how much it cost consumers.
A slow burn
Ever since the controversial launch of the first Destiny game in 2014, Bungie and Activision have been at odds with the franchise's player base. After the disappointing experience that the base game delivered, fans made what they wanted clear, and bit by bit, it was given to them ... but only in the form of paid expansions.
Whereas titles like The Division or Halo 5: Guardians "made up" for their poor amounts of content by offering updates for free, Destiny charged players every step of the way. When all was said and done, people who stuck with the game since day one ended up paying $170 over two years just to get the same amount of content a $60 game should have at launch. And from a quality perspective, nothing Bungie made was universally liked.
Image credit: @Haruspis
Up until the launch of the acclaimed Forsaken expansion, Destiny 2 was shaping up in the exact same way. The first two expansions, Curse of Osiris and Warmind, set back players $20 each and propped up Destiny 2's underwhelming launch content. Forsaken, for many people, is the first piece of DLC in the franchise that actually feels like DLC.
How did this happen?
Now that we've identified the problems with Destiny's business model, it's also important to figure out how this happened in the first place. There isn't a correct answer to this, since it's not objective in any way, but most likely is that the fan base simply didn't hold Bungie and Activision accountable. While Destiny's followers have undoubtedly been vocal and clear about what they want, they also played right into the developers' hands by paying money when new expansions dripped content into the game.
In other words, because the fans kept buying even when Bungie refused to listen, the developers never had the incentive to fix the issues. This is what makes Forsaken interesting: it's the first time that the developers seem to be putting player concerns first and maximizing profit second. I'm not sure if this is a turning point for the series or not. But we can't repeat the same mistakes of the past and give Bungie and Activision an easy out. Players need to vote with their voices and with their wallets.
What do you think of Destiny and the way it delivers content? Do you agree or disagree with me? Let me know.
Destiny 2: Forsaken can be bought in the Destiny 2 Legendary Collection on Xbox One for $59.99, linked below. This will give you Forsaken, as well as the base game and the first two expansions. Alternatively, if you already own the game and its previous DLCs, you can purchase Forsaken standalone within the game client for $39.99.
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