Destiny draws ire for its Collector's Edition policies, gets ridiculed by Dying Light dev (Update: Bungie responds)

Edit: Bungie have since responded to the backlash, scroll down for more.

DLC continues to be a hotly debated topic, and Destiny has deservedly taken the spotlight over the past few days on this thorny issue.

The upcoming Destiny expansion The Taken King asks veterans to pay $40 for the privilege. The game includes a new raid, new sub-classes and a whole lot of new content. If you're a fan, you might be able to justify the price. For people who haven't yet journeyed into Bungie's plot-shy loot-fest they can pick up the base game, all previous DLC and The Taken King for just $60. You might imagine that this has slighted a few fans.

Bungie really stoked the fires when they gave an interview to Eurogamer, attempting to defend the nature of The Taken King's Collector's Edition. The CE includes exclusive in-game content available only to people who pony up $80 and also a bunch of other typical collector's edition fare. The problem is, to score this content you have to re-purchase the base game and all the DLC content for a second time. Normally I'd presume this was an oversight. But during the interview mentioned above with Destiny's creative director and Eurogamer, it became quite apparent that Bungie's Luke Smith didn't care for those concerns.

Luke Smith tersely claimed that Destiny fans will "throw money at the screen" when they see the emotes, thus ignoring their purchase "anxiety". Despite the Eurogamer interviewer explaining that he didn't want to re-purchase the core game and DLC again, this is how Bungie's Luke Smith responded:

..."You're feeling anxious because you want this exclusive content, but you don't know yet how much you want it. The notion of spending this money is making you anxious, I can see it." [...] "If I fired up a video right now and showed you the emotes, you would throw money at the screen."...

As anyone sane might expect, the comments made to Eurogamer's interviewer struck a negative chord with Destiny's player-base. The comments are reminiscent of former Xbox head Don Mattrick stating that "We have a product for people who can't get online, it's called Xbox 360", in response to fan concerns about the Xbox One's former internet connection requirement. You'd think senior industry figures would learn.

Destiny's community manager Deej has since taken to Bungie's official website to claim that something "better" is on its way recognizing long-term fans of the franchise. Reddit commenter leo158 summed up the community's disappointment succinctly:

..."Sorry Deej, the disappointment here for me is not about the price, not about being a Year One guardian, or the game content. It is that the Lead Designer of one of my favorite games of all time is treating the fanbase with utter disrespect. I am not sure how this can addressed nicely."...

Bungie wasn't finished tarnishing their name by mocking fans who don't want to re-buy a ton of content. You can now drink specially marked cans of Red Bull to unlock a compelling-sounding piece of content. What joy.

..."This epic, new quest is a never-before-seen, multi-stage mission in The Taken King that will test the speed and strategic abilities of Destiny players in new ways."...

Disregarding the fact Red Bull is pretty unhealthy (particularly when mixed with Jägermeister in copious amounts), Bungie seem completely unaware of the growing backlash against these ridiculous DLC practices. Some of the more savvy devs have been reacting to the controversy over DLC, providing free DLC instead for example.

The crown for commentary on Bungie's transgressions goes to Dying Light dev Techland, who posted this hilarious 'campaign' on their Twitter account earlier:

At this point, it's probably fair to presume the people still playing Destiny are die-hard fans. As pointed out by Engagdet, for a senior dev to treat fans so arrogantly is something that shouldn't be abided. When explaining that Bungie had compensation coming for Destiny's veterans, Deej still managed to point out proudly that The Taken King CE was mostly sold out despite the backlash. I think it's disgusting to lock players out of content because they don't have the disposable income to justify buying a game twice.

I had hoped that developers like CD Projekt RED with their tons of free Witcher 3 DLC would help put an end to practices seen by Bungie. Alas, it seems we as gamers have more work to do when it comes to taking a stand against this sort of business.

Now, does anyone fancy some Dying Light?

Update: Bungie have responded to recent criticisms with a frank community update on the official Bungie website.

Creative Director Luke Smith posted an apology for the way he came across in Eurogamer's interview:

I am Luke Smith, Creative Director on Destiny: The Taken King.Many, many years ago, I wrote to you each week in this spot. We talked about Battle Rifles, we talked about stuff we weren't going to talk about, and at some point I did a horrible hand-drawing of an upcoming map and teased you with it in the Weekly Update.Anyone who knows me knows I can be sarcastic, anyone who remembers podcasts I've done knows that I can be pretty blunt, and anyone who's watched me in a ViDoc knows I'm pretty unpolished. However, most of you don't know me. Reading my interview with Eurogamer and imagining it came from some random developer of a game I love - that random developer looks like an Asshat. But that Asshat was me - and those words rightfully anger you.I'm sorry.My words made it sound as if Bungie doesn't care about their most loyal fans.We do care. We are listening. And we will make it right.

Smith moves on to state that players who own the previous DLC or have a Light level 30 character will obtain some permanent rewards, including armor shaders and a unique mount.

Additionally, the contested emotes, shaders and exotic weapons will be available separate from the Collector's Edition for $20 on Sept 15th. It seems a tad pricey for a few art assets, let me know in the comments what you think about that.

All of this could've been soundly avoided if developers weren't so keen to nickel and dime their fans with convoluted DLC practices. One can only hope Bungie (and other devs) will learn from this.

Thanks Chadd

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • In response to you last comment about CD Projekt Red and the example they made.
    Unfortunately they are the minority, and DLC has proven to much of a money pit for others to ignore.
    Its probably the only way they can compete with/stay out of mobile gaming
  • Ugh I hate mobile gaming, its ruining real gaming
  • +925
  • Sad truth.
  • Desinty isnt just hard core players. Destiny is one of those games, you dust off, and go play for a bit. Hammer it for a few days, put it back on the shelf and leave it some more. Luke actually isn't a bad guy. If you watch his E3 interview with Giant Bomb he is clearly a half decent bloke. He takes criticism on the chin. Brad Shomakers from Giantbomb made Destiny his game of the year. Jeff Gerstman levels the correct criticsim. Not enough content at launch, poor story. But they are OK with people stopping playing. They too think people will pull it from the shelf and play it periodically.
  • I don't think it's as much that they're a minority, or trying to make an example, as that they're just down-to-earth and humble. They're still in touch with the average gamer, and treat them with respect. All these execs are not. Whether it's Don Mattrick, or Luke Smith, or John Riccitello, these guys have all let their egos run away with them and think they're God's gift to the gaming world. (Riccitello was by far the worst: "When you are six hours into playing Battlefield and you run out of ammo in your clip, and we ask you for a dollar to reload, you're really not very price sensitive at that point in time.") These guys literally have no clue what flippant douchebags they've become.
  • The irony to this story, is that 343 is giving away a year's worth of free DLC with the purchase of Halo 5: Guardians.  People have wondered if Halo was in good hands since Bungie handed the IP over to 343.  Well apparently, Halo is in much better hands than Destiny. But then again, this is what you get for teaming up with Activision.  Any publisher out there would have loved to have helped Bungie bring Destiny to life.  But Bungie literally had to pick the worst [spelled: greediest] publisher out there, and now we are seeing that Activision's practices and complete disregard for their customers, is rubbing off on Bungie. No doubt a lot of that has to do with revenue performance clauses stipulated in the contract between Bungie and Activision.  Essentially, Activision gets to rape Bungie should Destiny fall beneath a certain level of revenue influx.  With Destiny not selling anywhere near the projects Activision had touted pre-release, Bungie is just as much on the hook to Activision right now, as all of Activision's other studios. And we see what happens to studios that are on the hook to Activision - they milk their own IPs into early graves. Which only brings up the other irony to this story.  Bungie left Microsoft, because they said that Microsoft was too heavy-handed; too controlling [if that didn't at least get a chuckle out of you, then you just don't understand the situation]. 
  • Very well put, Tachyonic Cargo. You forgot how Bungie/Activision also took gobs of money from Sony for exclusives, even though according the NPDs Destiny sold best on Xbox One.
  • Bizzare creations is another fatality of their own making
  • I think the reason for the free dlc with halo is to get fans back into the franchise
  • I think the policies around 5 are a response to the MCE fiasco, but as a gamer and a fan, I really like their attitude. I hate it when they charge for map packs for multiplayer games like Halo, CoD, etc. It splits the available players and has always caused issues when some of friends get them and some don't. I understand these games aren't cheap to make, but perhaps something closer to the Halo 2 model where the maps eventually became free. As for Destiny, they handled this about as bad as possible.
  • Agreed on that TachyonicCargo - I fear those ridiculous DLC practices and pricing are Activision's doing and that, due to tricky contract, Bungie has to do what they do without complaining. Publishers are so greedy nowadays.
  • That's crazy to ask people to spend so much! I'll just play Titanfall which has the season pass and all DLC map packs free right now.
  • Sweet, I just bought it! Wait, did I miss the point here...I think I may have, lol.
  • If you're buying the game for the first time then you were not screwed by Bungie actually. :)
  • You play Destiny? We should totally play together sometime.
  • No you shouldn't, noob. =)
  • I just can't get into the Witcher, I've tried multiple times and i just get sooo bored I'm still gonna buy The Taken King because Destiny is the only mmo-like fps on the market (with solid gameplay). But spending $40 extra on some emotes? No thank you, Ill spend my money on content. I'm loving this, everyone is getting mad and I'm (as a day one Guardian) gonna benefit from it. Whooooo hoooo
  • Amazing game. Soooo much content.
  • You're kidding, right? Biggest waste of $60 I've ever spent. Bored with it in a week. And what they're doing with this DLC is highway robbery
  • I tend to agree. Playing the same levels over and over and over again gets old very fast. The first play through I enjoyed but then I just lost interest. I like the multiplayer, even though I suck, but don't think it's going to be enough to keep my attention. Definitely not enough to fork out more money after I already bought the game and season pass. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I thought this was
  • I am so glad I got in in the beta to play Destiny. Without it, I might've bought that dog pile of a game. Titanfall though, a real nice game. Would love to see more maps.
  • I wound up getting Destiny, hated it because of the repetition and general confusing interface (I've not played a game like this before), and deleted it 3 days later. I played Titanfall up until about 2 weeks ago, where I hit some sort of wall and just was bored of that gameplay. I decided to give Destiny another chance, and after getting past Earth, I find I actually really like it, a lot.
  • I've found the only way to keep Titanfall fresh was to continue regenerating - even though some of those challenges are really difficult. As for Destiny, if I had my friends on XB1, it would be as fun as grinding in Borderlands.
  • The witcher 3 has a very adult and complex story with sex scenes. Anyone who's ever gotten laid knows that sometimes it takes time and effort to get a piece.
  • Defiance says hi to you from PS3, 360, & PC.
    Defiance is a F2P online, open world, third-person shooter. Don't let the game being F2P scare u, the base game along Season 2, S3, and future DLC is all free, with no in ur face microtransaction shenanigans. S1 DLC does require the purchase of the season pass but you won't miss anything special if u don't get it.
  • Try Warframe. It's a F2P sci-fi shooter like Destiny, but has a lot more content and even has sword fighting gameplay in addition to the shooter elements.
  • This is becoming common practice. I've seen several PC expansions come out in the last year at full price because they come with the core game, and no option to buy only the expansion.
  • Not 1 cent spent on Dlc from me. I prefer my games to come full and bug free. Which most don't these days. So no one earns dlc payment from me.
  • I don't mind dlc if 1) the initial game felt complete and 2) it is not over-priced or at least goes on sale at a later date.
  • Not sure if this is the proper location to vocalize this (sorry if it isn't) but Win Central writers:
    Please chill with the specially formatted quotes and Twitter embedded pics or make some type of integration with your app. I have to read a lot of your posts in the browser to make sense of a lot of posts lately. The site looks nice and all but why have an app that requires me to launch the browser? Might as well skip over the app at that point.
  • You're going to have to deal with it until our new app arrives later in August, sorry.
  • New app is coming? great !
  • Hooray! For Windows 10 right? =D
  • And thanks for bringing this topic to light. I hope this gets developers thinking twice about DLC, "Expansion Packs," and sequels. This monetization of nearly every item that they can code for their games is getting aggrevating. It's not fair to fans and purchasers. Please provide full game experiences in your initial release and stop hanging enjoyment over the heads of people who already spent $60 or more to join and fund your project.
  • Yep, Bungie are chewing on some humble pie right now more than likely. One would hope anyway. A more likely scenario is that they're having money fights with piles of cash.
  • Nope, there are a million idiots (at least) that will pay full price for this expansion. $40 for less content than the full game had at $60 over a year ago??? They obviously think people are stupid. And unfortunately they're right.
  • Whats really messed up is how some devs code the dlc into main game and sell you a key to unlock whats already there
  • Valve did a similar thing when they made people rebuy Half Life 2 and Episode 1 as part of the Orange Box, though that wasn't quite as expensive and you did get an additional 3 games!
  • You could buy EP1/2 separately though, to get those emotes and junk you have to purchase the CE. I do expect them to do a U-turn however.
  • Bungie... You are the creator's of Halo! One if the best franchise ever made so how the hell did you end up whit something like Destiny?
  • They really aren't that different...
  • One has a great story and great competitive multiplayer. The other had no story and killing the same enemies with different guns over and over again.
  • Are you talking about Destiny, our Borderlands? lol
  • Activision.....
  • They got a check from Sony. That's literally how destiny started its downward spiral.
  • We are both level 34 with multiple characters and grimoire scores of 2900 and 3100 so diehards and as of today and the stupid unhealthy redbullcrap content we will skip the taken king and wait for halo 5 while playing dying light, cod, and other non Activision titles. Bungie has always screwed us on the Xbox one and now they want us to be screwed again...
  • Cod is the main Activision title Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • You're gonna get it. I guarantee.
  • Get what Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • "The Taken King CE was mostly sold out despite the backlash" And thats why you console peasants don't deserve to be treated better.
  • The PC doesn't even have the game.  Seems to me it's the PC thats lacking here.
  • Why are PC gamers all so bitter? As a console gamer I have no animosity, jealousy or fear of PC gamers.
  • They're waiting for Batman Arkham Knight to get patched.
  • #bethebugman
  • Zaj, don't make PC gamers looks bad.
  • Well, Bungie is showing what a shitty company/studio it has become and Activision's management only advanced the transformation. Meanwhile, 343i will include all preorder bonus for Halo 5 into the base game for people to unlock, plus free map packs after the game is out.
  • The dying light devs are hilarious. Bungie..why are you doing this to us? Whatever happened to you?
  • The ad for water should have read "Available Now (Excluding California)
  • Never understood any alure in the game from the first place. Highly repetitive gameplay with poor drops/leveling. Ah well if you're a fan you do some weird purchasing.
  • Thanks for judging all of us. Just having fun, we all have our own tastes.
  • Highly repetitive gameplay with poor drops/leveling.
    Not to mention the ridiculously low caps on pretty much anything. Grinding a bit to level up to Dead Orbit rank 2 for equipment, only to discover half of the accumulated marks are simply gone because I've reached the 200 marks cap a week ago.
  • Wow, that's a shame. If you, as a company, treat fairly your customers and offer them a good quality product, they will keep purchasing what you have to offer. That keeps your business alive. If you treat your clients like crap it doesn't matter if yours is a multimillion dollar company, you'll be shut down because you REALLY need support from customers. I'm not buying Destiny nor any of it's extra content.
  • Funny enough I just started getting into my copy of Dying Light now. Collected dust on my shelf for quite a while but I must say I'm actually enjoying it. 50% of the way through now.
  • Meh. They have to pay down the reported 500$million they spent to develop the game.  I've worked in operations for an MMO company and I've seen some expensive development projects that took years and years (including the concept being reinvented several times during those years and years) and can't believe that number even if it is a 1/5 of what was reported...   On a serious note, I hope they do revise their pricing structure to reward veterans.  Why?  Because that is how you show them you love them and don't view them as money bags (even if, ultimately, that is what we are).  I guess we'll see.
  • I'm ok without this DLC
  • I'm not trying to defend Luke Smith here, but he did allude in his interview that more info would be available in the future. No one caught this? Why in this day in age are people all about skimming and not actually reading things and understanding things? Maybe I'm getting old, but even at my job employees don't have the simple skill of reading comprehension. We are our worst enemies. God help us all.
  • That happens if you go with Activision ...
  • What a ripoff -- non apology. $20 for three exotic armors that help you rank up quicker, 3 shaders, a cape, an armband and an apron. I am already a 34 with two characters and 33 with my third so the exotics are worthless. And we still don't get the extra quest without drinking redbullcrap... Destiny is trying to milk a cow but this cow is not going to put out since they are getting too greedy....
  • I would rather have the physical goodies than the digital goodies. +1 to TechLand -1 to Luke Smith +/- 0 to Daniel for trolling in the comments
  • It's funny because dying light is a much better game than Shitstiny.
  • Shocking. This reminds me of Sony's arrogant PR during the launch of the PS3
  • Will be spending my money on Halo 5 and an Elite controller and not Taken King.  Especially with other games of noteworthy mention, The Division, Six Siege there is more than enough to justify my wallet share.  Destiny has been a great placeholder game but honestly even the latest expansion HoW feels like a rip off, After buying HoW and completing Prisoner of Elders a couple times etc I received a bunch of exotic and legendary gear....from previous expansions...still have yet to get one of the new weps.  Even more frustrating is that it seems like only the FIRST PoE has matchmaking and the other options look like thye require fireteams...with still a broken socialsphere to find and make friends to play battles with.  Bungie would be better off dumping Destiny and building brand new IP on the engine, which really is the most remarkable thing they have accomplished.
  • As someone who has been playing Destiny since day one, I feel kind of ripped off. The game cost me 60 dollars plus each dcl cost 20. If you add the Taken King, which cost an additional 40, that puts me at 140 dollars. So people who buy the Taken King collectors edition pay less than half of what I did...?! I don't expect it to bee free, but honestly I feel ripped off.
  • Destiny is a POS anyways. I played the beta and was bored almost immediately. A bunch of my coworkers played it from day one but quickly moved on.
  • Gamers are still going to buy the content even though they complain about how ridiculous the gaming industry has gotten in relation to (buggy AAA titles at launch to DLC practices). Just check out /r/gaming on Reddit and you'll see what I mean. I'm glad that I stopped preordering games and buying DLC content a long time ago (since Halo 2/3 days). The gaming community deserves what it reaps though. I have no sympathy for gamers these days throwing their money at incompetent devs who make games just for the money. I'm sorry Bungie lost their sole when they paired with cash cow Activision.
  • Even before this fiasco my opinion of Bungie was near rock bottom. Destiny was a huge disappointment. Also the fact that god knows how many months into its life last time I played they still had not fixed the bug for precision kills. Your game isn't detecting headshots and you can't just fix this little issue after 6+ months? That is just pathetic. Did they ever end up fixing that? After Destiny I can't be the only one to think perhaps Microsoft had a much bigger role in the Halo series and it's consistently stellar releases than Bungie would ever admit. Yes Master Chief Collection had it's issues but it also has a lot going for it as well, and to see a company release a compilation of an entire series spanning 2 console generations and over a decade from first to last is very impressive.
  • Yeah especially on the MCC the campaigns performed flawlessly and the HD remake is also technically impressive.  I too have seen some issues with the (quite brilliant) server model that Bungie is employing with Destiny.  It does seem in multiplayer matches you can get your shot off first but still get killed by the other guy at the same time.  I wonder which cloud Destiny is running would be a shame for Microsoft for not to have gotten that bit of business but also, who has the datacenters to compete with them?
  • I really don't enjoying typing things out just to have them lost and retype them again and again...I like episodic stuff but they DO need to be more considerate as to how they provide the content. At the same time, WE should grow up and think that in this world we all have to work for a living or we lose. Good Day! =p
  • Remember, people thought it was good thatBungie left Microsoft and Halo to make thisame with Activisio. What we got was something lifeless, shallow, and panned more than praised. Now, they're vocally dumping on their customers and calling it sarcasm while tying content to purchases not jsut of their DLC, but of physical products from another company. They're throwing serious ay-to-win with Red Bull XP boosts, and giving people earlier access to content for drinking it. And their promised fix is an expensive set of DLC that offers cosmetic stuff. People cheered Bungie on when they left Microsoft for Activision. People ooed and ahhed and Destiny's screenshots and early gameplay. Bungie's now underdelivering on content and basically acting like the Apple of gaming. People love(d) this company. People supported this venture. People defended this $60 game's $30 of content. I don't get the love for this mess.
  • Well said. The blind love is truly a mystery.
  • I agree. I was a big fan of Destiny at the beginning, but they totally screwed it up. I ended up trading my $200+ ghost edition for AC:BF and AC:U. Ghost edition has been my worst purchase EVER.
  • Not everyone is broke. And we all purchase pants and shirts. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • People need to vote with their wallets, I hate seeing hypocrites on forums complaining and bashing disgusting DLC practices and yet then they turn around and buy those stupid overpriced DLC themselves. All this is telling the greedy devs that it's ok to screw your player base, since they are stupid enough to buy your crap DLC anyway even if they first complain a bit.  
  • Destiny? It should have been called Halo: Destiny, because that's all it is, a reskinned Halo with a juvenile load screen and a dumb ass hub to dance with other players. Was bored with it within a few hours. Major let down for sure and didn't even remotely live up to the hype or what it could have been.
  • Umm, the two games may share similar feeling and controls, but they are structured vastly differently.
  • I understand they are structured differently, but to me that doesn't make the gameplay any less boring. I have enjoyed all of the Halo games, but Destiny was a big disappointment.
  • You call them criminals. Any details of those crimes?
  • His use of criminal is figurative, not literal. It means that the author thinks Activision's DLC practices with Destiny should be illegal. Not that they actually are illegal.
  • If you write that companys practices are criminal it means exactly what it says. You could use word 'criminal' figuratively but not in context like that. If intention is to indicate that companys practices could or should be considered criminal then why not choose a word like 'shady' or 'fishy' etc. Then again I might be wrong as English is not my first language.
  • It means just what I said. Figurative language is an important part of writing (not that I'm always great at it). Criminal is a very strong word to use, true. European journalists tend to use harsher language in their criticisms than American ones; this is a good example. No worries about misunderstanding the use of the word. Just absorb the information and you'll be more likely to get it next time.
  • Lets agree to disagree :)
  • Destiny is so overrated. It's got no purpose, you can't see what you're shooting as numbers are flying everywhere and the general feel for the game is plastic.
  • These actions from Bungie was the deciding factor for me. I'm not getting destiny again...
  • Bungie just... Sucks now.
  • Every time the MBAs take over, gaming goes wrong. What is wrong with them?
  • Darth Smither: "Your DestinyTM lies with me, Consumer..." Luke Consumer: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"
  • Oh the days when dlc's were just called "patches" lol
  • The day there was the first day one DLC was the day gaming died. It was bad enough to see expansion packs convert into less than shells of their former selves in the form of DLCs... But the practices of the gaming companies today are a reflection of how idiotic the gaming community in a whole can be.
  • Halo 5 will have free map-packs, they will only have micro-transactions which you don't need
  • i better get up to 30. i will probly pay for the content. what is 40?  not a whole lot these days. i have a job so i can afford it.
  • The only people still forking out money for this game repetively are PS4 users who had to watch Xbox users and their Halo series froma far and now that they have this game logic has escped thier minds. I feel like everyone else Destiny got boring for mem, but to me it was mostly because I already have Halo. Dont get me wrong the game is beautiful, but the repetition is just too much.
  • There's a looooong history of game expansions costing somewhere around 10-15 bucks. The oldest I can remember are the two Wing Commander expansions in 92 or 93. Anything more expensive than that feels like too much since it encroaches on the cost of the full game - which expansions clearly aren't. Offering season passes and "year" editions are great ways to bundle the expansions and provide value to new and veteren players alike. Bungie is clearly trying desperately to make up for losses and pad the books since Destiny underdelivered. 
  • Nowadays, real expansion packs cost $20-30. The cost of game development has gone up, ya know? $15 would tend to be a sizable piece of DLC that doesn't qualify as a true expansion.
  • I have goten back in to playing destiny however what they have done here I feel is rather greedy to say the least. Although it is good for people that have just started out in the game and not purchased the first games, its just crap for people that already have it. Im still only just started to play the expansions however the content from what i read isnt that big. $20 per expansion maybe justified however anymore then that and they could start losing more fans.