How does Bungie’s split from Activision benefit Destiny 2?

Last Updated July 5th, 2021

Last week, Destiny 2 developer Bungie and publisher Activision jointly announced they are parting ways, with full Destiny IP rights transferring to Bungie. The greater Destiny fan community greeted the news with elation since they blamed Activision’s corporate meddling for many of Destiny 2’s less-desirable elements. A report from Kotaku’s Jason Schreier also indicated that Bungie was equally excited about its newfound independence.

So how exactly might the split ultimately work in Destiny 2’s favor? Obviously it’s too soon to say with any certainty, but the potential long-term benefits are easy enough to glean. We’ve gone ahead and listed some of those potential benefits below along with the likelihood of their implementation.

Giving Destiny 2 time to breathe

The publishing deal between Bungie and Activision called for multiple Destiny games, so a transition from Destiny to Destiny 2 was inevitable. However, the manner in which this transition was handled left a lot to be desired.

Destiny 2 essentially forced existing Destiny players to start over from scratch, and many of the more desirable elements from Destiny’s later content updates were nowhere to be found in the sequel. In fact, Bungie spent pretty much all of Destiny 2’s launch year essentially building Destiny 2 back up into something that more closely resembled circa 2016 Destiny.

Under Activision’s purview, Bungie was obligated to eventually move on to a Destiny 3 (in fact, current reports suggest Destiny 3 is on track for a 2020 unveiling). However, now that Bungie is free from that obligation, it can give Destiny 2 more time to breathe. I’m sure Destiny 3 will eventually arrive, but hopefully not until Bungie feels the game is ready for primetime and that it can provide a more satisfying transition process for Destiny 2 players.       

Incorporating fan feedback

Since Bungie can now focus solely on what it wants rather than what Activision wants, it can hopefully make incorporating fan feedback a bigger priority. Destiny 2’s fan community has been quite vocal about its desire for all sorts of new features ranging from armor transmogrification, to curated Crucible PvP playlists, and even more minor additions like the return of Sparrow horns.

Now, I’m not saying Bungie should bump such features to the top of the priority list, but it’s heartening at least to know the studio no longer has two masters. Now when Bungie has an idea for some new content that fans may like, it no longer has to get Activision’s approval or, as the next entry touches on, figure out a way to monetize it.  

Reduced microtransaction presence

I’m not naive enough to believe Bungie will remove Destiny 2’s microtransactions entirely, but I doubt any players would complain if their presence was reduced across the board. At the very least, it’d be great if Bungie implemented more systems where players could earn fun cosmetic items rather than being forced to buy them. There’s nothing that says Destiny 2’s Eververse items and microtransactions can’t exist in harmony, especially now that Bungie is the only one calling the shots. 

More PC platforms (and potential for cross-play support)

One interesting stipulation in the Bungie/Activision split is that Destiny 2’s PC version will remain available on the Activision-Blizzard Battle.net platform. However, with Activision ceding control, Bungie could potentially bring the PC version to other digital storefronts like Steam or the Discord Store.

Of course, if Destiny 2’s PC version were to find its way to other digital platforms, it would need some sort of cross-play support to ensure its PC community didn’t become too fragmented. And if Bungie took the time to implement PC-specific cross-play support, why not look into the possibility of cross-play between PC and consoles? Bungie isn’t shy about how much it values the Destiny fan community, and I can’t think of a more appropriate gesture for demonstrating that value by implementing full cross-play support for Destiny 2

No more platform-exclusive content

Even if full cross-play support proved to be too ambitious, Activision’s removal from the equation could still benefit players who enjoy Destiny 2 on multiple platforms. Ever since the original Destiny’s launch, a deal between Activision and Sony ensured that PS4 players got first crack at certain gameplay features, oftentimes for as much as a whole year.

There hasn’t been any chatter on the issue since the announcement of the split, but the hope is that any exclusivity deals Activision had in place will soon be cancelled and that there won’t be any new exclusivity deals moving forward. Granted, such exclusivity deals weren’t the biggest issue affecting Destiny 2, but they definitely turned a lot of players off. Again, I doubt Bungie is obligated to abandon such exclusivity practices, but this is yet another opportunity for the studio to prove its own “fans first” mantra.