It seems that Bungie is working on a brand new world, and game that is due to drop in 2025. Sceptics among you might comment on that being the date pencilled for the end of Destiny 2’s current arc.
These rumours emanate from a conversation with design director Jacob Brenton. They were leaked to Twitter, in Japanese from gaming site 4gamer. Roughly translated, the comments amount to “I can’t say much more at this time, but our team is working on a new secret world in parallel with Destiny, and we’re firmly focus on the year 2025”.
This is not the first time Bungie has discussed a potential new IP of course. Back in September 2019, Bungie CEO Pete Parsons divulged plans to “make sure we transform Destiny and that we have other franchises within the marketplace” by 2025. This came soon after the studios split from Activision, prior to the launch of Destiny 2: Shadowkeep.
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep launched just after Bugie ditched Activision, back in 2019
A lot of this information has come via job postings and leaked applications. A number of posts for an illusive incubation project at Bungie appeared, mentioning “something comedic with lighthearted and whimsical characters”. It outlined an RPG setting, including “consumable items, weapons damage and perks”. Pretty standard fare then. And because it’s Bungie, it of course referenced gear systems, touching on “quest, weapon armour and equipment economy, progression and rewards.” No mention of “light”, thankfully. So Destiny crossed with Fable? Definitely an intriguing proposition.
Other positions relating to this project seem now to have been filled. But there a lot more to fill, with similar job listings continuing to appear on the Bungie recruitment website. One of the more recent listings, referencing the incubation project seeks an associate tools engineer. The post asks “to help Bungie create their next enduring game IP”. No 2-bit development, then.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light was the first of what is now a four part arc
2025 also hold significance for Destiny 2. Last November’s Destiny 2: Beyond Light was heralded as the first of three upcoming expansions which would take the game into 2023. But following the Witch Queen‘s delay until early 2022, the second of the three promised updates, and the promise of a fourth instalment, Destiny 2’s future has clearly been extended.
This trilogy in four parts will now culminate in the “Light and Darkness” story arc of Destiny 2 through to 2025. But it doesn’t necessarily mean the game will end here. Benton stressed this in his conversation with 4gamer. He affirmed that Bungie has plans that extend beyond the published arc, and that Destiny 3 was not currently in plan to supersede the current offering. This statement aligns to a previous comment from vice-president Mark Noseworthy, who acknowledged the pain experienced in starting from scratch with Destiny 2.
In summary, it doesn’t look like Destiny 2 is going anywhere for quite some time. Bungie are simply looking to diversify their offering. And it may be a lot further along achieving that aim that we had previously thought. 2025 might seems a way off, but in development terms it’s no time at all. And considering Bungie’s ambition, no doubt expectations will be extremely high. But given the state of the world right now, nothing is certain. Combine this with the changeable, volatile nature of development outside of a pandemic, Bungie might as well be aiming for 2030. Watch this space.
“Video games are great. I should know, I’ve played some.”
Olly S, July 2020