Must Destiny Change Drastically To Be Successful?

Must Destiny Change Drastically To Be Successful?

Ever since its introduction, the patching of video games has been somewhat of a bittersweet experience. Of course, once developers, or more likely publishers realised that they could push an unfinished game to release and just wrap everything up with a patch after the fact, things started getting a little sour.

Nearly a year after release, jokes are still being made about how the latest patches and DLC for Battlefield 4 are looking to get the game to a point where it can be considered a launch-quality product. As tough as it was for the folks at EA and DICE to swallow, Battlefield 4 was riddled with issues from day one and felt to be a direct result of a mad rush to push to release before the almighty Call of Moneybags launched and stole the show.

Lately though, we have been noticing a few great examples of what happens when post release patching goes very right, to the point where its able to completely revive interest in a title with dwindling activity. So… patching in the original sense? Maybe not so much. It’s a new concept that brings on, well… post release modifications.

Stay a while, and purchase DLC

Diablo III is our Exhibit A. Diablo III’s catastrophic launch issues aside, it never managed to really capture the hearts of longtime fans quite like its predecessors. It was by no means a flop but it left a lot of fans and newcomers feeling a little flat, what with the real money auction house, requirement for an internet connection and changes to the some of the core gameplay.

it’s not too late for developers to really listen to the community, make their own decisions and revive a game that’s been losing steam

With Reaper of Souls around the corner, Blizzard needed to spark up interest in their game again to reach out to those other than the die-hard fans who were still out there farming night after night. What better way then, to announce to everyone that a patch that would accompany the expansion was coming earlier, removing the auction houses and altering the way the game played with new modes and more, essentially releasing a part of the expansion as a free patch for all to enjoy, even those who only wanted to continue playing the original game.

The patch went live and was an instant hit, not only making the existing players happy, but causing enough chatter to get other players who had long since played the game to load it up again and see what all the fuss was about. By the time Reaper of Souls hit the shelves, everyone was excited about Diablo again and the thought of dropping a couple more bucks to get the expansion’s new act and class was an easy choice for many.

Limited Respawns

A second example is Respawn Entertainment’s Xbox and PC title, Titanfall. Like Diablo, the game was also a victim of impossible levels of hype, a bit of a rocky launch and a core gameplay experience that had peoples interest up at the start, but fading after a while. Also like Diablo, Titanfall was hoping to get more people onboard for its DLC, which means that people needed to get interested again. After rolling out a few patches, Titanfall had changed.

Listen to the community, listen to their own team and find out what’s missing

Burn cards for Titans were added, more burn cards were allowed, a black market store opened up allowing players to use earned credits to purchase card packs or insignias (also new) for their Titans. Two more Titan A.I voices were included too, weapons were rebalanced and new modes started rolling out and just like Diablo, was able to get enough of their tired customers into loading up the patched version to see what the fuss was about. Even my own circle of gaming buddies that get together to play online have now all dipped back into Titanfall after months of dust-gathering. Also, a large chunk of them finally started enjoying the season pass DLC they had purchased, or took the step to go ahead and finally buy it.

Both games are great examples of how it’s not too late for developers to really listen to the community, make their own decisions and revive a game that’s been losing steam.

Choose your Destiny

To bring the article around and make that headline relevant, we get to Destiny. A story that by this point in the article is sounding a lot like the two examples above, no? It has sold an absolute butt-load of copies, but the hype was too high, the reviews are all sitting somewhere in the middle and there also isn’t an easily marketable protagonist. So how on earth is Bungie and Activision going to roll out this 10 year plan and justify the $500,000,000 they spent making Destiny if it doesn’t keep interest and continue to generate DLC sales down the line?

I think the answer may be clear if Bungie wants to win everyone over and make Destiny that ginormous and universally loved game that gets everyone to buy more DLC for the rest of its game life.

Listen to the community, listen to their own team and find out what’s missing and realise that we have already seen from the examples above that it’s not too late to transform a game that a lot of people like into one that everyone adores.

That’s not to say that Destiny isn’t a good game, though. The internet is a currently an intriguing mess of positive and negative views towards the game (we are still busy reviewing it), with my own Twitter feed convincing me that Destiny is a great, terrible, exciting, boring game. Will it ever be able to match or surpass the goliath of a franchise that Bungie originally created with Halo? At this point, it looks like it’s going to be up to Bungie and Activision to figure that one out.

So then, what’s in store for Destiny’s future? Will it change or will it unapologetically stay exactly the same and just roll out more content? What do you think of the game so far and do you think changes are necessary to keep your attention. We would love to hear from you as well, so hit us up in the comments and on Twitter.

  • Trebzz

    The expansion pass is something I need in my life, but R400 is a lot of cash and I’ll see how it goes before jumping the gun and buying it :/ I regret not getting the limited edition though as it came with the pass and was only like R200 more then the normal edition.

  • Sageville

    I’m hopeful that Bungie adopts the expansion processes that exist in Battlefield 4, I found great value in those expansions having bought premium. Bungie looks like it’s doing the same, with 2 expansions on the cards.

    I do however think the expansions need to come quick with large and meaningful content, I believe Destiny will get Saturn and Jupiter as Expansions, hopefully both planets in the first expansion.

    I think at the moment gamers are a bit confused as to Bungies end-game vision, are the upcoming raids going to change things? I hope so. I haven’t yet reached the “Now what” moment in Destiny, I think I wanted more meaningful and frequent events, we haven’t even seen an Iron Banner event yet or anything else that happens behind that door at the back of the tower. If Bungie plays these cards too close to their chests for too long they may start to lose gamer’s attention….

    I do think Destiny is an awesome game if you view it as a small introduction to bigger world.

    • Nick de Bruyne

      This reminds me a lot of GTA Online, that got everyone excited about co-op heists and all that, and it’s nearly a year later now and they still haven’t arrived. It lost steam and lots of people stopped playing. They needed to roll content out much faster if they were going to really push GTAO as a multiplayer game that everyone would be playing consistently for years. Let’s see where that goes once the new versions are out.

      I think This point they are going to launch the new modes alongside the new versions to spark up new excitement

      • Sageville

        I had the exact same experience with GTAO, I loved the heist, was uber eager for co-op heists…. I lost interest waiting.

        I do have that same hope for Destiny coming right, #ForeverOptimist

  • Weanerdog

    Not to take anything away from the article I do believe the $500,000,000 was the projected cost over the lifetime (10 years) of the project and not the actual cost that they spent to release.

    • Nick de Bruyne

      Thanks, I may have misunderstood that. I do know it included everything from marketing to production. Either way they will want or need to justify it to keep the franchise alive and continue to burn through that budget.

      • Weanerdog

        Well I don’t have a console that can run this and I really suck at FPS so I don’t play them often so this is a view from the outside. I believe that there are a vast number of people that seem to be enjoying it and are happy with it. There are also those who are not enjoying it for which ever reason but bought into the hype and are now feeling let down and they are making it known how they feel. And a whole range of people in between. Now Activision doesn’t need to capture everyone but they do need to keep enough players interested until they get the next expansion. I would also not be surprised if in the future they start making some of the game free to access in order to keep new players coming in but with level caps/area caps a sort of try before you buy set up. But I am sure that they have a reasonably flexible plan that take into account most contingencies.

        • Nick de Bruyne

          There are a lot of people enjoying it, and the net does like to moan. However, it’s also the fault for marketers and PR for spending months and month telling everyone that their game is going to be the second coming, without backing it up at the end of the day. They are often victims of their own hype train.

          If there’s anything I can see at fault already, its that initial information suggested that the game would be a very dynamic world, with dynamic events and so on, but it seems to not really be much more than a few things here and there. Games like Guild Wars 2 pulled it off marvellously.

          • Weanerdog

            Sure, but the PRs jobs are to sell games which when the campaign is so successful you land up with a lot of people who probably would not have bought this game. And they probably feel a little suckered into it. I do understand that too much hype inevitably leads to a let down. But when was it that we started believing the PR guys they really are only on step ahead of Prince Jamal from Nigeria who would like to send you some money.