Why Destiny Players Feel Screwed Over

Why Destiny Players Feel Screwed Over

This week, a storm of anger has enveloped the Destiny community. This particular storm was brought about by a specific thing that happened last week. But, in truth, it’s been brewing for much longer.

Last week at E3, Bungie was showing off The Taken King, the new expansion for Destiny. We saw and played a bit of the expansion while we were at at the convention; it looks pretty good. Various controversies notwithstanding, we’ll have more coverage of what we saw this week.

The pricing model for The Taken King is a bit funky. For people who currently own Destiny, it will cost $US40 to download on its own. That’s twice the price of the first two expansions, The Dark Below and House of Wolves, which were $US20 apiece. Bungie is talking a big game about how much new stuff will be in Taken King, so it’s possible — or even likely — that it will justify that price tag.

New players will be able to buy a “complete” version of Destiny that includes everything that came out this year — Bungie has begun calling this “all year one content.” For $US60, you get the base game, both existing expansions, and The Taken King. Once again, seems more or less fair. It’s less than what we paid when we bought that stuff new, but hey, it was new when we bought it. In September, it will be old.

Things get hairy when you start talking about the Collector’s Edition of The Taken King. That goes for $US80, double the price of the expansion. Along with a special metal case and some bonus art printouts, the Collector’s Edition comes with some exclusive digital stuff. There are a few guns that probably aren’t that good, along with “three Exotic Guardian Class items featuring XP bonuses, three class-specific emotes, and three armour shaders to customise every Guardian class.”

Why Destiny Players Feel Screwed Over

“Emotes,” for the uninitiated, are the moves and gestures you can have your character perform in the game. They’re purely cosmetic, and have no real effect on gameplay. At the moment, the game restricts every player to the same four emotes, which vary from character to character based on class and race. You can wave, you can point, you can sit down, and you can dance. (Dancing is hugely popular, and has practically become Destiny‘s defining move.)

The problem is clear-cut: The most dedicated Destiny players have already spent $US90-100 on the game and its two expansions. Come September, they were probably planning to pay $US40 for the digital upgrade to The Taken King. But if they want to get those (possibly cool!) exclusive emotes and shaders, they will have to pay twice that and essentially “re-buy” the game they already spent this year playing. Hardly seems worth it.

On the one hand, three new emotes aren’t that huge a deal. But they also kind of are a big deal, if you’re the sort of person (raises hand) who has sunk hundreds of hours into Destiny and finds him or herself feeling unusually excited about the idea of having an exclusive, class-specific dance move or finger-guns manoeuvre. Many of us would gladly pay $US5 or even $US10 for some new emotes, but Destiny has yet to introduce those sorts of microtransactions, so the only current option is paying $US80 for a bunch of stuff we already have.

That whole situation set the fuse and primed the bomb. In an E3 interview just published by Eurogamer, reporter Tom Phillips pressed The Taken King creative director Luke Smith about the issue. Smith’s response was more than enough to light the fuse. The full interview is worth a read, but here’s the salient excerpt:

Eurogamer: Final question on prices –

Luke Smith: Is it also the final question on the emotes?

Eurogamer: I’m not going to mention them again. I can’t get them.

Luke Smith: But you can if you buy the Collector’s Edition.

Eurogamer: I’m not going to buy the game and the two DLCs all over again.

Luke Smith: OK, but first I want to poke at you on this a little bit.

Eurogamer: Poke at me?

Luke Smith: 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 –

Eurogamer: I do want them. I would buy them –

Luke Smith: If I fired up a video right now and showed you the emotes you would throw money at the screen.

Eurogamer: What I’m saying is that fan frustration is not because they don’t understand the proposition. It comes regardless of how cool the exclusive content is. The frustration – and mine as a fan – is that the method of acquiring it requires me to re-buy content I bought a year ago.

Luke Smith: [Long pause] It’s about value. The player’s assessment of the value of the content.

It’s easy to see why that exchange has people steamed: Smith comes off poorly, to say the least. First, he seems to tease a dedicated Destiny player for how his love of the game would prompt him to want to pay for relatively minor digital extras. He then appears to haughtily claim that were Phillips to see the emotes in action, he would uncontrollably “throw money at the screen” just to have them — not just a little bit of money, but double the price of the base expansion. When Phillips suggests that he would buy the emotes on their own, Smith doubles down on the notion that the only way Phillips can get them is to re-buy stuff he already has. Yikes.

Fan uproar came shortly after that interview was published, and it has yet to abate. I haven’t seen the Destiny community this united about anything since the game came out. The popular Destiny subreddit has been dominated by threads slamming Smith and Bungie; the main thread dedicated to the interview has six thousand replies and counting. Dozens if not hundreds of players are swearing off Destiny forever, pledging not to buy the expansion, and saying they have lost all respect for Smith and for Bungie as a developer. Smith himself has been subjected to all manner of personal insult. Look at any Destiny fan site or forum and you’ll see people talking about it.

Yesterday, Bungie spokesman David “DeeJ” Dague took the uncharacteristic step of quickly responding to players in that same Reddit thread. “Please know that we’re reading this feedback and taking it as seriously – as we always do,” he wrote. “I understand that you want me to go on record right now with something that will address the disappointment that’s being expressed here. I’m going to differ [sic] to the Bungie Weekly Update, in which we’ll talk more about the things we’re doing to celebrate the year-one Guardians who helped us build this community. I’ll also revisit our goals in offering different versions of The Taken King.

“The Collector’s Edition is mostly sold out, so the people who found that stuff valuable jumped at the chance. You’ll likely see it sold on ebay for much more than what we’re asking. But that’s not the point. Right?” he wrote in a second post on Bungie’s official forums. “The real conversation here is: What are we doing to honour you, the players who have been bound to Destiny in this first year of action and adventure? I’m glad you asked. I’m going to answer in the Bungie Weekly Update. Please stay tuned.”

Lots Of Anger, Not Much Information

There are still so many unknowns regarding the particulars of this situation that it’s difficult to draw too many conclusions about the expansion itself. We don’t know what new emotes will be included in the expansion for all players, for example. Will there be three? Or maybe six? Or twenty? Will the exclusive emotes and shaders be ugly and dumb? Furthermore, will Bungie start selling cosmetic items like shaders and emotes as low-price microtransactions? They may not be saying yet, but given how much money similar arrangements generate for games like League of Legends and Team Fortress 2, I have a hard time believing cosmetic microtransactions aren’t in Destiny‘s future.

It’s also unclear just what input, if any, Smith actually has into collector’s edition content and pricing. He’s the game’s creative director, you know? He’s not even Bungie management, and it’s entirely possible that the collector’s edition setup was in part or even mostly dictated by the game’s publisher Activision. Smith made it sound like those decisions were being made by him and his team — likely a misstep on its own — but the truth of the matter is almost certainly more complicated.

Furthermore, there’s the issue of Smith’s tone. Despite the fact that he was a fairly well-known games journalist and even once briefly worked for Kotaku, I actually didn’t know Smith at all until last year. I had an enjoyable interview with him last fall about The Vault of Glass raid, but we hadn’t met in person until Jason Schreier and I interviewed him last week at E3. (Stay tuned for coverage from that interview in the near future.) He’s a sharp, jocular guy, and a bit cocksure, but I don’t think I’d call him any of the names I’ve seen thrown at him the last few days.

In fact, I can kind of imagine the tone he used when saying the things that made players so angry with him. When Jason and I spoke with him, Smith referenced how he regularly puts himself in the mindset of a Destiny player, how he goes home and plays on his personal account, where he is subject to the same rules and restrictions as the rest of us. Despite being one of the driving creative forces behind the game, it seems like he tries to think like a player… which is fair, because he is one. (It’s a running theme with the Destiny developers I’ve spoken with: They’re all hopelessly addicted to their own game.)

In the wake of the reaction to the Eurogamer article, the interviewer, Tom Phillips, mentioned that the interview wasn’t actually contentious:

That makes sense; tone doesn’t always come across in a straight Q&A format. When I read Smith talking about “throwing money at the screen,” I can picture him saying it, and I don’t actually think he meant to come off like he was imperiously looking down on players. Rather, he was winking at the interviewer, saying, “believe me, buddy, I’m the same way.” He had put on his Player Hat, and he was commiserating.

Which, of course, doesn’t make what he said any less dumb. Smith and his cohorts at Bungie are the ones who make decisions that affect what the rest of us play, and while it’s healthy for them to remind themselves what it’s like for the rest of us, the fact remains that they are not regular players.

The irony in all of this is that it wasn’t that long ago that Smith was playing the opposite role, breaking protocol and speaking out about Bungie’s screw-ups with the maligned expansion The Dark Below. In a late-night post to the gaming forum NeoGAF, Smith spoke with more frankness and transparency than any of Bungie’s official updates had mustered, and players greatly respected him for it. Now the shoe is on the other foot, and it’s hard not to wonder if a smoother talker might have avoided the same mistakes. It highlights a frequent friction in how video game developers communicate with the press and the public. On the one hand, it’s nice to talk to a developer like Smith, who speaks freely and at least somewhat openly about the game he’s making. On the other, well, he’s a creative director, not a PR guy. Sometimes that shows.

Personally, I’m bugged more by DeeJ’s subsequent responses than I was by Smith’s initial comments. DeeJ is probably a perfectly charming man in real life, but he has always come off as a smarmy presence on Destiny‘s various message boards, often responding to widespread player concerns with a jokey, condescending tone that feels out of touch with the community. His second response in particular stands out to me — how he’s sure to start by telling the person to whom he’s responding that the collector’s edition has sold out, before noting “but that’s not the point. Right?” The way he begins his promise of better rewards by telling us what “the real conversation here is,” as if the players who started this conversation need to be reminded what it is.

Bungie has never been much good at communicating, and that’s a big part of what set the stage for this week’s debacle.

Why People Are Pissed

I can’t speak for all Destiny players here, but I can speak for myself, as a person who has enthusiastically taken part in (and reported on) the game’s community over the past ten months. Destiny fans are pissed, but they’re pissed about more than just exclusive in-game emotes, or even the price of The Taken King.

Smith’s poorly chosen words were a catalyst for an explosion that’s been primed for months, and the aftermath will take some work to repair. Since the game’s launch, Destiny has been haunted by the unshakable sense that players are being taken advantage of, that Activision and Bungie are laughing at them while happily taking their money. It’s an adversarial relationship that has defined Destiny since the very first guardian shot the very first alien in the head. It will likely define the game for months and even years to come.

It’s rooted in the game itself: From my first review through my subsequent update through my disillusionment through to the game’s (temporary?) redemption, I feel as though I have been chronicling a video game community’s ongoing tug-of-war with their chosen game’s developer.

At launch, Destiny aggressively screwed players over at every turn, and things got somehow worse with the first expansion. When I think back to Destiny‘s first six months, I still shake my head in disbelief at the shit Bungie pulled. Remember how purple engrams would decode to blue items? Or how we had to re-level our exotic guns mere months (or even weeks or days!) after getting them?

After the worst problems had been addressed, there remained a distinct tension between the community and the developers. For months, players would see their creative exploits and cheeses quickly patched while longstanding bugs lingered on and on. Through it all, Bungie’s communications were lacklustre at best, all vague assurances and long periods of silence.

Why Destiny Players Feel Screwed Over

The House of Wolves expansion felt like a step in the right direction, but already players are beginning to sense that The Taken King may be another step back. Where House of Wolves let us re-level our existing gear and truly enjoy the cool stuff we’d earned over the preceding months, there’s a suspicion that Taken King will finally render all of that loot permanently irrelevant. When we asked Smith about what would become of our old guns, he called it a “super challenging problem” and wouldn’t say any more. Not exactly a promising sign.

It’s hard not to fret that come September, my “year one” Fatebringer won’t be anything to brag about or cherish. It will just be one more underpowered gun sitting in my vault — not because the new guns were good enough to make me voluntarily retire it, but because the number next to Fatebringer is stuck at 365 and can’t go higher. And speaking of vaults, DeeJ recently dodged a question from IGN about the ever-present problem of players running out of storage space, saying “there are moments where we ask you to make tough decisions.” His implication being that in The Taken King, players will simply have to continue breaking down potentially useful guns rather than being given more space in which to store them. According to DeeJ, being forced to junk the cool scout rifle you just got will “lead you to better understanding the role that you play” in Destiny. Again: yikes.

This week, Destiny fans are upset. That anger isn’t about any one thing; it’s about a hundred things. It’s about a dozen smiling Bungie Weekly Updates that joked about legitimate player grievances. It’s about a hundred small design decisions that wasted our time, or robbed us of rewards, or left us feeling like we’d spent an evening in the fruitless pursuit of nothing at all. It’s about the gnawing sense that we’ve spent a year playing the worst version of our favourite game, and that its brighter future may paradoxically make us regret having been there from the start. It’s about how our relationship with this game that we love — and we really do love it! — can so often feel unbalanced and unhealthy.

I’m sure we’ll hear more from Bungie soon. Outcry like this demands a substantive response. Hopefully that response will be satisfactory for players, and will demonstrate the sort of clarity that has so often been lacking in Bungie’s communications up to this point. Destiny developers are also Destiny players, after all. A gap will always exist between the two, but it needn’t be such a chasm.


  • Or the short version – the games price to content ratio has been way, way off and the next expansion seems like it’s going to continue the trend. Even though the content is very replayable and enjoyable it’s hard to reconcile that with the fact that so far Destiny has cost more at every turn while delivering small bits of content artificially drawn out through various grinds and lockouts.
    People are willing to pay the money and stick with the game because it is fantastic, but that doesn’t make them oblivious to the fact the prices are high and the content is 90% recycled. It’s like an over priced demo for the greatest game of all time. You pay it and you’ll play it but you won’t be happy about it.

    • Yeah right on the money there.

      The amount of content for the first expansion was definitely not worth $20 – House of Wolves was a decent add on but really it should of been $10 US ($15 AU max) now we’re getting slogged with an unavoidable expansion that will cost most Aussies more then they paid for the original game which is down right wrong.

      As is the way with the love/hate relationship I currently have with Activision as I presume these costs are coming from their end.

      EDIT: – I just want to re-iterate how annoying it is when developers make add-ons that arent addons but the original story being slowly leaked to us after paying for said content already.

      • The amount is so, so small for $20 when you also consider how many people did buy it and how many people they likely forecasted to buy it too. It’s way, way overpriced.. but they’re holding the keys to ransom.. what else can they do but buy it and hope for better releases coming up.. but of course then this happens and it’s another crappy release but now they want even more money.

        They either need to revise the pricing model or Destiny will not only be old by September, it will likely be dead by September.

    • ‘Very replayable’ = So little of it if you want to keep playing you HAVE to replay it.

  • Good ol Bobby Kotick. I see your influence at work here. 😛

    Also… how many times are they going to use the same skins… oh wait… that cabal got wings… dang!

  • All this rage and yet people keep giving them money, keep playing their game.

    “Ok I can shoot things, I get that. The story sucks, the game is finished. From now on I’ll just be doing the SAME thing over and over again. I shoot at things, they take numerical damage based on my level. Everything is commensurate, whether I’m shooting the a level 1 enemy and he’s bullet sponging numerical damage or I’m shooting an enemy 200 hours later, it’s the same experience. Since I think this game’s a bit offensive and the developers might be dicks, I’m going to play something else.” – rational people a year ago.

    Look, I understand that it’s addictive, that there’s a constant need to level up, but if the game and it’s developers are consistently making you mad then really….. play something else.
    I suggest Borderlands 2 personally: MUCH more content, MUCH more personality…. All the same repetitive, bullet collecting, numerically based fun.

    • I definitely agree.
      The only reason I played the expansions was because I bought they came with the Ghost edition.
      And even then, I played House of Wolves for less than a week.

      I also feel it’s a bit of a slap in the face that their reward for players who’ve been there from the start, requires purchase of all three expansions (and with a cut off date, so forget waiting for a sale). Seems more like a “reward” for spending lots of money.

      • I agree 100%. Bought the collectors edition so I got the first two expansions for ‘free’. I played both of them for a couple of weeks after they came out, or until I unlocked all the new gear I wanted. I had intended to buy this upcoming DLC … They key word being HAD. The price tag is ridiculous! I am not going to pay the price of a new game (almost) just to play a few hours of extra content. Furthermore, while I can understand releasing a game of the year edition which bundles all existing DLC, it should not come with exclusive digital content.

        You may attract a few more people to your dwindling player base, but you will alienate just as many existing players. Players who may not come back for Destiny 2.

  • Year one arguments aside, $69.95 for a DLC pack… Yeah Activision has finally lost me as a Destiny player.

  • Man you would think that for a game with basically only a super dedicated fanbase still playing it, they would want to make sure they were happy at every turn. It’s not like they are new to the industry either. $40 for an expansion/DLC whatever you want to call it, is way too much, no matter how much content is included.

    • The problem is that even though they probably want to do that they can’t. For all it’s greatness Destiny was a colossal failure on a ton of levels. They almost certainly wouldn’t recover development costs selling it at a reasonable price and ‘wasting’ the money coming in on going the extra mile to make players happy. They can’t justify sinking the money into it that’s required to fix it, but they can’t justify cutting their losses, so the game will go on. A lot of MMORPGs from the post-WoW boom ended up in the same place. They’d never make money but by stringing along their small playerbase they’d delay going broke for a few years.
      Destiny seems to good and popular to be lumped in with those games, but it’s development and maintenance costs dwarf those wannabe Warcrafts.

    • If they original game has cost $60, then the $40 expansion should have as much new content as the original game had. New guns, characters, classes and a full campaign.

    • The Aus price is $70 (according to XBL at least)…
      I think even AU$40 would be overpriced.

      • Im relatively new to destiny, so i only have the base game. At this point its cheaper to sell the disk and buy the collectors edition.

  • Here’s what it boils down to:

    Bungie: Hey, you new to Destiny and want this sweet exclusive stuff? Buy our game and all the DLC plus the next expansion at this low price!
    Loyal Day One Players: Awesome! The expansion seems a little overpriced unless it’s basically going to double the existing content, but I’ll wait and see. And you’re going to do something extra for us, your true fans, right?
    Bungie: Sure thing! Here’s some completely meaningless shit you get free as long as you buy the expansion before February 2015.
    Loyal Day One Players: …ok but what about the exclusive content, emotes, cool physical collectibles etc.?
    Bungie: Are you fucking deaf? Buy the collector’s edition like I said, idiot.
    Loyal Day One Players: But I already own the game and DLC, you want me to rebuy it? That doesn’t seem fair.
    Bungie: Well while you were sitting around diddling your stinkholes, they sold out. Go fuck yourselves.
    Loyal Day One Players: Why am I a Bungie fan, again?

    • I picture them more like scalpers. They’re not necessarily trying to be jerks, but they’ve got the tickets and they just saw you get $300 from the ATM.

  • Bungie is talking a big game about how much new stuff will be in Taken King, so it’s possible — or even likely — that it will justify that price tag.

    I quickly found out that in the original game content was lacking. Ever since release the players have said that the content is lacking and there’s too much repetition in grinding in what’s apparently not an MMO. The DLCs both were lacking in content as much as HoW was better, it’s still relatively short. Now they’re wanting almost as much as the original game for a DLC which won’t have as much content and as far as I can tell won’t do anything to stop the grinding of missions you’ve done dozens of times before, not to mention their record of releasing content that isn’t massively bugged and then focusing on fixing any cheeses long before even considering fixing said bugs is terrible.

    I’ll say this straight, there is no way in hell I’m paying $69.95 for 1 DLC pack. It’s a simple fact that price does not equal value. Add in the fact that Bungie are now so arrogant in their thinking that all they need to do is release dance moves and people will chuck money at them and I’m put right off anything they do in the future. I might grab it in a sale later on when it’s at a price it should be, $25 (the first 2 DLCs should have been content that’s in the game and as they weren’t, only really offer $10-15 in content), or I might as well just wait until next year’s collectors edition and get it at a reduced rate with the next couple of DLCs after this before Destiny 2 comes out. That’s a maybe situation. By then I’ll still be playing Fallout 4, which I can pre-order on PC for cheaper than The Taken King, so chances are my buzz around Destiny will be long extinguished.

    Planetside 2 is out today. I’m heading there to have a lot more fun with my Destiny clan (who 95% of have stopped playing because there’s no value in Destiny DLC) in a free to play game

    I sincerely hope Destiny fails from now on. I was excited about their 10 year plan, whatever that was. I bought into the hype. That 10 year plan is nothing more than ways to bleed people’s wallets dry and nothing at all to do with making a great game.

    • The Taken King by itself is $40 AUD, but if you want all the fancy Collectors Edition shit its $80 AUD. Frankly, $40 AUD is pricey for a DLC but I am happy to pay $40 because I have got more than my moneys worth out of Destiny!

  • As someone who played the heck out of Destiny at the start, didn’t play it for months, and have now come back for House of Wolves, I completely understand the annoyance.

    Personally, spending $40 for both pieces of DLC, I find it hard to want to put in tonnes of time when in just a few months there will be another $40 to spend. I definitely understand the need for new and ongoing content for hardcore players though.

    However, making exclusive items and bonuses for people spending THAT much money on a collectors edition after already putting in a lot of cash and time? Not huge on that. Evolve is the best example of doing DLC and exclusives wrong, and Bungie needs to keep players happy if they want another nine years of devotion.

  • The cynical part of me wants to say “What a surprise, as soon as they partnered with Activision, Bungie suddenly ‘forget’ how to treat their players with respect.”

    I feel like Bungie is taking a lot of flak for decisions ultimately steered by the publisher, not the developer. And part of their agreement with them might be to downplay any sort of involvement Activision has in decision making there. Activision’s newest tactic seems to be remaining largely invisible, barely drawing attention to itself publicly, and being a silent puppet master. Remember when you couldn’t go a month without hearing something out of touch and not far from malicious from Bobby Kotick? His complete disappearance is telling.

    I just don’t believe Bungie, a previously player-enjoyment focussed developer, can have a complete about-face like this without external “encouragement”. But maybe that’s naive of me.

    Edit: Also, unless the emotes are something useful in game, like some sort of affirmative or thanks emote, there is no way in hell seeing them is going to make me throw money at the screen. What a worthless thing to push, something that has zero positive impact on the gameplay.

    Those D-pad buttons could be used for something really worthwhile, like tagging enemies to attack, or giving yes / no / thanks commands. Instead we have worthless and infantile dancing / sitting / pointing without targeting anything.

    • I was hoping for an option to quick change weapons with the d-pad, but no, there has to be emotes in a game that isn’t a MMO remember

      • Worst part of the game. Can’t talk with other players you meet in passing without doing it through PSN, can only communicate through emotes. But are they useful emotes, like, ‘Follow me’, ‘hold position’, ‘back up’, ‘on my way’, ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘hello/goodbye’? No.

        We got fucking point, salute, wave, dance.

    • It’s strange to think about how different things would be with a few a little things like being able to mark enemies, locations and objectives properly. Communication really makes this sort of play shine but even with a dedicated team and voice chat there’s still that element of ‘shoot that guy! No, that guy! Not that guy, that guy! That guy right there’.

    • I’m not entirely sure about it all being Activision.

      I agree with you that there are certainly some publisher requirements that have impacted the game, but given how they were allegedly treated by Microsoft, I doubt they’d let a publisher (especially one whose behaviours are as well known as Acti) mess with them again.

      I think this might have been coming since their last few years at Microsoft.
      A lot of the things we see in Destiny are evolutions of some of the ideas we saw in Reach.
      When Bungie had its great schism in leaving Microsoft, I think that was the moment that the company truly pivoted. When they left Microsoft not everyone went with them… I don’t have the numbers, but I remember hearing about a third stayed with MS.
      Before release Bungie shed Marty and Jason Jones… I think that was about this too.

      • Yeah who knows for sure what’s happening behind the scenes. Frankly both 343i and Bungie are doing some whack things lately (although 343 have been doing whack things since inception). But I don’t think there’s anything a developer wouldn’t do for the kind of fat paycheck Activision laid on Bungie’s doorstep for Destiny. Even compromise everything they stand for. They aren’t blameless in this, I am more just trying to make sense of the change.

        I want to believe it’s publisher pressure, at least for Bungie, because there is an amazing game hiding in Destiny (It’s still a very good game, one i’ve sunk a lot of time into), held back by what can only be described as greed and arrogance. That’s two things major publishers have in spades.

  • Its not like bungie can really elaborate on their pricing & design decisions, the poor folks don’t even have time to explain why they don’t have time to explain…

  • Just to be sure, everyone knows that ‘The Taken King’ expansion on its own is $70AUD right?
    It’s $40 in other regions…. Am I the only one that sees the ridiculousness in this pricing for the expansion alone?

  • Ugh. Talk about tone-deaf… Call me when Destiny 2 comes out. Y’know, the ‘good’ one, where they implement all the lessons they learned.

    Pricks are acting like they don’t have any choice but to sell the game this way… DUDE. YOU MAKE THE RULES, IT’S YOUR GAME.

    • I’ve long said that this game always seemed like a marketing experiment, to see just how far a loyal player base could be exploited for their cash before they lashed back. And I don’t mean outrage; I mean actually voting with their wallets.

      The collector’s edition has sold out, so I don’t think we’ve hit that threshold yet. The next Destiny expansion, and every expansion thereafter, will push a little harder against community outrage: PREDICTION.

      Once they find that line between maximum profit exploitation and audience maintenance, Destiny 2 will be dropped right onto it. It will not be an improvement when it comes to value for money: PREDICTION.

      I for one will be steering clear of this franchise forever.

      • 🙁

        That’s brutally bleak.

        I had hopes for the story, the world finally being a great escape, coupled with great shooting and great art (which it does have).

          • Shane, you are completely correct.
            Coupled with what Ive said below about Activision desperate to make back their half billion dollars the game cost to make.
            Now, with every DLC released, its costing Activision more.
            So, the solution? Charge more for less DLC.
            Then you have to factor in a declining player base. There arent new players jumping onboard faster than the amount leaving. So Activision are faced with a shrinking player base.
            Their solution? “We have lost 20% of players, lets increase the price by 20%.”

            Lets look back… remember the outrage at $5 horse armour? Pretty much the start of paid DLC. The first test.
            Well, aparantly, players are now happy to pay $70 for some dance moves.

  • DeeJ has said that there’ll be more for Year One players, supposedly better than the collector’s edition digital stuff. My cynical prediction? An exotic scout rifle. After all, I love the game, but it seems that the fate of all fools is to keep tossing money at Bungie and Activision… :3

    On a more serious note, this fan reaction requires a very careful and deliberate response from Bungie. As such, I’m deferring judgement until I see what they have to say in their weekly update.

    • Like the already announced bonuses for Year One players, I’m assuming that any additional ones will be entirely reliant on them purchasing all the DLC…

      • They’re not, tho – if they have a level 30 character by the end of August, the only expac that’s required to get the VIP/Year One stuff is TTK.

        • Sorry, you’re right, I misread. It requires achieving level 30 OR purchasing the first two expansions.

          But still, I bought the Ghost Edition on Xbone, the regular edition for 360 (because I didn’t even have an Xbone at the time), and I’m not considered a “loyal fan” just because I won’t plonk down another $70?

    • Good luck.

      “The Collector’s Edition is mostly sold out, so the people who found that stuff valuable jumped at the chance. You’ll likely see it sold on ebay for much more than what we’re asking. But that’s not the point. Right?” he wrote in a second post on Bungie’s official forums. “The real conversation here is: What are we doing to honour you, the players who have been bound to Destiny in this first year of action and adventure? I’m glad you asked. I’m going to answer in the Bungie Weekly Update. Please stay tuned.”
      No, that is NOT the real fucking conversation, here. This PR guy is re-framing.

  • I had a big rant on my clan’s forums about all this, so I’ll just post the TLDR version:

    The price needs to match the content, or more preferable, the content needs to match the price!

    And I think we all know that the content is not going to live up to the $70 (AUD) price tag. I only paid $59 for the full game on day 1, so now I need to pay more for less?

    The exclusive content for new players over legacy players is a kick in the teeth, and I’m sure as hell not going to pay $120 for a few dance moves, but a bit of appreciation for us suckers that sunk hundreds of hours (I honestly think I’ve hit close to 1000 hrs) would go a long way, but in the end we all know the content will not live up to the price tag.

  • I bought Destiny day one, and it was a collector’s edition to boot. I was utterly dismayed with how Bungie handled issues in the game and so stopped playing shortly after the first expansion hit.
    While watching the content reveal for the new expansion, I was very tempted to look back into the game I had neglected for so long. But upon seeing the pricing and now seeing that interview I am done. Their lack of respect is now reflected with my own. Destiny can burn for all I care now.

  • To be clear, this article is from the US.
    The Australian price is $69.95 (based on PSN) for the Taken King and not $40.
    And like someone mentioned here, at launch a lot of people would have purchased this game at that price at JB.

    Worth noting the Collectors Edition on PSN is the same price as EB Games – when you don’t get any of the physical goods.

  • I have faith about The Taken King (TTK), but I also have that fear it’s just going to be another Dark Below. It’s hard to step away from this game, all my friends play it almost every night. I love the feel of it, I love the mechanics that work. I enjoy staying up to ungodly hours of the morning doing VOG for that ever elusive Fatebringer (last night is a prime example: I got a chest piece and Energy while a mate who was doing it as a fill in snagged two Fatebringers…a double drop…no one else saw one, double drop friend already had three. It hurt knowing he dismantled them). I’ve done countless raids, PoE’s, Nightfalls, Strikes, Crucible matches and so on…but although I tell myself it’s because I’m chasing a particular gun/armor/rank/whatever it’s not any of these things. It’s the sense of friendship and vast community help that comes with Destiny and it’s ever growing activities.

    In regards to this whole collectors edition deal going on, I’m a little upset. But not enough to go throwing names around or boycotting the game I enjoy. Sure, I’ll miss out on some cool loot that I’d happily pay for if given the option in a micro-transaction (if at a fair price), but it’s just like the collectors edition when it first came out, or the PS4 exclusives I missed out on because I chose xbox over PS. The friends I play with don’t seem to care too much that I have a different coloured Ghost. Nor do they, or I, care about not being able to get hawkmoon all too much. So I would assume, much to the dismay of other, harder, destiny players, that I’ll just be getting TTK for $40 or whatever that is AUD. I’ll enjoy it. I’ll probably find all it’s bugs and just not care because in the end, I’m having fun. That’s why a keep buying Destiny and it’s content.
    Although on a side note, if one of those exclusives just so happen to something as game changing as say…a new type of Gjallahorn (because that gun is sometimes the only answer to the games circumstances) then I’ll be royally pissed off.

    • Pre-ordered the collectors edition as soon as it was available. Yes, I already have the Legendary edition (includes first two DLC), so am technically paying for the same thing twice. However, I opted for the physical edition which included real as well as virtual goodies. I think it’s an ok deal (ooh, Strange Coin). Seriously, you’d have to have rocks in your head to pay $120 for the digital collectors edition.

      I may be in the minority here (I strongly suspect I am), but I have played the shit pout of destiny in the last 8 months and easily got my money’s worth. Given that I haven’t bought another game since Destiny came out I don’t mind paying extra for the new Collector’s edition.

      I’ve made a heap of new friends on Destiny and have no regrets about the 100s of hours i’ve sunk into the game.

      Yeah, Destiny is far from perfect, but I’m happy enough with it so far. I think it needs to be pointed out that the raging on this pricing issue is over the ‘Digital’ version of the collectors edition – seriously, I think they just put that out there to see if there was anyone stupid enough to pay for it.

      I see the Collector’s Edition of TTK as an opportunity for someone like me who didn’t get the original collector’s edition (with Ghost) to purchase something limited now that we appreciate the game. I don’t mean the emotes, shaders, whatever, I mean the physical artifacts.

      Hi, Alex 🙂

      • I may be in the minority here (I strongly suspect I am), but I have played the shit pout of destiny in the last 8 months and easily got my money’s worth.

        But I think that’s the catch, you’re not in the minority there. It’s easy to read this as a massive bitching thread full of people who are outraged on principal, but these are the same names I see talking whenever Destiny comes up and I know most of them were at the very least really into Destiny at some point in time.
        It’s not that we want to see Bungie/Activision hang because they’ve wronged us we’re just frustrated because Destiny could clearly be the game it should be. We played Destiny for months, we loved it, we got our moneys worth out of it, but at every step of the way they make these ridiculous mistakes that turn Destiny from a fairly priced AAA+++ game to an over priced A game.
        It’s one of the greatest games ever made yet it completely fails in areas like basic storytelling. They could have phoned it in and got a C+ or B but somehow they made a bunch of really obvious mistakes to get a D or just outright didn’t hand the paper in, and brought the average down. From management and pricing to endgame structure and content, they seem to almost intentionally sabotage the game and it’s really frustrating for some of us fans.
        Whether I pay for the DLC and get my moneys worth out of it or not this sort of pricing is clearly bad for the long term health of the game and that’s a far bigger concern to me than the $69 I’ll probably blow on bourbon and Doritos anyway.

        [For the record I’ve made the same argument you are with Battlefield plenty of times and I agree with you to an extent. Historically I sink hours upon hours into those games so RPP on Battlefield is actually quite good value. Although I did call it quits with Hardline because amongst other things I think they went too far with the season pass pricing. Like Destiny’s pricing it started to feel like they were just setting the price just to mock their players.]

        • I guess the issue of pricing for the TTK can be summed up thusly (is that a word?):

          Assuming the DLC content is worth the $60 Aus (ie roughly equivalent to a new AAA game eg COD) in terms of playablility etc.

          For someone who already has all the expansions, the cost for new content is $60.

          For someone who hasn’t previously bought Destiny, it’s a bit trickier.
          Would I want to buy a game that requires I spend a lot of time playing through story missions to access the new content that most people will be playing (assuming more existing players than new ones – a fair assumption I think)? Rather than enjoying the game for a year, I’ll have to make a concerted effort to get through all the original content to level my character to the point I can play the new content that everyone is raving about.

          So, to attract new players, Bungie will need to steeply discount the existing content to get them into the game.

          It’s not so much about existing players being screwed (unless you bought the game and never played it), it’s more about enticing new players to the game by giving them the original content at a steep discount, and a few cosmetic additions to make up for the fact that most of the playerbase has moved on from the content the new players need to play.

          I’m not going to defend some of the things Bungie/Activision have done with the previous DLC (making you re-upgrade exotics etc), but there was a clear responsiveness to the player base between TDB and HoW.

          I think we just need to wait and see if the new content is worth it. Also, I think we need to make sure of our definitions between DLC and expansion. DLC implies a small amount of extra content, yet Expansion implies major game developments that enhance playability. TDB was clearly just small DLC, but maybe $60 for the TKK ‘Expansion’ makes sense.

          • Its 70$ on the AUS marketplace.

            hugely overpriced even for hardcore fans. the game alone is 70$ when it came out. if this expansions has more content then the game itself… makes sense. BUT by the sound of it. it won’t.

            For example.
            the base game had 6 subclasses.
            expansions has 3
            *The base game had all these guns (lets say 500)
            *the expansion guns (30)
            *base game armour (lets say 100)
            *expansion (20)
            *none of these are actual estimates but are figures to show examples of the difference.

            they are knowingly putting this price on there because they have found their community just throw money at them fullstop. they see people pour in 1000 hrs and go. ‘look at this guy, he’ll be a sucker and pay x amount for this shit.’ when its not really worth it.

            Regardless who is behind it – being activision or bungie. They have seen what the industry is like and through their game seen what player behaviour is like (remember that article how they stated they’ve used science to make players keep coming back) and are now utilising it to its fullest margin to make the most profit (which they will regardless of player outrage)

          • The problem with the pricing of the collector’s edition is that current owners aren’t MEANT to buy it, but it’s the only edition that contains the cool toys.

            When you consider that the collector’s edition is aimed at new players, includes all the previous content plus the new content, and bonuses, that’s a good deal.

            And the expansion on its own as an upgrade for existing players isn’t a GREAT deal, but it’s still understandable.

            Their failing lies in that there is NO upgrade for existing players which ALSO includes cool shit. So existing players have to buy the same package that is aimed at new players. THAT is the problem. They’ve skipped a pricing option.

    • On the topic of grinding for drops (and since they are apparently taking all player feedback very seriously), whatever happened to player trading? This is something I remember seeing people asking for very early on, and I seem to recall Bungie saying that they were looking into it.

      I guess it’s in the same pile as matchmaking for raids…

      • I can only assume why they don’t want player trading. One guy grinds for hours on end, some other bloke plays for fifteen minutes to get Gjallahorn (arguably the most sought gun in Destiny) because one of his hardcore mates has played that much he’s had it drop 7 times. A sharp drop in players occurs…leaving only the lonely grinders that feed the gamers who play only to find the fastest, most exploited way to obtain what game deems valuable. I’d like to imagine a system were guns could be traded separately from materials and exotics can only be traded for exotics, legendary for legendary etc. but that will only enrage the community even further. How? Example, Old mate got No Land Beyond (NLB) for the umpteenth time and New mate got Fatebringer for the 5th time. They agree on the trade BUT, although Fatebringer is much more usable than NLB, they can’t trade. So why not allow trades between rarity? Problem, new destiny player arrives…instantly trades crap gun for OP rare gun which is no longer required by his high level friend. Sure he can’t use it until he hits the appropriate level…but suddenly the grind comes to a halt. Read: only the lonely grinders that feed the gamers who play…yeah, that thing again. Restrict trading a little by allowing trades between Exotic and Legendary but nothing else? Community pissed off because it’s a “dumb” mechanic (because they got a blue gun and they want a Gally). Not to mention you also open the rift of glitch cloning items. Imagine Infinite Gally’s, Fatebringers etc. yeah…because that’s what we need…xur will be redundant, because instead of grinding for coins you’d glitch an exotic and dismantle…

        If you haven’t picked it up…it’s not going to happen…too many problems.

        • Many other games have trading systems, and it didn’t destroy the games or the economy.

          How about using strange coins to buy exotics from other players? If you miss an item from Xur, you could buy it from someone else, and then they have more strange coins to trade next time Xur pops up.

          It would stop new players from instantly getting great gear (since they have no coins), but existing players could level up a new character quicker if they transfer some coins (this is already possible anyway).

          I came up with that in five minutes. Maybe there are some potential problems, but I think a large group of people could come up with something that would work in 8 months.

  • The game was a disapointment at launch. Its been struggling from the start.
    Pumping out continuous DLC trying to keep a player base but screwing them with pricing.
    The game is still dull.
    Players are still clutching at straws, refusing to accept the game is no good.
    Players are still getting screwed with pricing and DLC, still complaining, still buying.
    Suckers. All of them.
    The developers are desperate to get back the half billion dollars this game cost. They are bleeding you dry.

    And this is a 10 year game?

    My god people! Walk away!

  • Dear Bungie/Destiny,

    Go $^%* yourselves. I made the mistake of buying your season pass just before the Taken King pricing was released. Given current exchange rates and AUS tax we can expect the base expansion of $40 USD to be $60 AUD. No way in hell I’m paying that when all your “expansions” have been the rehashing/remixing of existing content and continue to have a grind-centric theme.

    Learn to value your player-base.

    Kind Regards,

    An ex Bungie fan.

    • The Taken King is already up on the PSN Store, it’s $69 (exchange from $40 should be about $51 AUD, so add on $18 Australia Tax)

      • Well nice to see Bungie exceeded my expectations in at least one aspect of the game!

        • Yep, Destiny players all p*ssed about it but Aussie Destiny players are paying more for the DLC then more of us did for the game (I got it for $59 on day 1 from JB Hi Fi). You can’t tell me that this DLC is going to have more content then the original game bungie!

  • For me it’s about Bungies self dignified and egotistical stance on dealing with how the consumer feels about the product that buggs me more than the lack of perceived value in it’s self.

    If I fired up a video right now and showed you the emotes you would throw money at the screen.

    What an A-Hole.

    • If they’re so confident that the emotes are so bloody amazing, why not just show them?
      Then all the haters will have to change their tune when they realise that the price is justified. (sarcasm)

      • According to the destiny forums and the amount of idiots bragging about how they pre-ordered the collector’s edition (accompanied with all sorts of justifications for double purchasing content), people already threw their money at the screen without Bungie needing to show a video.

      • Apparently they showed them off years ago. I’ve seen footage of the clap emote and another dance. So it may not even be ‘new’ content.

  • I can’t believe how much this game cost to make yet it has around the same content as the starting zone in Witcher 3… CD Projekt Red have really lifted the bar on these mediocre AAA developers.. It just shows how much of their claims on not being able to fix bugs, introduce new game play, areas etc.. are just blatant cash grabs…

  • All I can say is, it is such a stark contrast comparing the way Bungie/Activision and CDProjectRed treat their players/fans.

  • $69 Australian. No thanks. Think this is where I draw the line. $40 maybe but never $69. Try not to spend that much for full new games let alone DLC.

    Will give Planetside 2 a go and see how that goes. May keep me going until Star Wars Battlefront comes out in November.

  • Dear Bungie,

    Can you please add a “urinate” emote so that I can pi$$ on your loot chests from a great height……well as high as your game’s invisible ceiling will allow anyway…

    Kind regards,

    Me (and about 100 of my PSN friends).

  • On a side note, just this week, a new expansion went live for Final Fantasy 14. It cost $50 Australian and bumped the level cap up by 10, added 6 new zones (that I am aware of), new dungeons, trials and in a few weeks, new raid content. A ton of new story content, 3 new classes, new equipment and some cool cosmetic items for early purchase and for $10 extra you get the collectors edition containing a new flying mount that would cost you $15 off the store as well as a $12 item for a race change and some equipment skin items.

    I get that bungie are new to this MMO thing they were marketing their game as but with so many examples of how to do it correctly, how do they keep fucking it up.

    • I’ve made the same excuse for Bungie in the past (new to MMO, so give them a chance). But honestly, they are in partnership with Activision, who owns Blizzard: the developer that created the most successful MMO in history. Activision should be having MMO gurus from Blizzard help out Bungie in their decision-making.

    • Not saying your wrong but the FF14 expansion sounds a LOT like Taken king.
      (What I THINK) is in Taken King:
      Base level increased by 10 (20 to 30)
      Light level increased by who knows (some people are guessing from 14 to 20 so we end up at a nice round 50)
      1 new zone (I know it’s not 6 but Destiny launched with 4 so a 25% percent increase)
      New strikes (Don’t know difference between dungeon and trails)
      New raid
      New story content (LOL)
      3 new subclasses
      New equipment
      “Cool cosmetic items” for pre-order/special edition (shaders/emotes).

      I get your point and I agree with it, and the FF14 content will be more/last longer than Destiny’s, but on paper they are more alike then you’d guess.

  • I’ve stuck with Destiny since launch day, in spite of all the shit Bungie has thrown at its players. I’ve defended them in the disc-locked-content debate and stuck with them through the horrors of the design choices in the Dark Below.

    But now? They want to charge $69.95 for the new expansion? That’s more than I paid for the original game at launch. I paid $67. I don’t care how much content is in it, it isn’t worth that much. I think I’ll finally be stepping away from Destiny for a while. After all, MGSV will be out two weeks before it.

  • tl;dr the game 1 year post-release is still the same shell of a game it was during Alpha. Please pay us money.

  • Mass Effect 4, Battlefront, Fallout 4, plus all the other games I have neglected because of my dedication to Destiny – *cough* Dragon Age: Inquisition.

    At first I was asking myself how I was going to get enough time to play all these games – Destiny DLC included. Thank you, Bungie, for making my decision of what to cull easier.

  • Just waiting for this to be like Titanfall-all DLC becoming free, which would actually be an even bigger screw over to anyone who purchased any DLC for this game
    I traded it in today, I feel burnt out and after the achievement for fully upgrading an exotic didn’t pop, that was the last straw

  • If this game came out on pc i would’ve purchased it day one. But now, i’m glad it did not release, cause it seems like this is another cash cow like COD and AC.


  • Man, that’s just horrible marketing missed the price point for consumer expectations. Sigh i did make the mistake of buying the season pass when i had little liking for the game. Still holding out it would be a little more than what it is…. overall with this announcement, count that faith dead 🙁

  • Battlefront is coming out soon. it may not have the content it should but its fan base far out ways Destiny and speaking as a Destiny fan (and pissed at all the pricing crap) and a Star Wars fan i feel my loyalty to something i have loved since childhood will definitely squash any feelings of need i have for a game that has screwed us all over for the past 10 months or so.

  • Before this game came out i was interested but something told me not to board the hype train. All my other gamer buddies were keen for it n couldnt understand why i was passing on a game where we could all get together to shoot n loot like we had in Borderlands (this isnt an “i told you so” post because i still dont understand my inital avoidance of this game). But for a year all ive heard is how much this game misses the mark on what its players want from it. So happy i dodged this bullet and my condolences to those who have invested time n money into a pastime that appears to give rapidly diminishing returns.

  • can’t believe people still playing this piece of shit. yes I’m still checking this forum to mock u all.

  • IKR I just bought it, sadly I will now have to pay another 40 odd dollars just for a few emotes and class specific stuff.

  • Where’d you find the collectors editions for $80 AUD, and TTK for $40. I can’t find the collectors editions less than 99 and the PSN lists TTK for 70.

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