Destiny 2 Was Reportedly Rebooted Before Release to Incorporate More Microtransactions

This reboot of the game may be the source of Destiny 2's familiar design and controversial features.

On a recent episode of the DTR Podcast, Kotaku’s Jason Schreier suggested that development of Destiny 2 was rebooted almost 16 months before its release date. 

“I think that it was made in a relatively short period of time,” said Schreier. “There was a big reboot of Destiny 2 at some point in early 2016. There had been a previous guy who was directing the game before Luke Smith, who’s the current director, took over. So that guy was kind of put aside – he’s not at Bungie anymore – and Luke Smith took over.”

Luke Smith was the director responsible for the highly-regarded Destiny expansion, The Taken King. It is not entirely clear who was leading Destiny 2‘s development before Smith took over. 

Schreier had previously suggested that Destiny 2 was undergoing a reboot despite Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg’s claims that development of the sequel had begun as far back as November 2014. He had also noted in 2016 that work on the sequel seemed to be in a bit of a flux as nobody at Bungie seemed entirely confident that they knew which direction to take the franchise in. 

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The supposed scope of this reboot means that much of the work that went into the Destiny 2 we got was done in just under a year and a half. According to Schreier, the decision to change the course of the sequel’s development was related to Bungie’s realization that they were trying to create too much new content to ship with the game. Instead, they elected to implement a post-release DLC model that would allow them to ship more content after the initial release of the game. 

“What Bungie decided was: ‘we can’t do this anymore. This is just too much, this is too hard for us to do – the tools that we work with are really hard to deal with. It’s hard for us to make this much content. It’s just hard making content in general,” said Schreier. “They said ‘we are going to do a drip feed of smaller stuff, and we’re going to put up the Eververse, sell microtransactions, and make money that way.’ And Activision said ‘okay’ – it was a part of their renegotiated deal – and they got to a point where they didn’t have to be cranking out as much content. And now they’re back to the same pattern, where they have to crank out these DLCs and just be making content constantly.”

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Prior to these comments, many fans speculated that Destiny 2‘s controversial Eververse feature was a mandate from publisher Activision. However, if this report is accurate, then it seems like it may have been suggested by Bungie as a way to slowly release content throughout the course of a year. 

We have reached out to Activision for comments regarding this matter and will update this story if and when we receive further information.