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Bungie: Destiny 2 Isn't The Game For 'Joe Walmart'

The Destiny franchise has long suffered from an identity crisis. Is Destiny a mainstream first-person shooter? Is it a niche, space magic-fueled MMORPG? It's something even Bungie — the studio behind Destiny and Destiny 2 — has been hesitant to confront. But free of Activision's grasp and looking ahead to its first independently published expansion, Shadowkeep, the team at Bungie seems to finally know what Destiny is.


"Are we a AAA blockbuster retail game for Walmart? Diet Halo? WOW with guns? We've been tossing this around for a long time," Bungie's Mark Noseworthy said in an interview with PC Gamer. "We want to pick a corner and stand on it. Let's not worry about Joe Walmart, like, someone who buys GTA and one other game. We don't want to be that one other game. That person doesn't want Destiny. They're not going to marry Destiny the way we want players to marry it, you know?"

That is quite the statement, both because it's honest about the kinds of people who are drawn to Destiny and because its a subtle hint at what went wrong with the Activision relationship.

Neither Destiny nor Destiny 2 were good fits inside Activision's portfolio. You could see that in the way the games were marketed, with live-action television spots featuring licensed rock music tracks that felt more at home in the Call of Duty universe than in Destiny's sometimes grimdark galaxy. You could see it in the traditional marketing agreements struck by Activision on Destiny's behalf, frustrating even those fans who received the content withheld from other platforms. And you could see it in Activision's frustration with Destiny's performance, as the publisher looked for ways Destiny and Destiny 2 could generate more ongoing revenue.


From 2014 to 2019, the Destiny franchise was billed as a mainstream title. But the hard pivot to becoming more mainstream is what ultimately hurt Destiny 2 so significantly at launch. It now seems Bungie is finally done trying to have the game appeal to the widest audience possible. It's done trying to sell Destiny as an action-packed joyride on TV while quietly trying to appease the game's more hardcore fans behind the scenes. And it's done letting someone else push the game in a direction it really shouldn't be going.

Destiny 2, according to Bungie, is finally going to "pick a corner and stand on it." That corner seems to lean way more into the RPG elements of the first two entries, and less toward the explosive made-for-TV moments. Simply put: it's not going to be Grand Theft Auto.

It's news that's sure to make a lot of Destiny fans very happy.