First, thank you to Th0rNd for his excellent analysis of the weekly update from Bungie. I think that while some community members may be working hard to stay positive the general response has been exactly the same – underwhelmed. Instead of taking time to rehash those same sentiments, I’d like to take some time to “read between the lines” of the Jan 21 update to see if we can find any value in this “resumed” communication.
Right off the bat we have some stark contrast to announcement regarding the Festival of the Lost – Back in October when our Halloween event landed there was no announcement, no heads up, no hint even that holiday events were a thing. This tactic is regularly used in the services industries as a way to pull attention away from what is really going on, and I suspect that this is a classic case of employing that strategy. The entirety of this update is paced out in exactly the manner needed when telling a client you have no serious update. The results leave us with reactions similar to Th0rNd’s and the majority of the community’s content creators.
- Reveal underwhelming information about something. (Live team event – Crimson Days)
- Disappoint the audience with unexpected bad news. (Live team event – IB:Rift)
- Pacify your audience by telling them that they are right, and we won’t hide the truth again (Matchmaking discussion).
- Cherry on top (Cute picture of puppy).
Taking a step back though, why would Bungie employ this approach unless there is something to hide? Sure they’ve already told us that there is another bigger event coming, and we already know that Bungie reps have stated there would be no paid-DLCs this year. That aside, the big thing missing from this update is: Where is the dev team? All of our updates relate to the Live Team who are, in my opinion, doing a fantastic job – with the exception of choosing Rift for IB (seriously, WTH?). So, let’s put on our Spin-foil hats and consider what would drive Bungie to pretend that there is nothing coming from the core Development team.
Destiny 2 release – recent news from Kotaku hypothesizes that the release data for Destiny 2 has been pushed back. While it is easy to point out that Bungie has not released any drop-date for second full release of the game and therefore can not be considered to have “pushed back” the release, it does indicate that either that release will be a massive over-haul of the current platform, or it could mean something else. Bungie stated in this latest update “you’ve been talking a lot, and we’ve been silently listening while we work behind the scenes.” To me this means that they are well aware of our frustration with the content drought – something that they are not quite ready to announce their answer to. Putting this together, I believe that Bungie is indeed preparing something big – possibly a free-DLC, as a way to go up against the upcoming release of another RPG/Shooter that will drop in the next couple of months. Playing their hand close to the chest has been a trend since the release of TTK, and I highly doubt that they would do this unless they were picking their battles.
Continuing on this train of thought – a lot of Community Voices took time in the past few months to point out that Bungie was strategically avoiding direct competition with a-list franchise releases like Black Ops, Fallout, or Tomb Raider. I agree with those sentiments, but suspect that they do intend to draw a line in the sand when it comes to direct competition like that coming from Massive/Ubisoft. Here is where we will see Bungie step it up, because here is the one place where they could see permanent loss of player-base to another game.
What do you think?