In the wake of layoffs that reportedly affected 8% of its workforce, Destiny 2 developer Bungie intends to bring changes to the game’s upcoming content, including its next expansion, The Final Shape. However, Bungie did not confirm reports that The Final Shape is being delayed to June from its previously announced February launch date.
In a blog post on its website, Bungie said that it intends to make changes to The Final Shape based on recent player feedback.
“In the weeks ahead, you’ll be hearing more from us about what’s next on the short-term horizon, beginning with our next Season in late November,” the statement reads. “Afterwards, we’ll begin to unpack our team’s bigger, bolder, and brighter vision for The Final Shape, as well as the bridge we plan to build to take us all out of this Darkness and into the Light.”
Bungie’s post is its first public communication as a studio following its layoffs of a large, but yet unconfirmed, number of people earlier this week. Bloomberg reported that as many as 100 people, around 8% of Bungie’s 1,200 staff, had been fired. According to the Bloomberg report, Destiny 2 revenue following the release of the poorly received Lightfall is coming in 45% below the studio’s projections.
Staff said on Twitter and in other anonymous reports that they were blindsided by the layoffs. According to Bloomberg, developers at the studio had been “begging” Bungie leadership ahead of the layoffs to make changes to the game in order to restore player retention in the wake of Lightfall.
Bungie acknowledged the feedback to Lightfall and other content in its post.
“We want to acknowledge the feedback and concerns you have about Lightfall and recent Seasons, as well as your responses to the reveal of The Final Shape,” it says. “We know we have lost a lot of your trust. Destiny needs to surprise and delight. We haven’t done this enough and that’s going to change.”
The post concludes with Bungie saying it wants The Final Shape to be “regarded alongside the best games we’ve ever made”.
“To us the path forward is clear: We need to make The Final Shape an unforgettable Destiny experience. We want to build something that will be regarded alongside the best games we’ve ever made–a fitting culmination that honors the journey we’ve been on together for the past ten years. Forsaken, The Witch Queen, and The Taken King–these are the standard bearers we aim to live up to.”
While the post does not specifically mention a delay, the suggestion that the expansion is going to be altered to improve it and bring it more in line with player feedback suggests the February release date will have to change. It’s also unclear what Bungie will do with its next content season, which would stretch to seven months–the longest ever–if the June release date for The Final Shape is accurate.
Meanwhile, the news of the layoffs, which included many prominent members of the community management, social media, art, and music teams, appears to have further damaged Bungie’s reputation among Destiny 2 players. Players reacted negatively on Twitter to tweets posted by CEO Pete Parsons, which carried the tone of lamenting the layoffs without taking responsibility for them.
Posts on Twitter and Reddit suggest at least some players are canceling preorders of The Final Shape in response to the news, and Destiny 2 content creators such as MyNameIsByf, Fallout Plays, and Aztecross all posted videos on YouTube speculating the layoffs will have a further negative effect on the game and its community.
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