Destiny 2's most controversial practice is no more. Bungie confirmed during its 2022 showcase today that no more of the loot shooter’s content will be vaulted. That announcement comes after lots of fan complaints in recent years as huge portions of the game were removed to make room for new expansions.
Beginning with the 2020 release of Beyond Light, Bungie has been “vaulting” past content, deleting entire campaigns and planets, to try and keep the game’s digital footprint and technical demands within reason. But that’s also led to the loss of any semblance of an entry point for new players, as well as the erasure of some of Destiny 2's best story beats (I’m looking at you, Forsaken).
“We’ve also been working on the Destiny engine behind the scenes, preparing our technology and our game to last for many, many years to come because Destiny 2 is not going anywhere and neither are your expansions,” Destiny 2 general manager, Justin Truman, said during Tuesday’s showcase. “We want this story since we first communed with the Darkness on the Moon to be fully playable from start to finish and we’re happy to announce today that we’re not planning to sunset any more expansions.”
What Truman is saying is that Bungie wants some level of continuity between the launch of Shadowkeep in 2019 and the conclusion of the Saga of Light and Darkness with The Final Shape sometime in 2024. That four-part arc revolves around encountering The Darkness and its agents, and is as good a starting point as any to stop pruning. Seasonal content, meanwhile, will seemingly still continue to filter out every year.
One clear takeaway from Truman’s little speech was that Destiny 3 is not coming anytime soon, if at all. Destiny launched back in 2014 with Activision as the publisher, a company notorious for the aggressive annualization of gaming sequels. Bungie broke from the Call of Duty maker in 2019, however, and was purchased earlier this year by Sony. The launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X would have been a natural peg for Destiny 3, but instead Bungie released a new-gen update for Destiny 2 at the end of 2020.
This puts the game in line with other big MMOs like World of Warcraft and Warframe, which continually iterate rather than rebuilding from scratch every few years. And while it’s definitely more sustainable from a development point of view, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly disappointed. I’d love to see Destiny take some big risks and make some huge changes after The Final Shape concludes. We’ll see if it can still manage that evolution on the existing foundation that launched back in 2017.
Of course, Truman did only say that this is what Bungie was “planning” to do, and plans can always change, especially if the technical constraints become too big down the road. Destiny has promised (and done) a lot of things over the years that it later reversed course on. Hopefully an end to vaulting content isn’t one of them. And only time will tell if the stuff that was already banished will get a second chance at some point.