Destiny 2: Shadowkeep Dev Team Working Hard to Correct “Unsustainable Development”
Over the past few weeks Destiny 2 game director Luke Smith has been laying out the current state of the franchise following the studio’s storied split from Activision, as well as their plans for the multiplayer shooter moving forward. The extensive blog post has covered various aspects so far, including what to expect when the game’s upcoming Shadowkeep expansion eventually goes live.
One of the more noteworthy inclusions divulged in the post pertained to the developer’s internal struggles, specifically how the past year’s ambitions contributed to a culture of crunch. The rewards present in the Destiny 2 Annual Pass was called out as a particularly arduous contributor, the post revealing that maintaining such a high “pace” and “scope” of content regularly “takes a toll on the Bungie team.”
“I–and many others–had conversations throughout the year with team members–who had jumped from release to release– about the grind of working on Destiny,” Smith revealed. “Working on the game was starting to wear people down.” Crafting several high-concept events from over the past year were cited as admittedly “valuable” learning experiences, but ultimately contributed to an “unsustainable development cycle.”
During the annual pass, we invented new, bespoke ways to earn rewards each season. Black Armory had its bounties, Season of the Drifter had the ‘Reckoning Machine,’ Season of Opulence had its Chalice. Each of these mechanics – each with their own lessons – were valuable, but also put the team into an unsustainable development cycle.”
“We needed to develop a more systemic, standardized set of mechanics for progression to keep our teams healthier,” explained Smith, promising a plan to “take this problem on” for the nearing Year 3 of Destiny 2 content. This includes the game’s Shadowkeep expansion, which itself has a collection of forthcoming seasons teasing even more content to come.
As Shadowkeep also marks a new era for Destiny 2, it presents in incredibly fitting time for Bungie to put crunch time behind them. This behind-the-scenes restructuring is ultimately for the company’s benefit, especially now that they are now putting out content independent from powerhouse publishers. Bungie’s acknowledgement of their problem shows they’re definitely on the right path, and hopefully leads to a proper balance in not only satisfying Destiny 2’s eager player base, but also the game’s hard-working developers.
Destiny 2 is out now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, with a Google Stadia version also in the works. The Shadowkeep expansion goes live on October 1st.
What do you think? Are you glad Bungie is making an effort to squash crunch, or are you concerned about what this may mean for Destny 2? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! For more headlines recently featured on DFTG, check out these next few news stories:
Eric Hall2712 Posts
Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his biweekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.