May 21, 2024

Hard Data Dispels Claims of Destiny 2’s Decline


  • The Destiny 2 community has provided data that offers a different perspective on the game’s player base decline, suggesting it may not be as severe as some claim.
  • Bungie’s diminished interaction with the community, along with issues surrounding DLC release and microtransactions, has created unease, but it’s not as serious as it seems.
  • The analysis of the Lightfall DLC’s impact on the franchise has been challenged by community members who argue that the data shows the situation isn’t apocalyptic and has happened before.

Even though some believe Destiny 2 is now suffering from a severe player base falloff, the Destiny community members themselves have sourced data that helps recontextualize the problem from a different point of view. It’s hardly a secret that Bungie’s AAA live-service experience is going through a rough patch at this time, but it may not be nearly as rough as some claim.

As Bungie pulls back from interacting with the Destiny 2 community, the game is still dealing with the fallout from the criticized Lightfall DLC release and the further proliferation of microtransactions and additional monetization options that followed. That, combined with the community’s usual assortment of critique directed at the game’s balance and narrative has created a sense of unease, though it doesn’t seem to be too serious after all.

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Specifically, some people in the Destiny 2 community seems to have taken issue with Forbes writer Paul Tassi’s assessment of how the release of the Lightfall DLC affected the franchise’s current outlook. Tassi’s analysis of the matter was fairly broad and led to a negative conclusion, while Destiny community member Merzats has posted a comprehensive analysis derived from SteamDB data that tracks seasonal player numbers on PC. Merzats’ sheets are freely available for anyone to check out, and they plainly suggest that the year of Lightfall isn’t all that apocalyptic for the franchise after all.

Merzats’ data was subsequently used by another Redditor, StrangelyOnPoint, to set up a full waterfall chart of Destiny’s seasonal player base from the release of the Destiny 2 Shadowkeep DLC onwards. This provides an even better view of how the game’s PC player numbers change as the given year goes on. It seems that, even though the game is at a low point in the Season of the Deep, similar situations have happened in the past, unrelated to any other external factors.

Another thing worth considering here, of course, is that users only really have access to Destiny 2‘s PC player data via SteamDB. In other words, the featured information does not reference Destiny players on PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Further, the information doesn’t consider Destiny 2 Epic Games Store players either, as they are tracked completely separately from Steam.

Overall, the conclusion is that, even though things are somewhat rough for Destiny right now, they’re not necessarily all that much worse than they’ve been in the past. With the next Destiny 2 Raid coming in Season 22, odds are good that large batches of players will be coming back to see what’s up, and after that, the long-awaited Final Shape DLC will be just a few seasons away too.

Destiny 2 is currently available for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

MORE: Future Destiny 2 Seasons Should Avoid One Season of the Deep Side Effect

Source: Forbes

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