The Destiny franchise has been one of ups and downs, with even the most hardcore fans of the series critiquing the game quality, and business practices of the companies in charge. For many, it is also beloved, and despite the down times and poorly received DLC, Destiny fans want to see this game succeed.
This is why for many, the day Bungie and Activision Blizzard announced their split, it was a day for rejoicing. The public perception for many was that predatory business practices and lack in quality content rested mostly on the shoulders of Activision, with Bungie being ground under their boot.
Is this perception actually accurate however? Well, it is fairly easy to see. Due to a mostly unrelated lawsuit, the original contract between Bungie and Activision has been made available to the public to analyze. The contract reveals some telling details.
The first important note within the contract is the plan for the release of Destiny games. The contract originally called for the release of four separate Destiny games, and if Bungie had stuck to schedule, we would be looking for the fourth Destiny title in the fall. Thankfully for consumers this did not come to pass, as the quality of games released in such a short timeframe would more than likely be lackluster.
This particular detail also helps shed some light on the quality of Destiny and Destiny 2 DLC. Rather than releasing four separate titles consumers would need to buy, Bungie and Activision Blizzard released several different DLC packages for both games. All DLC would be subsequent to the last DLC, no ala carte offerings, so players would need to own all previous DLC to enjoy any upcoming content.
With each title, the DLC that is widely agreed upon to be the best of the bunch came around close to a year in the lifespan of the game. In order to play The Taken King and Forsaken for Destiny 1 and 2 respectively, the cost of purchasing all the previous lackluster DLC was hefty. This means Activision Blizzard would not be missing out in sales money since no new game titles were released.
Another notable piece of the contract is how decisions were made in case of a deadlock. If both Activision Blizzard and Bungie had different directions in mind, Activision was appointed legally as the tiebreaker vote. In essence, this means Activision had complete control of the marketing and other such decisions surrounding the franchise.
The good news is that things are already changing for the better. Shadowkeep has been confirmed to be an ala-carte DLC, and on top of this, the game is going free to play around its release in September. The free to play content includes the base game and all year 1 DLC. This means completely new players can jump into the new content for just the pricing of Shadowkeep, which is $35.