Bungie’s creative director, Luke Smith, has confirmed the studio will not be prioritising plans to fix an over-powered shotgun in Destiny 2 in order to ensure the team “preserves work-life balance”. While Smith admitted “the most recent changes to [the shotgun] Lord of Wolves created a monster”, in a recent Bungie update and promised a fix was coming, the issue “didn’t rise up to meet the bar of ‘this is broken enough to turn it off in all activities'”.
“Sometimes, Destiny is going to have goofy outliers, or periods of time where something is OP (like the Wolves howling right now in [Iron Banner] on PC),” Smith said. “We don’t want these periods to last too long (post-Forsaken launch Voidlocks), but they can be memorable moments.
“Internally, we had a bunch of spirited debate this week around whether or not we should just prevent players from equipping Lord of Wolves throughout the game. This is a blunt tool, and basically banning an item from being equipped isn’t something we take lightly.”
In a GuardianCon 2019 charity stream (thanks, Polygon), Smith expanded on the studio’s plans and said that while the team will address the issue in its upcoming schedule, there were no plans to do so now in order to avoid developers having to put in “super long” hours to fix it.
“We’re having the conversation about, ‘is it worth doing that or is it better to preserve the work-life balance and ship it later in July?’,” Smith said. “To ask a team to do that back-to-back – full disclosure, it’s not a thing we want to do. We try to be really careful about stuff like that.”
Bungie split with Activision Blizzard in January, eight years into a ten-year partnership. The separation saw Bungie assume “full publishing rights and responsibilities for the Destiny franchise”, while Activision “will increase its focus on owned IP and other projects”.
In an earnings call last November, Activision COO Coddy Johnson explained that Activision’s MAU were “up sequentially from Q2” thanks to the good performance of Destiny 2’s expansion Forsaken, launched on September 4th. However, Forsaken actually performed below the firm’s expectations. Johnson added: “Now while Forsaken is a high-quality expansion with strong engagement and new modes of play, it did not achieve our commercial expectations, and there’s still work to do to fully re-engage the core Destiny fan base.”
Destiny 2 director, Luke Smith later responded to reports that its latest expansion, Forsaken, “did not achieve [Activision’s] commercial expectations”, stating that the development team at Bungie is “not disappointed” in the latest instalment. “We are not disappointed with Forsaken,” Smith asserted via a tweet. “We set out to build a game that Destiny players would love, and at Bungie, we love it too. Building Destiny for players who love it is and will remain our focus going forward.”