Bungie has confirmed a free version of its sci-fi shooter, Destiny 2, will release on September 17th, 2019. Destiny 2: New Light will launch on the same day as the FPS opens on Steam, which Bungie calls the “new home for the Destiny PC community” as it moves away from its exclusivity arrangement with Activision Blizzard’s Battle.net.
The game will be free to download for all players, and include all of the content from Destiny 2’s inaugural year. Expansions such as Forsaken and the upcoming Shadowkeep, however, will not be available for free.
Bungie describes the new free-to-play version as “a brand new entry point for newcomers, that puts the worlds of Destiny 2 – and all of its foundational modes, activities, and rewards – into the hands of every player”. PC players looking to migrate from Battle.net to Steam will be able to transfer their characters, gear and progress. There will also be cross-save functionality across all platforms, including Google Stadia.
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”. A recent SEC filing covering the 12 month period up to and including December 31, 2018, intimated Activision earned $164 million as a result in the “mutually agreed” separation from Bungie.
Activision’s then-CFO Spencer Neumann revealed during Activision’s FYQ3 18/19 investors report that while both Call of Duty’s digital in-game revenue and Destiny 2: Forsaken had been big earners for the company, the latter underperformed [their] expectations”.
Destiny 2 director, Luke Smith responded to these comments, stating the development team at Bungie was “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.”
Destiny 2 was one of several key announcements coming out of Google Stadia’s presentation yesterday. For more about Google’s Stadia, including pricing and release information, here’s MCV’s summary of the Stadia’ announcement.