Must Destiny Change Drastically To Be Successful?
Ever since its introduction, the patching of video games has been somewhat of a bittersweet experience. Of course, once developers, or more likely publishers realised that they could push an unfinished game to release and just wrap everything up with a patch after the fact, things started getting a little sour.
Nearly a year after release, jokes are still being made about how the latest patches and DLC for Battlefield 4 are looking to get the game to a point where it can be considered a launch-quality product. As tough as it was for the folks at EA and DICE to swallow, Battlefield 4 was riddled with issues from day one and felt to be a direct result of a mad rush to push to release before the almighty Call of Moneybags launched and stole the show.
Lately though, we have been noticing a few great examples of what happens when post release patching goes very right, to the point where its able to completely revive interest in a title with dwindling activity. So… patching in the original sense? Maybe not so much. It’s a new concept that brings on, well… post release modifications.
Stay a while, and purchase DLC
Diablo III is our Exhibit A. Diablo III’s catastrophic launch issues aside, it never managed to really capture the hearts of longtime fans quite like its predecessors. It was by no means a flop but it left a lot of fans and newcomers feeling a little flat, what with the real money auction house, requirement for an internet connection and changes to the some of the core gameplay.
it’s not too late for developers to really listen to the community, make their own decisions and revive a game that’s been losing steam
With Reaper of Souls around the corner, Blizzard needed to spark up interest in their game again to reach out to those other than the die-hard fans who were still out there farming night after night. What better way then, to announce to everyone that a patch that would accompany the expansion was coming earlier, removing the auction houses and altering the way the game played with new modes and more, essentially releasing a part of the expansion as a free patch for all to enjoy, even those who only wanted to continue playing the original game.
The patch went live and was an instant hit, not only making the existing players happy, but causing enough chatter to get other players who had long since played the game to load it up again and see what all the fuss was about. By the time Reaper of Souls hit the shelves, everyone was excited about Diablo again and the thought of dropping a couple more bucks to get the expansion’s new act and class was an easy choice for many.
A second example is Respawn Entertainment’s Xbox and PC title, Titanfall. Like Diablo, the game was also a victim of impossible levels of hype, a bit of a rocky launch and a core gameplay experience that had peoples interest up at the start, but fading after a while. Also like Diablo, Titanfall was hoping to get more people onboard for its DLC, which means that people needed to get interested again. After rolling out a few patches, Titanfall had changed.
Listen to the community, listen to their own team and find out what’s missing
Burn cards for Titans were added, more burn cards were allowed, a black market store opened up allowing players to use earned credits to purchase card packs or insignias (also new) for their Titans. Two more Titan A.I voices were included too, weapons were rebalanced and new modes started rolling out and just like Diablo, was able to get enough of their tired customers into loading up the patched version to see what the fuss was about. Even my own circle of gaming buddies that get together to play online have now all dipped back into Titanfall after months of dust-gathering. Also, a large chunk of them finally started enjoying the season pass DLC they had purchased, or took the step to go ahead and finally buy it.
Both games are great examples of how it’s not too late for developers to really listen to the community, make their own decisions and revive a game that’s been losing steam.
Choose your Destiny
To bring the article around and make that headline relevant, we get to Destiny. A story that by this point in the article is sounding a lot like the two examples above, no? It has sold an absolute butt-load of copies, but the hype was too high, the reviews are all sitting somewhere in the middle and there also isn’t an easily marketable protagonist. So how on earth is Bungie and Activision going to roll out this 10 year plan and justify the $500,000,000 they spent making Destiny if it doesn’t keep interest and continue to generate DLC sales down the line?
I think the answer may be clear if Bungie wants to win everyone over and make Destiny that ginormous and universally loved game that gets everyone to buy more DLC for the rest of its game life.
Listen to the community, listen to their own team and find out what’s missing and realise that we have already seen from the examples above that it’s not too late to transform a game that a lot of people like into one that everyone adores.
That’s not to say that Destiny isn’t a good game, though. The internet is a currently an intriguing mess of positive and negative views towards the game (we are still busy reviewing it), with my own Twitter feed convincing me that Destiny is a great, terrible, exciting, boring game. Will it ever be able to match or surpass the goliath of a franchise that Bungie originally created with Halo? At this point, it looks like it’s going to be up to Bungie and Activision to figure that one out.
So then, what’s in store for Destiny’s future? Will it change or will it unapologetically stay exactly the same and just roll out more content? What do you think of the game so far and do you think changes are necessary to keep your attention. We would love to hear from you as well, so hit us up in the comments and on Twitter.