Though Destiny 2 has achieved critical success since its release in September of last year, it appears the game’s sales aren’t living up to Activision’s standards. This is especially true for the most recent DLC released, Destiny 2: Forsaken. Yesterday, in the company’s 2018 third quarter financial results conference call, it was stated that the game hadn’t met the publisher’s “commercial expectations.” Thus, Activision is looking to “improve the speed” of the development and release of new content to “keep players engaged, and to provide new opportunities for monetization” for the game.
It honestly doesn’t come as much of as surprise that the game is underperforming. Activision has recently tried to garner more interest in the game. The base version of Destiny 2 is currently free on PC until November 18. This also comes after the base version of the game was free on PlayStation 4 as part of PlayStation Plus’s September 2018 free games lineup. However, thanks to the Forsaken DLC release, Destiny 2 was the eighth best selling game of September in the United States.
The Forsaken DLC has been received positively among fans and critics alike, and has even help grow the game’s monthly active user base. Despite this and being touted as a “high quality expansion,” Activision COO Coddy Johnson stated, “We have not yet seen the full core reengage in Destiny, which has led to the underperformance against our expectations to date.” Johnson would go on saying, “Some players, we think, are still in ‘wait and see’ mode. When you’re in, you’re deeply engaged, and if you’re not, we’re hoping now’s the time. We’re working to bring players back in and win them back.”
The Destiny franchise has been fraught with turmoil since the original’s release in 2014. The base version of the original was considered bland and lacking story content. It wasn’t until a year later, with the release of The Taken King DLC expansion, that the game would receive overall improvements and critical acclaim across the board. Destiny 2 was intended for the hardcore and casual audiences, but suffered from backlash from fans for a multitude of reasons until the Forsaken DLC’s release turned it around. It will be interesting to see how Activision and Bungie handle future DLC releases and what the companies plan for an eventual sequel.