In an announcement that surprised no one, Activision Blizzard confirmed during their earnings call that a “major expansion” is coming to Destiny 2 later this year. Given the pattern of release for Destiny content, most players have expected that September would bring a larger expansion to the game, separate from the two smaller expansions included in the season pass.
The Destiny 2 season pass includes the first two expansions, December’s Curse of Osiris and May’s untitled Expansion 2. If it follows the pattern of the first game, September will see the release of a larger expansion that will be priced at a premium (likely $40, again, if previous expansions are anything to go by). The Taken King was Destiny’s first major expansion that followed the original game one year later. Fans of Destiny 2 have taken to nicknaming the mysterious late 2018 expansion as “The Taken Queen,” as there are no additional details from Bungie at this time.
It’s unlikely any details about the Destiny 2 major expansion will surface before E3. The next few months will focus on the May expansion and other improvements Bungie is working on. E3 will probably at least see a trailer teasing the big expansion, if Bungie plans on a September release, but don’t expect to hear any additional details before June at the earliest.
Bungie and Activision have recently shifted a major focus towards re-engaging the community and earning the trust of players back after a rocky Destiny 2 launch. Despite that rough launch, Destiny 2 was the second-highest grossing console game in 2017, and the attach rate for Curse of Osiris, Destiny 2’s first expansion, was higher than that for Destiny 1’s first expansion.
“The sentiment is already starting to shift,” said Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg during the Activision Blizzard financial call. “We have a great expansion coming in May, and a major expansion coming at the end of the year, and those events have always been opportunities to re-engage our communities and win back people who have churned out. This is an incredibly passionate group of players and that passion is a good thing, even when the sentiment is critical, because it shows how deeply people care about the game, and we think that’s one of the things that makes this a great franchise, and we’re fully committed to listening to and communicating with our community more frequently and more transparently than ever and making the right changes to improve the experience and we think we have the right path forward.”
Bungie has already started to increase their transparency and deliver on a number of promises made. They issued a nice roadmap leading to the release of Expansion 2 in May that will change the game significantly, hopefully bringing many of the lapsed community back. They delivered on some of those promises with an update at the end of January, and have detailed many changes coming at the end of February and March.
Next week starts Crimson Days, a seasonal event that will shun microtransactions for the first time. Microtransactions accounted for more than half of Activision Blizzard’s 2017 revenue, but Bungie is keen on doing what they feel is best for the players going forward, balancing play with post-launch monetization in a fair and balanced way.