An upcoming Destiny 2 patch has been delayed by Bungie in attempts to avoid crunch. The patch is reported to have a fix for one of the game’s weapons, among other requested features like balancing. Despite the fans’ demand for the fix, Bungie is taking its employees into consideration and pushing this patch’s release to July 2019.
This comes by way of an interview with Destiny 2 Creative Director Luke Smith during the GuardianCon 2019 charity livestream, event. Smith said the following about the delay:
We could take the patch off the… off the ‘patch factory,’ more or less, and ask people to work super long [hours] and add this thing in. We’re having the conversation about, “Is it worth doing that? Or is it worth preserving work-life balance and ship it later, in July?”
That’s the 100%, god’s honest truth. It’s always a cost-benefit analysis for people who are working super hard.
With crunch being such a talked-about issue in the industry now, it’s a step in the right direction to see developers and publishers be so candid and honest about the topic. It’s especially important that the lives of so many developers are being considered when working towards deadlines.
As Bungie is now an independent studio after breaking ties with its publisher, Activision, the Destiny 2 developer has more freedom to be flexible with release dates. Sure, the company won’t have the funding from Activision, but so far, Bungie seems to be doing just fine without it.
We still have a long way to go, in terms of the overall preservation of work-life balance in the industry. As it stands, most AAA-developed games partake in working long hours leading up to a major release. This can lead to many negative mental health issues that severely impact the lives of staff members and have an effect on the end result of the game being developed. Many believe that unionization will solve a bulk of these issues.
Bungie is on the right track, for sure. Keeping employees healthy is one of the keys to success, and hopefully other developers will start to prioritize it in the same way Bungie has.
There is no specific release date for the delayed Destiny 2 patch, other than a July window, but we’ll let you know as soon as we find out.