Working from home due to coronavirus claims another one. Destiny 2 Beyond Light has been delayed be nearly two months to November 10, 2020. The expansion was originally set to launch on September 22nd, but, citing the challenges presented by the pandemic, Bungie decided to shift the release date in order to ensure it’s the best version of the game that it can be.
Beyond Light is the first in Destiny 2’s upcoming trilogy of expansions—which will include The Witch Queen in 2021 and Lightfall in 2022, assuming those don’t also face delays. Bungie says this is the start of a “new era,” with a “powerful story” and “incredible new features,” and the delay is to make sure they get that right out of the gate without any major stumbles. They aren’t willing to compromise on the quality and delivery of the upcoming expansion just because of hurdles presented by having to work from home, building and maintaining an online game remotely.
With that major shift, Destiny 2’s current season, Season of Arrivals, will be extended to the new Beyond Light launch. Bungie promises additional details later today on how they’ll make the extra month and a half of the season engaging for players. They’ve also said that more details about Beyond Light will be revealed in the “coming weeks.”
Here’s Bungie’s full statement regarding the Destiny 2 Beyond Light delay:
We have made the decision to move the release of Destiny 2: Beyond Light to November 10.
As the first chapter in a new trilogy of expansions, Beyond Light is the beginning of a new era of Destiny 2. We have a powerful story to tell and incredible new features that we’re really excited for players to experience. As always, our goal is to make the coolest, most entertaining expansion we can possibly make for our fans. To that end, we are doing what’s best for the game and moving the launch date.
The past few months have been a challenge and will continue to be during this pandemic. We’ve learned to create together in a new way, by having to work apart from one another. Despite these hurdles, we’re still committed to the same level of quality that our fans expect.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be unveiling more of what we’re working on for Beyond Light and what that also means for Season of Arrivals, which will now extend to November 10. Beyond Light sets the stage for an incredible future in Destiny 2 and, though it’s coming later than we originally anticipated, we’re excited to continue that journey with you this November.
This isn’t the first time Bungie has delayed a release—at least publicly. Last year’s Shadowkeep expansion was also delayed by two weeks, a move that simply shortened the year’s first Season, Season of the Undying. New fall expansions are replete with not just gameplay additions and new features, but fundamental and technical changes to the game. Last year was the move to the free to play model as well as enabling cross-save on all platforms. This year sees the vaulting of old content and locations which will be removed from the game. It’s expected that this content removal comes with myriad challenges even if the company were working from the office, so to try to undertake such a massive feat remotely seems like an even bigger task.
Putting the expansion in November also puts it near the expected Holiday 2020 release of next-gen consoles, which will support upgrading to the next-gen version of Destiny 2 for free. PS5 players will be able to enjoy the game in 4K/60fps, and one might assume faster loading times. But that of course comes with development and optimization for next-gen, something that is no doubt being done alongside development of the new expansion.
The biggest question this leaves is how Destiny 2′s seasonal cadence will be impacted in its fourth year. Destiny’s seasons tend to be about three months long, totaling four with each yearly expansion—fall, winter, spring, and summer. Normally the second Season of the year would begin in December and run to March, but this delay to November seems likely to push that off to later. Will each Season see a small reduction in length to try to target a September launch for the 2021 expansion? Or does this shift the entire development timeline of all of Destiny 2 moving forward?
Destiny 2 Beyond Light releases on November 10th, 2020.