Destiny 2: The Witch Queen has been delayed to early 2022, pushed from its previously projected late 2021 release. However, another untitled expansion is coming after Lightfall that will conclude the Light and Darkness Saga that began in the first Destiny. Lightfall and the untitled expansion are expected in early 2023 and early 2024 respectively, if development times hold.
2020’s Beyond Light began a trilogy of Destiny 2 expansions that were scheduled to release yearly on the same fall development cycle that every other major expansion has released in. It was to be followed in 2021 by The Witch Queen and culminate in 2022’s Lightfall. After Beyond Light was pushed to November 2020, thanks in part to the difficulties of remote work during the pandemic, players began to wonder what that meant for the schedule of the game’s seasons and following expansions. Bungie has now provided another long term look at the future of the game, which includes shifting release schedules of the tentpole expansions and adding another chapter to the story.
“As we began to scale production on the Witch Queen last year, we made the difficult but important decision to move its release to early 2022,” Assistant Destiny 2 Director Joe Blackburn said in a post on Bungie’s site. “We also realized we needed to add an additional unannounced chapter after Lightfall to fully complete our first saga of Destiny.”
Blackburn says that the team has been considering moving the annual expansion release to the early part of the year for while now, mostly for the health of the development team, but also a variety of other reasons. Ongoing development on The Witch Queen led the team to realize that Beyond Light was more of a setup, and that The Witch Queen truly kicks off what’s coming next. “With so much leading to and dependent on what happens in The Witch Queen, we wanted to make sure that we gave ourselves enough time to build out this journey in the right way, starting with an exceptional first chapter in The Witch Queen.”
The remainder of 2021 will be spent updating the foundational elements of Destiny 2 to provide support for the coming expansions and the evolving story and world. We’re already starting to see the fruits of this within Season of the Chosen, but there’s plenty more to come throughout the year that will pave the way for The Witch Queen and beyond. This extra time gives the team ample time to lay down that solid foundation for what’s coming.
“The Witch Queen will light the fire on a strongly interconnected narrative across Lightfall and beyond, unlike anything we’ve ever attempted before, with characters, arcs, heroes and villains that persist over multiple future releases,” Blackburn said. Players have already been thrilled by the narrative developments happening within the game this season and it looks like Bungie is getting ready to double down on that commitment.
Of course, the health of the development team and quality of the game are also considerations for this delay. Given the big focus recently on botched game launches that weren’t ready to go out and multiple developers committing to releasing games when they are ready, Bungie hasn’t ever shied away from a delay if it’s what’s best for the team and the game.
Bungie plans to share more about Destiny 2: The Witch Queen and what’s to come beyond that later this year. They also recently shared plans around a massive expansion to the company that will focus on expanding the Destiny Universe into other media, so while the untitled expansion after Lightfall may end the Light and Darkness Saga, don’t expect it to be the last we hear from the Destiny Universe.