Cross Save, Cross Play, And The Future Of Destiny 2
While Destiny as a series has had its ups and downs, it is a game that I enjoy, and have spent thousands of hours playing. So, when Bungie held a new stream to talk about the future of the game after their split from Activision, I was curious. Were we going to see new content? New modes? New characters? What we got was a hint of Destiny's future, and while I will be reading into a few things, and making some bold predictions, I am happy to theorize if it means some entertainment.
One of the most essential features that we now know is coming to Destiny 2 is a cross-save function. The cross-save function will allow you to link your PS4, Xbox One, PC and Stadia accounts to a single profile, meaning the progress that you make will then be shared profile wide, across all systems. This is something the Destiny community has wanted for years, and while it is perhaps unfair to lay all the blame at the feet of Activision, it is telling that it is finally coming to the game after they have left the Destiny fold.
A more likely event is that cross-save is not something that Bungie would have been able to bargain for with Microsoft and Sony for the original game. Yes, Bungie made Halo, but Destiny was a whole new thing and could have failed. Now, Destiny has shown itself to be a solid earner, and attitudes towards functions like crossplay are softening from console makers, so Bungie were likely able to bring it up as a possibility when they found their own hands once again on the reins.
There has also been a lot of talk about the crossplay, and while Bungie is not committing to the function any time soon, they have expressed a keen interest in bringing it to their title in the future. When Destiny first launched, I couldn't help but imagine a game like World of Warcraft, a central title that was bolstered from time to time with expansions. Influenced by the famous "10 years" quote, I imagined playing the same characters, in the same game, for a decade. If you think this is a foolish dream, look at Warframe, which is on course to do just that. Content injections, visual and system updates, and expanding lore can all be used to push a game forward.
Instead, we had Destiny, and then Destiny 2. Market forces need that follow up, so the dream of a continuous gaming experience died on the sharp edge of that need. With cross save and cross play, could we finally be moving towards a future where Destiny is just like those other games? I certainly hope so. A new version of Destiny 2, called New Light, is planned to pull more players into the title when it goes free-to-play later this year. New Light will be free to play version of the game that is, you guess it, bolstered by the option to buy into new content and Seasons. When it comes to visuals, Destiny 2 is a beautiful game; it has a long time to go before it looks dated.
I would also rather see the lore continue to unfold, in a continuous universe, than have another long campaign that is primarily designed to act as a hook for people who never play past that final credits screen. The move from Destiny into Destiny 2 was disastrous for me because it left behind all the high systems that been implemented by the end of the original game's lifecycle. The Taken King was, perhaps, the best Destiny has ever been, and we are only now getting back to those heights with Destiny 2.
Functions like cross save and cross play would enable Destiny to never die, on any platform. Even if I was the only person left playing the title on PC (a highly unlikely scenario, but hyperbole servers a purpose, if only as an example) I would always be able to play with other people. That kind of assurance helps to keep people invested. Nobody wants to love a game, only to have to watch it die. At the end of the day, I am just a guy who writes about games. I have never worked for a development studio that has produced not one, but two multi-billion dollar franchises. I do know what I would do if I want to ensure the future of my game and live up to the promise that a game like Destiny has. If I genuinely wanted to lean into the MMO aspect of the game, I would try to have the game exist the way that the greatest MMO of all time has done for years now.
There is little reason to think that I am right, outside of the fact that Bungie has been making some very unexpected moves and they have to lead somewhere. There has to be a bigger picture that they are working towards. As such, I am happy enough to predict that the game we now know as Destiny 2 is going to be the foundation of the future of the game. A looter-shooter, free to play, slowly expanding world that we will still be running around five years from now. It just makes sense, but that doesn't mean it will happen. And besides, if we do end up getting a Destiny 3, I doubt I will even be mad.