Destiny 2: A Dying Star? The Downward Spiral of a Once-Beloved Franchise


When Destiny first launched in 2014, its promise was immense. A sweeping space epic combining the loot-driven thrills of Diablo with Bungie’s signature gunplay and world-building mastery, it seemed poised to become a pillar of the online gaming landscape. And for a while, it delivered, drawing in countless players with its blend of challenging raids, addictive progression systems, and a universe begging to be explored.

Sadly, Destiny 2’s current state is a far cry from those glory days. Controversial decisions, a focus on monetisation over meaningful content, and an increasingly disenchanted player base suggest that the franchise has lost its way.

Here’s a dive into the factors contributing to Destiny 2’s decline:

  • The Cost of Commitment: Destiny 2 operates on a model of continuous paid expansions and seasonal content drops. While this keeps things fresh in theory, the price of staying up-to-date is staggering. Beyond the major expansions, which run upwards of $60 AUD for the base expansion, each season brings a new battle pass-style purchase to unlock the full suite of rewards and story content. This results in players feeling nickel-and-dimed, constantly spending just to keep up.
  • Content Cuts: A Bitter Pill to Swallow: Bungie’s “Destiny Content Vaulting” system has exacerbated the cost problem. Entire expansions and storylines have been removed from the game, even for those who originally paid for them. This leaves players feeling like their previous investments are meaningless. Worse, Destiny 2’s world feels smaller and less cohesive with each content cut.
  • A Hollowed-Out Experience: While narratively strong, recent expansions like The Witch Queen have been criticised for lacking endgame content. Raids and dungeons are the bread and butter of Destiny, but the quantity and quality have declined. This results in players quickly exhausting the new content and being left with a repetitive grind until the next paid release.
  • Management Missteps & Troubled Development: Bungie’s recent layoffs, Sony’s statements about the acquisition being below expectations, and the delay of the upcoming Lightfall expansion point towards underlying development woes. This fuels speculation that Destiny 2 is not getting the resources it needs to thrive. It’s a worrying sign for players invested in the game’s long-term future.
  • The End of an Era?: Destiny 2 promised a ten-year journey. However, the current trajectory feels unsustainable. With dwindling player engagement and a growing sense of frustration within the community, it’s hard not to wonder if the franchise is approaching the end of its lifecycle rather than the midpoint.

What Now for Devoted Guardians?

There was a time when logging into Destiny 2 was a near-daily ritual for me and countless others. Friendships were forged within those fire teams, and the thrill of finally conquering a challenging raid was unmatched. Today, those feelings have been replaced by a mixture of weariness and disappointment. It’s heartbreaking to see a game with so much potential floundering.

While Bungie could theoretically turn things around, it would require a significant shift in priorities. A greater focus on substantial content drops, less aggressive monetisation, and a renewed commitment to respecting players’ time and investment could win back some goodwill. Until then, it’s hard to recommend Destiny 2 to newcomers, and many veterans are actively seeking alternatives to fill that void.

Bungie has pinned much hope on the upcoming “Final Shape” expansion, promising it will be the culmination of Destiny 2’s Light and Darkness saga. However, given the recent pattern of underdelivering, many in the community are sceptical. Leaks and speculation suggest a lack of new content, raising concerns that the Final Shape won’t be the epic conclusion players expect.

Moreover, the core issues of aggressive monetisation and content vaulting remain unaddressed. Even if the Final Shape’s story delivers emotionally, it may not be enough to redeem Destiny 2 if the surrounding gameplay loop is still unsatisfying. The expansion carries a heavy burden: it needs to provide a compelling finale to the main narrative and revitalise the entire game’s structure to justify continued fan investment.

It’s a tall order, and the pressure is on Bungie. If the Final Shape fails to meet expectations, it could be the final nail in the coffin for Destiny 2, alienating even the most dedicated Guardians for good.

The Search for the Next Great Shared-World Adventure

The decline of Destiny 2 leaves a hole in the gaming landscape for many of us who crave cooperative, loot-based sci-fi action. While there’s no perfect replacement, games like Warframe, Outriders, and the upcoming Arc Raiders by Embark Studios may scratch that itch and are worth checking out for those who feel burned by Destiny 2’s direction.