We’ve seen nothing in the way of gameplay or even concept art, but Activision insists that Destiny 2 is destined for 2017 release.
Speaking during its financial conference call for calender year 2016, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg revealed details of the publisher’s upcoming fiscal year.
Part of that plan is the release of Destiny 2, which, as has been teased in passed conference calls, is still set for a 2017 release.
Despite having shown absolutely nothing about the game, Hirshberg says developer Bungie has done a “very nice job on two fronts”.
One of those fronts was that the game would appease fans of the original, and that a lot of what made the first game great and so popular will be carried over into the sequel.
The second front is that it will offer a “great cinematic story”, which he explains as being a “real focus”.
He goes further, teasing Destiny 2‘s narrative potential by saying it will have “a great case of memorable, relatable characters”.
The word “accessible” was used a lot, with a promise that it will be welcoming for new players but still deep enough to satisfy diehard players of the first game.
What’s fascinating about Hirshberg’s comments is that Destiny 2 appears to be a very important component of the company’s next 12 months, so there’s obviously a lot hinging on the game’s release in the busy and important late-2017 release window.
Kotaku’s Jason Schreier has had quite a lot to say about the relationship between Bungie and Activision in the past, and in regards to Destiny 2 he reveals an interesting tidbit that raises interesting questions about the relationship between creatives and corporates.
“If Bungie misses this year for Destiny 2, Activision is awarded a hefty chunk of the independent studio’s stock, according to two sources familiar with goings-on at Bungie,” he said. “Bungie employees’ stock vesting schedule is also based on game releases, including Destiny 2, which gives them major incentives to get the sequel out this year.”
Bungie denies this is the case, telling Kotaku there is no such scenario where stock is awarded in either direction in such a way.
That’s a truly fascinating insight in that relationship. Bungie has faced a rather brutal released schedule this past three years, with the base game hitting in 2014, The Taken King in 2015, followed by Rise Of Iron in 2016.
While these were expansions, they were major releases that could have easily passed as full games had they been released on their own accord.
Activision’s brutal approach is probably nothing new, and while it’s clearly doing wonders for the company’s bottom line, you have to question whether it led to the breakup between it and Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare developer Infinity Ward.
That studio still exists, having developed 2016’s Infinite Warfare, but it’s a shadow of its former self, with key players from the CoD years founding Respawn and making the Titanfall franchise for EA.
Regardless of the moral implications of such a brutal approach to scheduling, we can probably bet on Destiny 2 hitting in late 2017.