Like much of the Destiny 2 community, I remain deeply confused as to what’s going on with Bungie’s marketing strategy this year, in that it has more or less none when it comes to the seasons that are meant to support it between major expansion releases.
For the third consecutive season now, Haunted, Plunder and now another so mysterious it still has no name a day before launch, Bungie has decided not to effectively share any pre-launch information outside of broader changes. like sandbox tweaks and gear nerfs and buffs. There was absolutely no marketing, nothing about the story itself. No trailers, no teaser images, nothing. The smallest of small pieces, if that. People are trying to extract story clues from rogue patch notes, at this point.
This is…deeply disconcerting both as an avid Destiny player, where I and other dedicated parts of the community are looking for a reason to be excited for the next season, and from an outside perspective, where the non-hardcore players would probably have absolutely no idea that a new season of Destiny was launching tomorrow. How do you have a live service game that… doesn’t advertise before its new releases?
Some theories on justification here:
Secrets of history – The idea is that Bungie wants to give us story elements as a “fun surprise” when the season kicks off and all of the above would “spoil it”. I could have bought that explanation for when they brought back the Leviathan for Season of the Haunted, but there was no reason to keep the pirate-themed Season of Plunder a secret, and I don’t know what. they could hide next season that would be worth that cone of silence. Theories point to this being a Rasputin season, but if so… promoting this? That people get excited about it? Why wouldn’t you?
“You Asked For It” – The other theory here is that previously Bungie was accused of giving away too much a lot away, putting too much in roadmaps, showing too much in trailers. But I’d say that’s a massive over-correction, because “maybe don’t put the secret puzzle quest reward in the roadmap” doesn’t really translate to “literally don’t say anything about a season until the time of its launch”. It’s pretty clear that community sentiment isn’t behind this decision, and it seems like an odd move when game morale and player counts are at an all-time low.
Cost reduction – I don’t really buy into the idea that it’s about saving money, because “marketing” doesn’t necessarily mean releasing a trailer in 20 languages. It could literally look like a tweet with the Rasputin logo, and that would be 500% more information than we currently have. And no, I don’t imagine that after being acquired by Sony for several billion dollars, Bungie is currently in “cash hungry” mode. In addition, they will market the season after it still launches, the problem here is the timing.
The fall of light is all that matters – Weirdly, Bungie is marketing for Lightfall, its next expansion, which began with a reveal six months (!) before release, which is the exact opposite of launching seasons with nothing before the day of. The idea here is that Lightfall, and pre-orders for the full year package that includes all of next year’s season, is really the only thing Bungie actively cares about selling, and many fans have already pre-ordered. -purchased existing seasons via The Witch Queen Deluxe Edition last year. But it undermines other points, as huge story elements were given away early based on what we know of Lightfall (Osiris waking up, for one, which was last season’s “surprise” ending ).
It’s just that… you don’t see that in the media. Other games, TV shows and movies are not launched from the blue sky without any promotion in advance apart from exceptionally rare occasions. It’s weird. Very weird, and I don’t understand what Bungie wants, because none of the reasons I listed here make sense.
Anyway, see you tomorrow I guess.
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