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Destiny 2 has had a shaky life since its launch in late 2017. As with the previous game, the immense promise of the formula was crippled by an early lack of content, which would slowly be addressed through future paid updates. Though none of these updates have brought the game up to the much-loved status of the Forsaken King expansion for Destiny 1, there was no doubt the game was getting better. Then came the content vault.

This was the term given to the removal of existing, and often paid content, in favor of adding new paid experiences. While there are some arguably legitimate reasons as to why this has to happen, players weren’t pleased. With the upcoming release of the new Witch Queen expansion, developer Bungie is vaulting again, this time with the well-regarded Forsaken content.

Why Does Bungie Vault Content?

The arguments made by Bungie stem from the concept of game size and complexity. In terms of size, this makes a lot of sense. Major AAA titles today are larger than ever, sometimes taking up over 100 gigabytes for a full install. At the time of writing, the Steam install size for Destiny 2 reached just over 70 GB, and that’s with several expansions’ worth of vaulted content. Many would consider this type of data bloat unacceptable, especially on consoles like the PS5 which only offers 667 GB of free space.

The other argument from Bungie comes from code complexity. The idea here is that the larger the code base grows the more difficult it becomes to find and squash bugs. However, due to the game going through a reboot and rush to release just 16 months before launch, some spectators have suggested this is more a failure on Bungie’s part than anything else.

Looking For Solutions

Considering how frustrating and insulting many players find the removal of paid content to be, the question then becomes what can be done. Unfortunately, there aren’t really any great fixes that Bungie would find fiscally acceptable. For an illustration of the theoretical possibilities, we could consider the mass transition taken by another form of interactive entertainment – online casino games.

For around two decades since their arrival in the late 90s, online casino games were built on Macromedia Flash. When this became outdated and unsupported, the industry was left with two possible approaches, port the code to newer HTML 5 or abandon existing games altogether. They went for the prior option, with modern videoslots now encompassing a wide library of older and newer titles. The difference here is that each of these games, while cutting edge, is still small individually. Destiny 2, on the other hand, is not.

Destiny 2_20180419152211” (CC BY 2.0) by Ferino Design

Changing Destiny 2 to a more efficient system would essentially require a complete code rewrite and engine update, which could cost the company tens of millions of dollars for little payoff. Not all is lost, however, at least for those who are fine with playing the long game. As we have seen with Destiny 2 importing Destiny 1 content, an eventual Destiny 3 will likely import Destiny 2 and 1 content. Unfortunately, there’s been no hint of this game yet from Bungie, and they could fall into the same pitfalls that affected Destiny 2.

So, if you don’t like the way Destiny has been treating fans, the only real suggestion we have is to vote with your wallet. It likely won’t make much of a difference to the company in the long run, but if you’re sick of paying for gameplay that eventually gets taken away, it could still be the best approach.

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