The debate over whether Destiny would add micro-transactions raged prior to the game’s release in 2014. One year later, Bungie announced the PlayStation and Xbox multiplayer shooter will receive micro-transactions via an update to be released next week. It may not be anything to get upset over yet, however, as the studio appears to be just testing the waters at this point and may use the optional paid content to support free DLC.
The news started when Bungie announced Destiny vendor Tess Everis will return to the Tower on Tuesday, October 13, with a new storefront and items to sell via the Eververse Trading Company. The first wares she will offer is emotes such as the various dance moves that were included in The Taken King Collector’s Edition.
Players will need to purchase a new “Silver” currency being added to Destiny that will be available to purchase through the PlayStation Store and Xbox Store. Prices haven’t been announced yet. However, the Digital Collector’s Upgrade Edition was released for $20 at The Taken King launch and comes with nine items, including three emotes. That comes out to be a little more than $2 per emote.
— Bungie (@Bungie) October 5, 2015
Shaders, Class Items, and possible various kinds of weapon skins and Ghost shells may be a possibility down the line based on the existing DLC. Of course, Bungie wants to make sure that everyone understands that these are optional purchases and they will not affect Destiny gameplay.
“If you’re not interested in what Tess has to offer, you won’t ever be forced to pluck an item off of her shelf,” Community Manager David “Deej” Dague wrote in the announcement post. “You’ll still receive updates to the game, and you won’t lose a Crucible encounter or fail to clear a Raid because you didn’t have the right Eververse Trading Company emote equipped.”
“Our plan is to use these new items to bolster the service provided by our live team for another full year, as they grow and create more robust and engaging events that we’ll announce later this year. It has been, and continues to be, our goal to deliver updates to the game. Going forward, our live team is also looking to grow beyond vital updates and improvements to focus on world events, experiences, and feature requests.”
These later announcements may just be free DLC content for Destiny. Kotaku reports the cosmetic micro-transaction purchases are part of a strategy shift on the part of Bungie and Activision. Downloadable quests and missions will reportedly be offered for free going forward instead of two $20 DLC releases like the studio did during Year One.
Details on how frequently these releases will come and what size they release at have not yet been revealed. Also curious is whether any new Destiny Raids or Strikes will be included with these releases. Creative Director Luke Smith recently told Planet Destiny that Raids are not always guaranteed, as we witnessed with the House of Wolves release. The main goal appears to make the Raid fit within a story and be a high quality experience for players.
Destiny 2 still appears to be on track for a fall 2016 release unless the move to micro-transactions further changes Bungie’s plans. The original leaked roadmap showed a full game release followed by two DLC packs over the next year and a major expansion after a full year with two DLC packs of its own. This was then followed by a full sequel release two years afterward.
This move to free DLC explains the absence of any promotion of DLC add-ons for The Taken King as well as any Season Pass.
Micro-transactions are a tough sell in the console game marketplace, especially for full release titles priced at $60. The model the industry has appeared to settle on is using micro-transactions to support free DLC content. Halo 5: Guardians is the most recent example prior to Destiny and will use players buying in-game items with real world money to offer free maps and other content being added to the Xbox One shooter after launch.
What do you think of Bungie’s announcement of micro-transactions for Destiny? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images via Bungie, Destiny]