Some of you may have already heard about the car crash of an interview that Luke Smith gave to Eurogamer.
We will get to that in a moment, first let’s take a quick look at some of the issues that people have already raised with The Taken King expansion.
Firstly is the price for the expansion £40.00, this is basically the same price I paid for the full game. We don’t know exactly what this contains just yet, but we do know that it will have a new raid, multiple new strikes, new multiplayer maps and game modes, new weapons and armour, year 1 founder’s sparrow, plus new shaders and emblems. Until we really know all the details of this it’s hard to say whether this is worthwhile.
Then there is the legendary edition which contains The Taken King, all year 1 DLC and the original game for £54.99. Not too bad for a new player, but completely irrelevant to ‘veteran’ players.
Now on to the collector’s edition and this is the one causing the most controversy right now. For £80.00 you get everything in the legendary edition, some physical items, plus exclusive emotes, shaders and exp boosting class system.
The reason this is causing controversy is because right now the only way to get those new emotes is by buying this edition of the game, meaning that if anyone who already owns the game and has supported it over the last year has to spend another £80 for this. Needless to say a lot of Destiny players are feeling hurt by this.
Then came an interview from Creative Director Luke Smith with Eurogamer and, well, he just made it so much worse.
Let’s take a look at some of the question and answers from the interview.
Eurogamer: So it may seem like a small thing but you’re adding exclusive content to the game – three new dance emotes – that players can’t get unless they rebuy the main game and the two existing DLCs. Is that right?
Luke Smith: There is no way right now for you to get the new dance emotes without doing that. Those are Collector’s Edition exclusive. We’ve set some stuff aside for that edition specifically to really make it appeal to fans who have engaged with the game already and also to people that will enter the game this autumn.
So firstly they’re already very aware that to get the exclusive content is to by the collector’s edition and they don’t seem at all perturbed by this. Eurogamer then questioned the decision and again Luke Smith doesn’t seem at all phased.
Eurogamer: Can you see that some fans are confused that you’re asking them to buy stuff they already own?
Luke Smith: Yeah, I can totally empathise with those people. But the Collector’s Edition is a pretty cool package for people who want to pursue that stuff. Otherwise, surely what you’re saying is that you would want to buy them separately, right?
Eurogamer: Well, yeah. I would rather do that – pay a few pounds or dollars or whatever – than spend money on things I already own.
Luke Smith: [Laughs] Well, we have nothing more to talk about regarding your opportunity to spend extra money in Destiny, other than The Taken King and the three versions we’ve announced.
What kind of an answer is that? He’s basically saying ‘deal with it’.
Eurogamer: Taken King costs £39.99, which is almost same as base game. Does its content justify that?
Luke Smith: I’m going to use American dollars, because British pounds are just foreign to me…
Eurogamer: Literally foreign.
Luke Smith: Indeed, an ocean away. So, purchasers get a big, rich campaign. Fully voiced cinematics and the story of what happens when an angry alien god wages war on a solar system, all with a satisfying conclusion. You also have a new subclass to pursue and unlock. We also have a bunch of new strikes – we’re not yet talking about how many – and a new raid. We’re showing two new PVP modes and four PVP maps this week, and it’s a fairly safe bet we’re not done yet showing things off. So I’m fairly excited about the value proposition. We’re calling this a major expansion because it is. We’re giving people a whole new place to go, that new destination…
Eurogamer: I get that it is big but it is also the same price as the base game. That had four areas rather than one and more missions than the Taken King. Why is it the same price?
Luke Smith: All I can do is answer that with the same thing I just gave you… We’re really comfortable with the value we’re giving to players this autumn. I believe that once we begin to share more, players will be even more excited. And for existing players it also comes with the Founder’s pack with a new Sparrow, shader and emblem.
Eurogamer: Just not the emotes.
Luke Smith: It doesn’t because they come with the Collector’s Edition.
Like I already said, it’s a bit tough to really judge the price at this point because we don’t know all the details of what it will contain. But based on this I would expect at least two new planets or completely new large areas to explore – not missions going over the same areas we’ve already been.
Eurogamer: Final question on prices –
Luke Smith: Is it also the final question on the emotes?
Eurogamer: I’m not going to mention them again. I can’t get them.
Luke Smith: But you can if you buy the Collector’s Edition.
Seriously! I can get those 3 emotes for £80? Is he actually being serious when he says this.
Eurogamer: I’m not going to buy the game and the two DLCs all over again.
Luke Smith: Okay, but first I want to poke at you on this a little bit.
Eurogamer: Poke at me?
Luke Smith: You’re feeling anxious because you want this exclusive content but you don’t know yet how much you want it. The notion of spending this money is making you anxious, I can see it –
Eurogamer: I do want them. I would buy them –
Luke Smith: If I fired up a video right now and showed you the emotes you would throw money at the screen.
Eurogamer: What I’m saying is that fan frustration is not because they don’t understand the proposition. It comes regardless of how cool the exclusive content is. The frustration – and mine as a fan – is that the method of acquiring it requires me to re-buy content I bought a year ago.
Luke Smith: [Long pause] It’s about value. The player’s assessment of the value of the content.
What value? There is absolutely no value to existing Destiny players in this. Does he seriously not see this?
I feel like the questions were either not taken seriously or he was only thinking of new players? The interviewer raised some relevant questions for players who’ve already invested thousands of hours in to the game, and Luke Smith just brushed over them without really giving anything.
How he can say ‘it’s about value’ is beyond me. I don’t want to spend £80 for a game I already own and 2 two DLC’s I already own – which is what he seems to suggest.
This whole interview feels like a big F you to anyone who currently plays Destiny. This game has been so heavily supported and backed by a very solid fan base, and it feels like they’re turning their back on them and just trying to entice new players and extort as much money as possible from everyone.
I feel like Bungie have just gone “Lol, we got all your money, and now we want more. I don’t care if you don’t like it.”
Let’s not also forget that The Taken King will include exclusive content to PS4 players. So players on Xbox One will be missing out on even more – currently new exotic weapons and armour.
For £40, this Expansion better contain a hell of a lot of content to justify the price tag, but as it stands I will not be buying it. Not because of the price, but because of the attitude Bungie have taken to this and because of the complete rudeness of Luke Smith towards the interviewer. It feels very arrogant “If I fired up a video right now and showed you the emotes you would throw money at the screen.” Wow, just wow. Based on the what we’ve seen from Destiny so far i.e. lacklustre story, underwhelming DLC, I think you’re clearly misguided on the product you’ve delivered.
You can read the full interview here.
Now, some of you might be thinking “Are people really made about some emotes?” Whilst on the surface this may seem like the case, it’s more than that. It’s about the loyal fans feeling like they’ve been pushed aside and that they don’t matter and all that matters is selling more and making money. Why wouldn’t they just offer the same content to everyone? That way no one loses out.
It’s also the fact that it’s £40 for DLC. Sure we’re expecting it to be a lot heftier than previous DLC, but history suggests that it will be lacking. The House of Wolves and The Dark Below had content that barely lasted a handful of hours then you were just replaying it over and over.
It seems that damage limitation is already taking place though, with community manager Deej stepping in to say “Year One players won’t get the same perks as people who buy a collector’s edition. They’ll get something better. Tune into the Weekly Update for more.” I wonder what this will be? Probably the announcement that the emotes will be sold separately or given to existing players.
I’m hoping that The Taken King will offer a boat load of content and that it will be excellent, but to be facing this kind of backlash so early after the announcement is just not good and kind of looks a little amateurish. Here’s hoping things turn around for the good.