Destiny developer Bungie gets new CEO as fans lament delays (Wired UK)

Bungie / Activision

Change is afoot at game developer Bungie, as studio president Harold Ryan steps down and Pete Parsons takes over as new CEO. It could be more than just corporate reshuffling though, with the move rumoured to be due to delays affecting the next major Destiny game.

Parsons, formerly Bungie’s chief operating officer and a studio veteran, will now “be tasked with leading the talented Bungie team as they continue to develop great Destiny experiences.”

“I want to personally thank Harold for his friendship, passion, hard work, and dedication in helping make Bungie the great company it is today. As a team, we celebrated many victories and weathered many storms,” Parsons said in an official statement.

“To the players of Destiny, I want you to know that my number one priority, and Bungie’s, is and always has been to deliver great games that we can all share together. I believe that Destiny is a one-of-a-kind experience. I also believe you have yet to see our studio’s best work. My new role here at the studio will be entirely focused on fulfilling that promise.”

The change in leadership comes less than a week after reports Destiny 2 was delayed. The next core instalment was never officially announced nor named, but a September 2016 release was considered an open secret.

Bungie and Destiny publisher Activision has repeatedly spoken of a “ten year plan” for the sci-fi shooter series, and had released major content in September over the past two years. The original Destiny launched in September 2014, while its update The Taken King followed the same month last year, adding a much needed narrative upgrade and mixing gameplay up with a greater focus on super-powered melee weapons.

That latter release hasn’t been followed by the same kind of defined content that accompanied the original game, either. While ‘core’ Destiny had a roadmap of expansion packs — The Dark Below and House of WolvesThe Taken King has seen only time-sensitive events and a racing league using the in-game hoverbikes. Content hinted at or previously leaked, such as the introduction of Mars as a playable location in the planet-hopping saga, has yet to appear, leading many players to think it’s being held for the inevitable sequel.

Ryan’s departure also comes as Bungie introduces more microtransactions into the game. Mostly these are cosmetic — emotes or vanity items — but players can drop more sizeable sums to automatically level up newly created characters, to play the tougher Taken King content.

The confluence of circumstances — the management shift itself, the missing content, the paid DLC — has some fans crying conspiracy, many asking Bungie to be more transparent in its plans for the game. As a result, the timing and reasoning of Ryan’s replacement has been met with suspicion online, particularly on the Destiny subreddit.

“When a CEO steps down, he (or she) will ‘give a few words’. When a CEO is fired, the new CEO gives a few words. Just so we’re all crystal clear on what happened,” wrote Redditor Scyley, perhaps conspiratorially.

Mike_M5 added to the incoming Parsons’ pressure, writing, “Hopefully the new guy can either fix Bungie’s crappy mishandling of Destiny or clean house. I’m tired of HOPING for the best for this game. I want to see the best.”

Regardless of the reasoning for the corporate musical chairs, a delay in Destiny 2 could actually be in the game’s favour. The franchise has endured a notoriously troubled development — its original release was delayed a year, the story was rewritten months before release, the second DLC pack was delayed, and voice actor Peter Dinklage was replaced prior to The Taken King’s release, to highlight just a few hurdles — and a comparative moment’s pause before launching headlong into the next chapter could give Bungie time to get things right. Parsons’ problem now is making sure players stick around long enough to see that happen.

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28 January 2016 | 5:42 pm – Source:


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