MMOs and game-as-a-service are good, says our author Schuhmann. But there are now many more losers among the games than before: Destiny 2 has recently joined. Ironically, they presented 2014 the ideas that now help Fortnite fly high.
Thus it was 2014: When Destiny appeared in September 2014, the game dominated the titles for a month. There was hardly anything else at the time the players talked about, at least in the usual.
This new thing from Activision – it was everywhere. Whether you like it or not, the medieval rampart was Destiny.
The special thing about Destiny 2014: "Calendar"
Therefore, Destiny was a pioneer in 2014: Yes, of course, the gunplay was amazing, the graphics were amazing and Bungie had a big name among players. But the success was actually something else: the "calendar", Bungie introduced suddenly.
Destiny took a mysterious trader like Xur and changed regular activities, something new to many players on PS4 and Xbox One 2014: a game that changed day by week, week by week, and became fresh.
Destiny – the first "lifestyle" game in the usual
That made Destiny different then: Destiny had come up with some ideas from MMORPGs like World of Warcraft:
- weekly and daily restores
- Dealers with stock exchanges
- Lockouts for raid and special strikes
- Bonuses that were only there at special times like Iron Banner or later "Exams of Osiris"
This created a "calendar" for the players, a timetable that they could follow.
The keeper then knew: "Tuesday I will do the night fall, Xur will be on Friday, I will go raiding or Trials on the weekend – and Iron Banner once a month."
The amazing thing about Destiny was: It was new to players since then. Later, journalists said: Destiny has become a "lifestyle game". To a game that belongs to the players' everyday lives.
Although there have been games previously: MMORPGs à la World of Warcraft or Everquest. But they were pretty cool and just for PC. Destiny took these lifestyle games to the "mainstream" on the consoles.
Motto: Let's give people a reason, daily or weekly, to get back in the game.
Did it work The concept worked great for Destiny for a short time. For the first months of 2014, then sometime sometime in 2015 to new expansion and DLC. But the plan did not work permanently. Again and again these systems ran empty:
- At one point, Xur had no new things the players wanted.
- At one point, only professionals were trying the tests and everyone else was gone.
- At some point everyone was at the highest power level and there was no incentive to enter the dusk, raid or iron banner
Actually, it was planned that every 4 months new content would come to Destiny to feed the systems and lubricate the wheels in the background. But this schedule coincided completely during year two.
Destiny 2 – The Great Guy
It went wrong: With long content breaks, there were always times when there were no reasons to log in to Destiny:
- By 2016, the content plan was almost completely empty
- In 2017 Destiny 2 disappointed many core fans and destroyed the trust
- In 2018, the first half of the year was actually just "softening", while Destiny ran away the players
- Only with September 2018 came the new extension Forsaken Tour
These were the consequences of the mistakes: The lively community scene with popular streamers and fan pages has become permanently hurt until "Forsaken" – some even lost continuously. Destiny was no longer a problem for many over long distances. It was just gone.
In addition, Destiny made a negative conversation with repeated promising "better times", but these promises could not be resolved for a long time. In addition, the players were angry because they repeatedly asked for DLC, new additions or even a new game to the checkout.
Meanwhile, Destiny has completely lost his lead and new games have come up.
The special thing about Fortnite 2018: The "Calendar"
The new hit: Fortnite Battle Royale was released in September 2017, started its aviation flight in January 2018 and has now reached its peak in November with 8.3 million simultaneous players.
Fortnite helps to copy Destiny's 2014 ideas. They also depend on a "calendar" that encourages players to play Fortnite every day.
Every week, Fortnite creates headlines with stains, balance changes and challenges. The offer changes every day at checkout – new skins are added all the time.
Although Fortnite only offers a map, constant changes, events, new objects and specialty modes create a variety of gameplay experience.
In addition, a lively streamer scene helps keep Fortnite constantly in the headlines.
Even more lifestyle, even more common: Fortnite is also a lifestyle game. Only one has driven the idea of Destiny much longer. Fortnite is free, target teens and children – and it's on almost all platforms now.
More common than Fortnite does not work.
Destiny was the model of Fortnite and their system
Fortnite has this with Destiny: When Epic introduced the Fortnite game – at that time the PvE section – to journalists, named Destiny Developers as a role model.
To be a "robust and lively game", these systems had been incorporated. Even then, Epic Creative Director, Donald Mustard, told Polygon:
"If you're watching Destiny, it's not a Free2Play game, but it's designed as one. This robustness of events and how it's a live product that is constantly evolving. There's this rhythm of this kind, which is much more lively than with players traditionally expanding. Our systems are even stronger than theirs. "
It's about a year and a half ago. Since then, much has happened.
Fortnite at the top – Destiny not
That's the result:
- Fortnite has taken the 2018 approach to new heights.
- Destiny, on the other hand, had a rude awakening for Activision. The mixed Destiny 2 has destroyed a lot of confidence. Destiny 2 stayed under Activision's high expectations. And was subjected to a conversation as a problem child.
The two major problems with Destiny 2
That's the problem with Destiny: The resurrection with the Forsaken has been successful with Destiny 2 – but today they get a lot fewer players than would have been the case in 2014.
More competition in the store window
It changed in 2018: By 2018, the world of players will look different. Games no longer go away. Game-as-a-service games are set to evolve over the years. And the new games are always present.
If Destiny 2014 still had the spotlight on its own, 2018, the gaming world is suddenly full of "new games" that take attention:
- There are the oldest dogs swimming longer or planning a comeback – like Fortnite, LoL, WoW, GTA Online and the other service games. These players tie their fans and put constant highlights
- There are the regular franchises that pick up their players every year, such as FIFA, Call of Duty, Battlefield or soon Division 2. It has already been difficult for them to catch attention every year, as in previous years
- And there are new franchises and games pushing forward – like now Red Dead Redemption 2 or soon Anthem.
Today, games are no longer gone
These are the publishers' goals: Those who do not have a big game-as-a-service game like a publisher or studio are planning a thing: like BioWare with Anthem or Gearbox with Borderlands 3.
And who already has one, wants to put more: How Blizzard has managed to Overwatch or how it relates to Rockstar with Red Dead Online.
What links these different games? Although all these games look different and have other audiences in mind, they are all one-in-one: Game-as-a-service game that simply will not go away.
Highlander problem: Many players realize that one of these "lifestyle" games is enough for them. There is hardly any space for a second game.
Especially since other relaxation options like Netflix are huge time-scales that compete with "lifestyle" games around the time of the players.
Your giant brand against my giant brand
It has these effects: Activision's annual report states that it is a violation of trademarks among publishers. Activision's strongest brands, such as Destiny, Call of Duty, Overwatch or WoW, compete against the strongest brands of the other publishers to be established on the market. Against the brands of Ubisoft, EA or the other giants.
The result is that games are more likely to be "more than just games" with movie games, TV shows, toys, offshoots, event tournaments and all sorts of things.
But the game market becomes tighter and tighter. Because the "old" games do not go away – as they used. And Destiny made the mistake of leaving for a few years.
This leads to:
- Fortnite, a game from 2017, is still big in November 2018 and claims the spotlight.
- Activision and Destiny 2 have trouble clarifying that Destiny 2 in 2018 is still worth it.
- many "new brands" like Paragon, Gigantic or Battleborn go straight in
- The old brands must fight for their players. Because the binding ability of the "successful games" is high.
Today, "a new Destiny part" no longer automatically means that the media and players have full attention. Today, Destiny must share the spotlight.
This causes a playful improvement on Destiny 2 with the Forsaken not automatically that all players will return.
Destiny 2 can not only be gone for 2 years
This is important for Destiny: For Destiny, it will now be critical how the next content updates and months are going. For today, the competition is much sharper than 2014. Who does not deliver regularly and allows for a long break, could not stand in the "new world of video games", not just temporarily bad – like now.
The advantage of Destiny had once been lost. In 2018, other games will do the same as Destiny 2014 and they will do as well or better.
Content Pauen and missteps can no longer afford Destiny today. For Destiny, it will be hugely important for the next DLC to deliver and keep the game alive and in the headlines. Destiny 2 can not go away how Destiny 1 disappeared for two years.
Fortnite must be different and alive
This is important for Fortnite: But for Fortnite, the current Höhenrausch does not mean that it will always continue as follows. There was already evidence that the climax has been reached. In Fortnite, players show fatigue phenomena. Here, Epic does not make the mistake of resting too long.
The dice event took a long time – too long for many. The eternal map changes are nice, but exhaust slowly. Another map would give new life to play.
Fortnite must do the trick to continue to surprise players and avoid the risk that the systems will eventually leave idle.
A special challenge for a game at the top, to constantly surpass yourself. A challenge that Destiny probably failed – at least for now. But maybe come back.