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Destiny's future isn't in paid expansions but in microtransaction-based events, Bungie says

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Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Destiny: The Taken King's launch in mid-September kicked off the game's second year of existence, and it seems more and more like Year Two of Destiny will look very different from Year One, in terms of how developer Bungie delivers new content.

Derek Carroll, a senior designer at Bungie, said in an interview with Eurogamer at PlayStation Experience last weekend that the studio is "moving to a more event-based model" rather than releasing larger story-based expansions that people have to pay for. Bungie celebrated Halloween in Destiny with a two-week event called the Festival of the Lost in late October; the game's winter event, the Sparrow Racing League, arrives today.

Destiny debuted in September 2014 alongside a $34.99 Expansion Pass, which provided access to two expansions that sold for $19.99 each: The Dark Below in December, and House of Wolves in May 2015. The Taken King, which costs $39.99, is required in order for players to access any new content released from September 2015 onward, including the Festival of the Lost and the Sparrow Racing League. But the events themselves are free.

"Rather than doing these giant, monolithic DLC packs, this way everybody who's an owner of Taken King can enjoy these things," Carroll told Eurogamer. Asked why Bungie and publisher Activision changed up Destiny's business model, he said, "I don't know how deep I can get into that. But basically the live team is charged with maintaining the game and keeping players happy, feeding them new content and surprising them with things they didn't expect."

As for whether these events will remain free, Carroll noted that the Festival of the Lost and Sparrow Racing League don't cost anything, and said, "If you wanted to extrapolate from there, you could."

Carroll's comments lend further credence to a Kotaku report from early October saying that Activision and Bungie were introducing microtransactions into Destiny, and would regularly be offering new Taken King content for free alongside paid cosmetic items like emotes. That same day, Bungie announced the debut of the Eververse Trading Company, which sells emotes and more. Kotaku reported that this was Activision and Bungie's new plan: to keep Destiny going with smaller drops of new content until the debut of a full sequel in September 2016.

Neither Bungie nor Activision has commented on that report. Reached for comment today, an Activision representative told Polygon, "We don't have any expansions planned for this year. We've yet to announce plans for 2016."

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