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Bungie cancels Destiny 2 livestream as tensions with community rise

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How will Bungie handle this?

Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris - Crucible action on PS4-exclusive map
Crucible action in Destiny 2’s Curse of Osiris expansion.
Bungie/Activision

Bungie will not hold tomorrow’s planned reveal livestream for Destiny 2’s Curse of Osiris expansion, the studio announced today. Instead, said Bungie, it will publish a blog post with “higher priority information” about the future of the game.

“We are investing all our efforts into delivering some higher priority information about Destiny 2,” said David “DeeJ” Dague, community manager at Bungie, in a post on the studio’s forums this afternoon. “You’ll hear from studio leadership about their assessment of Destiny all up, they’ll talk about our goals for the game going forward, and you’ll also learn about how we’re reacting to your feedback with some game updates that will arrive in the next few weeks.”

The previously scheduled livestream, the third and final one for Curse of Osiris, would have focused on showing off the gear that players will be able to earn in the expansion. But it’s probably wise for Bungie to cancel a promotional event for a paid add-on at this time, considering the animosity that many Destiny 2 players are currently feeling toward the studio.

Destiny 2’s player base is having something of a crisis of confidence in Bungie at the moment. Although the studio presumably hopes to revive interest in the game with Curse of Osiris — which is scheduled to launch Dec. 5, one week from today — many of the most hardcore Guardians have been stewing for weeks about what they see as Destiny 2’s fundamental problems. Just look at the angry threads on the front page of the Destiny subreddit, which touch on issues like PS4-exclusive content, exotic emotes and a lack of variety.

But relations between Bungie and the community were stretched to the breaking point by the recent discovery that Destiny 2 was misleading players about the amount of experience points they were earning — a tactic that many people interpreted as yet another way the game subtly pushes players to spend money on microtransactions. This kind of thing produces two sentiments that no one ever likes: feeling that you’ve been lied to, and that your time has been wasted.

The resulting furor caused Bungie to respond during the Thanksgiving weekend. The studio confirmed the community’s suspicions and said it was implementing a fix. But players soon found out that the solution apparently involved doubling the amount of XP necessary to level up, which only caused a further outcry in the community.

Luke Smith, game director on Destiny 2, then announced on Twitter that during the week after Thanksgiving, Bungie was planning to detail the changes to systems and mechanics that are coming in the game’s December update. He also said that he and project lead Mark Noseworthy would be “answering some questions and addressing community feedback.” It’s unclear if that’s still happening now that the livestream has been canceled.

A month ago, Bungie published a list of updates that it was working on for Destiny 2, including changes designed to address many of the community’s most common complaints. It was meant as an olive branch to the game’s die-hard players, who had grown frustrated with what they saw as a lack of communication from the studio. (At the time, Bungie had not yet detailed Curse of Osiris officially.) But with the company and its community embroiled in this fresh controversy, it’s clear that Bungie has to do a lot to win back the hearts and minds of the Destiny 2 player base.