Well, here’s some slightly confusing news that sums up some of the current issues at Bungie. Steam has just published its annual “Best of 2023” list which presents several categories grouped into Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze categories, but without precise figures. One of those categories is gross, and seven-year-old Destiny 2 has landed a Platinum spot for 2023.
But, of course, this is the same Bungie that just laid off 100 employees two months ago due to what would be a 45% revenue shortfall for the year. So how can you miss Destiny 2’s revenue by 45%, implying a total drop in expansion, season, and microtransaction sales after Lightfall, and still remain a Steam Platinum earner?
The bottom line here is that it’s about income and income projections, no profit/loss. As in, Destiny 2 introduced a plot of money, enough to put it in Steam’s top 12 (and undoubtedly high on console lists that aren’t public), and that’s alongside long-running megahits like DOTA, Apex and PUBG, and monsters of 2023 like Baldur’s Gate 3, Modern Warfare 3 and Hogwarts Legacy. However, Bungie planned a lot upper turnover higher than that of the year, and it missed those figures of 45%.
The implication is that Bungie execs really missed the mark with their estimates, which I heard were based on how well Lightfall sold, and weren’t. that crazy at first. But then a situation was created in which the game made a lot, but not enough to meet the projections that Sony had undoubtedly been promised. So between that and the broader cutbacks at Sony, we’re getting these massive layoffs.
Again, what’s not really discussed here is the actual profit/loss. We’ve heard a lot about Bungie’s “burn rate” because it takes a while to huge amount of money to allow Destiny 2 to produce content, between actual production and the salaries of a thousand workers at the company, some of whom also now work on incubator projects that are not published and do not earn nothing.
It’s true that Destiny 2 is monetized to this day and age with expansions, seasons, dungeon passes, battle passes, and a microtransaction for every cosmetic humanly possible, even weird things like transmog. But again, it costs an awful lot to run the game. When things are good, it can be a money printing machine. But when things go wrong, it doesn’t take long to go off the rails.
So here we are in a situation where Destiny 2 is making a lot of money, but not as much money as executives want, and with unknown profit margins that may wipe out some or all of that revenue. As always, the future of Bungie and Destiny remains unclear after The Final Shape.
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