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[Destiny 2] Wizards of the Ghost

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    PeenPeen Registered User regular
    Bungie's getting hosed down by layoffs and may have delayed The Final Shape until June, so glad that they decided to get acquired by Sony, 10/10 move guys UGH BARF FUCK CAPITALISM GO HOME

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    augustaugust where you come from is gone Registered User regular
    Remember when Bungie employees were talking about how independent they remained after purchase? That's not how getting bought works. The only thing that was going to be guaranteed in a purchase was that the pervious owners received many millions of dollars.

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    DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    That's just what you do when you're still building out the capstone expansion to your nearly decade long saga....uh, well surely the layoffs are focused on the other team that is building their only hope of future revenue and just got delayed...

    Oh. Well that seems bad, huh?

    Nod. Get treat. PSN: Quippish
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    Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    company gets bought for a shockingly high amount of money in a zero interest rate environment, interest rates go up, new parent company no longer interested in purchased company

    it'd be sad if it weren't so predictable.

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    NosfNosf Registered User regular
    Man, fuck Microsoft and Activision, Sony will treat us right!

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    DacDac Registered User regular
    Countdown to Bungie buying themselves to separate from publisher when

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    Golden YakGolden Yak Burnished Bovine The sunny beaches of CanadaRegistered User regular
    Oof.

    Hope that last Lightfall season is good.

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    Zombie GandhiZombie Gandhi Registered User regular
    "We want to buy you for your expertise in seasonal content and live operations stability."
    "Ok"


    "Also we are moving away from seasonal content after our stability turned to dust."

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    ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    The shitty year of layoffs continues, hope everyone affected lands safely elsewhere.

    It’s awkward to put this next to the shitty news, but last week I experienced a cool Destiny related moment as I met someone I’ve played with for the past 7 years in real life for the first time. The friend game really is the end game. Wish the people who made communities like that possible to were treated better.

    Fake edit:



    Damn. Making music for Bungie games since Myth.

    smCQ5WE.jpg
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    Crippl3Crippl3 oh noRegistered User regular
    a fellow poster here on the forums, @Houk the Namebringer is a Bungie employee who avoided the layoffs and wrote up a little blurb about it today on another thread in SE++: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/comment/45989086/#Comment_45989086

    Sounds like a bad time over there!

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    The Dude With HerpesThe Dude With Herpes Lehi, UTRegistered User regular
    Elki wrote: »
    The shitty year of layoffs continues, hope everyone affected lands safely elsewhere.

    It’s awkward to put this next to the shitty news, but last week I experienced a cool Destiny related moment as I met someone I’ve played with for the past 7 years in real life for the first time. The friend game really is the end game. Wish the people who made communities like that possible to were treated better.

    Fake edit:



    Damn. Making music for Bungie games since Myth.

    His music in D2 at launch was, by a mile, the best part of the base game.

    If they're dumping a person who has produced a major portion of what makes their game(s) great, and they still have any parasitic executives employed and getting a paycheck, then this isn't a serious company. It's a fucking joke.

    This is some idiot shit and to be perfectly clear, it's not any more acceptable that any developer gets laid off, as it is a headline name; so long as there's still individuals there who aren't actually doing the work of making games, who are making more money than they're saving by getting rid of these employees. Why do we accept this nonsense?

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    DacDac Registered User regular
    Man, every month I'm reminded why I'm glad I didn't pre-order Final Shape.

    What a shitshow.

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    augustaugust where you come from is gone Registered User regular
    Dac wrote: »
    Countdown to Bungie buying themselves to separate from publisher when

    Microsoft was a minor miracle, Activision was just a publishing deal.

    Sony would sooner just fire the entire company and slap the Bungie name on a new studio.

    If Destiny crashes and burns and Marathon fails Sony will just shove the ips into a filing cabinet next to Jumping Flash.

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    Zombie GandhiZombie Gandhi Registered User regular
    Elki wrote: »
    The shitty year of layoffs continues, hope everyone affected lands safely elsewhere.

    It’s awkward to put this next to the shitty news, but last week I experienced a cool Destiny related moment as I met someone I’ve played with for the past 7 years in real life for the first time. The friend game really is the end game. Wish the people who made communities like that possible to were treated better.

    Fake edit:



    Damn. Making music for Bungie games since Myth.

    His music in D2 at launch was, by a mile, the best part of the base game.

    If they're dumping a person who has produced a major portion of what makes their game(s) great, and they still have any parasitic executives employed and getting a paycheck, then this isn't a serious company. It's a fucking joke.

    This is some idiot shit and to be perfectly clear, it's not any more acceptable that any developer gets laid off, as it is a headline name; so long as there's still individuals there who aren't actually doing the work of making games, who are making more money than they're saving by getting rid of these employees. Why do we accept this nonsense?

    Maybe he just retired after getting all the Sony money? Cause if not yeah what the fuck are you doing, leadership?

    Bungie has always been an expensive studio. But this seems a bit.... large. The last I had heard was like last year shortly after the purchase when things seeemed sunshine and rainbows a bit, but like the last year hasn't been kind to D2 or Bungie, so not super surprising. Still, hope folks can land, and again, acquisitions don't ever equal stability, and encourages parachutes for the long term folks while the newer folks suffer.

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    DacDac Registered User regular
    Elki wrote: »
    The shitty year of layoffs continues, hope everyone affected lands safely elsewhere.

    It’s awkward to put this next to the shitty news, but last week I experienced a cool Destiny related moment as I met someone I’ve played with for the past 7 years in real life for the first time. The friend game really is the end game. Wish the people who made communities like that possible to were treated better.

    Fake edit:



    Damn. Making music for Bungie games since Myth.

    His music in D2 at launch was, by a mile, the best part of the base game.

    If they're dumping a person who has produced a major portion of what makes their game(s) great, and they still have any parasitic executives employed and getting a paycheck, then this isn't a serious company. It's a fucking joke.

    This is some idiot shit and to be perfectly clear, it's not any more acceptable that any developer gets laid off, as it is a headline name; so long as there's still individuals there who aren't actually doing the work of making games, who are making more money than they're saving by getting rid of these employees. Why do we accept this nonsense?

    Maybe he just retired after getting all the Sony money? Cause if not yeah what the fuck are you doing, leadership?

    Seeing conflicting reports. Early was that he was laid off. But it could also be seeing the way the wind was blowing and deciding to get out now.

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    Zombie GandhiZombie Gandhi Registered User regular
    I mean evidently they also axed the composer of Deep Stone Lullaby and some really tenured folks so just.....

    I kinda foolishly bought into the hype of Bungie being more safe and stable and less greed oriented, but safety just seems so rare in games nowadays.

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    ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    I mean evidently they also axed the composer of Deep Stone Lullaby and some really tenured folks so just.....

    I kinda foolishly bought into the hype of Bungie being more safe and stable and less greed oriented, but safety just seems so rare in games nowadays.

    Referencing Salavatori’s wording on his way out.

    smCQ5WE.jpg
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    PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    I saw reporting in the se++ thread this is apparently all bungie and nothing to do with Sony according to sources.

    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

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    augustaugust where you come from is gone Registered User regular
    Preacher wrote: »
    I saw reporting in the se++ thread this is apparently all bungie and nothing to do with Sony according to sources.

    The person who reported that was Paul Tassi, who then immediately hedged in the next tweet and said that it "may be due to wider cost cutting measure at Sony."

    Most likely Sony called for cuts and then the execs had to decide who had to go.

    Paul Tassi is not a reliable source. Wait for the inevitable Jason Schrier story.

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    PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    ahh didn't know the bonafides on that.

    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

    pleasepaypreacher.net
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    augustaugust where you come from is gone Registered User regular
    It’s understandable that people would believe Tassi because he’s a seemingly well meaning and extremely pervasive D2 commentator, but unfortunately imo he’s just kind of a dumbass.

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    The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    Accurate or not, I think I'm done. I've been burned out on the game for a while, but was planning to come back at some point.

    Now?

    I'm just done. Likely going to hit ye Olde uninstall button once I'm actually out of bed. Add that to your bloody metrics, Bungie.

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    Crippl3Crippl3 oh noRegistered User regular
    new Schreier article today saying the layoffs were part of cost-cutting procedures due to yearly revenue being WAY below estimates (45% lower) along with Sony cost-cutting, 8% of staff (about 100 people) were cut
    Just two weeks ago, executives at the Sony-owned game developer told employees that revenue was running 45% below projections for the year, according to people who attended the meeting.

    Chief Executive Officer Pete Parsons pinned the big miss on weak player retention for Destiny 2, which has faced a poor reception since the release of its latest expansion, Lightfall.

    The next expansion, The Final Shape, was getting good — not great feedback — and management told those present that they planned to push back the release to June 2024 from February, according the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The additional time would give developers a chance to improve the product.

    In the meantime, Parsons told staff Bungie would be cutting costs, such as for travel, as well as implementing salary and hiring freezes, the people said. Everyone would have to work together to weather the storm, he said, leaving employees feeling determined to do whatever was needed to get revenue back up.

    But on Monday morning the news got worse: Dozens of staffers woke up to mysterious 15-minute meetings that had been placed on their calendars, which they soon learned were part of a mass layoff. Bungie laid off around 8% of its employees, according to documentation reviewed by Bloomberg. Bungie didn’t respond to requests for comment.
    The layoffs are part of a larger money-saving initiative at Sony’s PlayStation unit, which has also cut employees at studios such as Naughty Dog, Media Molecule and its San Mateo office.

    TD Cowen analyst Doug Creutz wrote in a report Monday that “events over the last few days lead us to believe that PlayStation is undergoing a restructuring.”

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    DacDac Registered User regular
    edited October 2023
    "More time to make it better" is... an interpretation when it's just, like. It takes longer because there's less QA.

    Dac on
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    DiarmuidDiarmuid Amazing Meatball Registered User regular
    45% is a lot. Like really a lot.
    Cool to see the board at Bungie forcing other people take the fall for their own fuck ups.

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    minor incidentminor incident expert in a dying field njRegistered User regular
    Yeah, 45% off means your projections were bad. Which is the fault of… none of the people who got fired.

    Ah, it stinks, it sucks, it's anthropologically unjust
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    DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited October 2023
    I'm curious where the projections were off. Lightfall before hand looked good and was riding Witch Queen hype. Did it just not have a long tail? Was there basically poor uptake on Season Passes? Did they think the majority of folks would actually buy Dungeon Passes or something?

    Edit: Oh yeah, and what were the YoY on those projections? Just how much of the missed target was lack of growth versus loss of existing players?

    DevoutlyApathetic on
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    Zombie GandhiZombie Gandhi Registered User regular
    I mean it sounded like the retention expectations were high, and Lightfall conversion likely being lower than Witch Queen. But they maybe also expected season pass sales and fucking Dungeon Pass sales to be better than they were?

    Like again, too much growth probably based off the Steam Explosion and Line Must Go Up, and a fear that the opportunity cost of not growing huge and chasing the dragon would be worse than a measured approach. Thus "lets make 3 games and a tv show fuck yes" before the high wears off.

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    SaldonasSaldonas See you space cowboy...Registered User regular
    I'm in the camp that dumped the game after Witch Queen. Though that was partially due to own time constraints but I think I even had included season passes that I just couldn't be bothered with playing again.

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    augustaugust where you come from is gone Registered User regular
    edited November 2023
    I think retention in this instance probably means:
    • People not logging in and playing the game regularly means less Silver sales for Eververse cosmetics.
    • Lack of Final Shape preorders.

    I didn't preorder because I felt the Final Shape presentation had a weird sleepy self-congratulatory quality that was uninspiring, like they were having a touchdown celebration on the 50 yard line.

    Nothing seems to be at stake, we're going to go into another dimension and punch Megamind in their faces and that's it. Nothing about the setting is going to change much because they're already setting up the last Hive sister as a post Final Shape villain. We're just gonna be fighting the same dudes for at least a year in the Episodes.

    One of my pet peeves about Bungie is the reuse of enemies and locations and a large chunk of Final Shape presentation was like "here's some resused locations and the only new enemy is yet another reskinned raid boss used as a mob" and it's like the most Bungie thing. Truly a celebration of Destiny.

    august on
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    LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    I think there's a general consumer burnout on live services. There are too many of them, they all demand a huge amount of time. If you commit to a game like Destiny 2, that basically means you're excluded from other fun games because it just eats too much time.

    Execs and Marketing have gotten completely obsessed with MAUs, retention, and perpetual engagement. And as it turns out, over a long period of time those things aren't healthy for the players. (Or the game).


    This is just a bit of conjecture on my part, but if you saw the Sony State of Play from Summer Games Fest, they are going all-in on the Live Service games, and Bungie was a huge part of that strategy. I personally think it's a terrible strategy. It was core singleplayer games and a huge library of first party blockbusters that got them to the number 1 spot in the console wars. Why change the strategy that put them on top? It doesn't make any sense to me. But that's what they're doing.

    And anyway, Bungie is such a huge part of the Live Service strategy that Sony asked them to consult with Naughty Dog on their seemingly doomed Last of Us multiplayer live service game. And apparently Bungie's assessment of that project is that it was bad. I believe this was the original Jason Schreier article about it, but Bloomberg's site is paywalled so I can't read the full article to know.

    I guess is that my point in all this is to say that I am not so sure the blame for this falls on Sony. All indicators seem to say that they are all-in on Bungie and all-in on Live Service.

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    Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    live service prints money.

    genshin impact has made 4 billion dollars.

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    PMAversPMAvers Registered User regular
    So what you’re saying is the Final Shape… is anime.

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    DiarmuidDiarmuid Amazing Meatball Registered User regular
    Knight_ wrote: »
    live service prints money.

    genshin impact has made 4 billion dollars.

    When it hits, it can be very profitable.
    But there's not too many live service games that could be considered genuine hits.

    Off the top of my head, Destiny, Genshin, Apex, Warframe, FF14 and Fifa Ultimate Team or whatever they're calling it now.

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    augustaugust where you come from is gone Registered User regular
    edited November 2023
    What's happening is both Sony and Bungie's fault.

    Sony isn't doing well, Jim Ryan is leaving in a year which means they are probably going to be changing direction in some respect. They are firing people all over their studios and departments because they have a earnings call next week where they have to assure shareholders that they are doing a great job firing people.

    Bungie has taken Destiny for granted, starved the D2 team of resources and employees and have spent an insane amount of money working on three new games (assuming code name Gummy Bears and the netease game are two different things) and a huge new studio in one of the most expensive real estate markets on the planet. Luke Smith has apparently been working on a Destiny TV show / multimedia project for years with nothing to show for it.

    The pvp team left after Forsaken to work on Marathon, which resulted in several pvp maps being removed form the game and nothing new added for literal years which is positively insane. The Tiger engine is a huge pain in the ass to work with, both it and the Halo Infinite engine are descended from the same shitty Halo tech which is why 343 and Microsoft had trouble producing enough content to keep people interested and also why 343 is moving over to Unreal for future projects.

    Having a successful GaaS forever game is a huge gamble and there's only so much room in the market; Bungie is lucky enough to have one and they've spent the last years trying to spend as little money on it as they can get away with while vaguely implying maybe it's coming to an end soon in the most bizarre and confusing fashion possible, accidentally (?) priming players to stop playing after THE END OF THE LIGHT AND DARKNESS SAGA.

    If Bungie weren't in so much debt and Destiny were in a stronger place, maybe they could have gotten away with firing 10 people instead of 100. The current situation is because the two or three people at the top decided that being a single game studio was beneath them and assumed that D2 would continue to print money. They missed their projected revenue targets not because people are getting tired of GaaS (which some people are to be sure) but because the existing D2 customers' reaction to Lightfall was "this shit sucks, man."

    august on
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    The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    I think there's a general consumer burnout on live services. There are too many of them, they all demand a huge amount of time. If you commit to a game like Destiny 2, that basically means you're excluded from other fun games because it just eats too much time.

    Execs and Marketing have gotten completely obsessed with MAUs, retention, and perpetual engagement. And as it turns out, over a long period of time those things aren't healthy for the players. (Or the game).
    .

    For me, there's definitely a point where a game feels like it wants to be a job, and I walk as a result. Happened in Eve Online, happened in Warframe, and now it's happened in Destiny 2.

    But it sucks up a massive amount of time to play, to a degree that yeah, it's not fucking healthy. Not in the least

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    PeenPeen Registered User regular
    I'm enjoying watching Destiny's content creators quickly become radicalized and pro-labor as a result of this whole thing, I guess labor related fuckery hits different when it affects the people you know and the game you make your living with.

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    The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    Also just for some extra context: I'm disabled, don't have a job, and have oodles of free time and I think Destiny 2 sucks up to much time

    That's when you know you've got a problem

    Ideas hate it when you anthropomorphize them
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    augustaugust where you come from is gone Registered User regular
    Also just for some extra context: I'm disabled, don't have a job, and have oodles of free time and I think Destiny 2 sucks up to much time

    That's when you know you've got a problem

    I'm in a similar situation, only play one character and don't do raids or high level pve that requires talking to other people, and the fomo/timesink is still in "lol" territory. Maybe the fomo wouldn't hit as hard if people couldn't take the product of that timesink and use it to help stomp your face in in pvp.

    One thing that helped me a lot this season is that I played BG3 for a month and a half and let like six weeks of seasonal challenges build up to be worked on concurrently.

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