Destiny's Smith: 'My words made it sound as if Bungie doesn't care about their fans'


‘That asshat was me’

When Destiny fans made their views on the pricing – and content thereof – of The Taken King‘s Collector’s Edition painfully clear, Bungie didn’t say much.

According to the latest Bungie update, however, the reason for their initial silence was because “these things take time,” and “in moments like these, actions speak louder than words.”

“This week at Bungie, we’re working hard to fix what’s wrong with the Collector’s Editions for The Taken King,” writes Bungie’s community managerDeeJ in the first of two updates promised this week. “You’ve voiced your objections. We agree wholeheartedly. Now, our attention is focused on creating solutions.”

Acknowledging that their E3 “conversations didn’t do justice to our plans to honor [Destiny fans’] legacy,” creative director Luke Smith made a long, heartfelt and – at least to my eyes – very genuine apology.

Here’s his statement in full:

I amLuke Smith, Creative Director on Destiny: The Taken King.

Many, many years ago, I wrote to you each week in this spot. We talked about Battle Rifles, we talked about stuff we weren’t going to talk about, and at some point I did a horrible hand-drawing of an upcoming map and teased you with it in the Weekly Update.

Anyone who knows me knows I can be sarcastic, anyone who remembers podcasts I’ve done knows that I can be pretty blunt, and anyone who’s watched me in a ViDoc knows I’m pretty unpolished.

However, most of you don’t know me.

Reading my interview with Eurogamer and imagining it came from some random developer of a game I love – that random developer looks like an Asshat.

But that Asshat was me – and those words rightfully anger you.

I’m sorry.

My words made it sound as if Bungie doesn’t care about their most loyal fans.

We do care. We are listening. And we will make it right.

Here’s what we’re doing about the Collector’s Edition of Destiny: The Taken King…

In a quick – but very welcomed – turnaround, Bungie has now confirmed that the digital content fromThe Taken King‘s Collector’s Edition will now be available in a $20 (“suggested retail price”) upgrade bundle. If you purchase a standalone version ofThe Taken King, you’ll “be able to pick up the digital items as soon as they are available.”

That isn’t to say that theexpansionwill cost $20. This is just for the digital content initially bundled exclusively inThe Taken King‘s Collector’s Edition – three exotic class items with XP bonuses, three class-specific emotes, and three armour shaders.

As part of Bungie’s “focus on making the game more rewarding and adding more variety,” new Class Items – with stat attributes – will be introduced, providing Guardians with another gear slot (and those emotes we “would throw money at the screen” for, naturally.)

But there’s more, particularly if you’ve already purchased the Digital Collector’s Edition, or if you already ownDestinyand both expansion packs.

“If you already have a Light Level 30 Guardian, or if you’ve picked up and played bothThe Dark BelowandHouse of Wolves, then you’re a VIP in The Tower’s book. They’ll reward you accordingly with a victory lap that will include a permanently exclusive set of items. “

“When you stride through the Tower, people are going to ask you where you got those wonderful toys. You’ll nod and let them know you earned them. It’s a Year One thing, and they just wouldn’t understand. And they won’t ever be able to get their hands on their own set.”

“And we’ll have more fun stuff for you to announce in the very short term future, just for you.”

“Thanks for caring enough to sound off. We heard the feedback, loud and clear.”

Did our asses get unnecessarily squeaky about a handful of shaders and emotes? Some have certainly suggested as much. But here’s the thing: some of us – and yeah, I include myself in this, as I’m ahugefan ofDestiny– were left feeling used. Loyalty up until this point had been wholly disregarded. And it’s this, along with the questionable price-points, that upset us.

This whole fiasco has been an unmitigated disaster for Bungie, but it’s one the studio hasacknowledged, and is now attempting to redress. Some may call it a cynical u-turn – I call it responding to the fan community.

And don’t forget, Bungie – and Destiny fans the world over – raised a crapton of money for theNepal earthquake relief effort. They’re notallasshats…

Now, if someone could fix the $$$=/=£££ pricing woes – $40 isnot£40, Bungie! – that would be awesome.