Activision COO hopes “now’s the time to bring players back in and win them back.”
Yesterday, Activision revealed in its recent third quarter earning calls that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 had performed excellently. However – and despite reports of it topping console digital sales worldwide in September – Destiny 2 is “not performing as well as we’d like” according to the publisher. Coming off of the release of Forsaken, Bungie’s largest paid DLC yet, this is probably cause for concern.
During the earnings call, Activision COO Coddy Johnson admitted that the expansion was very well done. “Forsaken is a high quality expansion of content into the universe, honestly some of the highest quality content we’ve seen in the franchise to date. And it really came out of Activision and Bungie working together to address community concerns post-Destiny 2 holistically—talking to players…it needed a fundamental review of how to offer deeper endgame, greater powers, greater rewards, and engage players.”
However, Activision has yet to see a “full core re-engage” with Destiny 2, which basically translates to many players not jumping back in immediately. “We have not yet seen the full core re-engage in Destiny, which has kind of led to the underpeformance against our expectations to date. Some players we think are still in wait-and-see mode. So when you’re in, you’re deeply engaged. If you’re not, we’re hoping now’s the time to bring players back in and win them back,” said Johnson.
The base Destiny 2 experience was recently made free (until November 18th) for PC, allowing a wide array of new players to claim and keep it forever. Bungie also made the decision to include Curse of Osiris and Warmind, two previously underwhelming DLC packs, with the purchase of Forsaken, thus making the barrier to entry even lower. With Black Armory releasing in December as part of the Annual Pass, the onus falls on Bungie to prove its value. Whether that will happen with the DLC or not remains to be seen.