“It’s like when you look back at your teenage years, and you say, why did I do that?”Bungie’s online shooter Destiny won multiple awards Thursday evening at the D.I.C.E. Awards in Las Vegas, including Action Game of the Year and Outstanding Achievement in Online Gameplay.
“We’re learning and watching and seeing and responding day-in and day-out,” a Bungie representative said. “We put this thing out there; we hoped that it would resonate with people. And we’re watching and we’re seeing what’s working and what’s not and trying to adjust. So it’s a passion for us.”
“And it’s not just September,” Bungie added, referencing the game’s release last year. “It’s ongoing for us. It’s only going to get better.”
Indeed, Bungie has supported Destiny power leveling with numerous content updates and patches, including a major new release in The Dark Below at the end of 2014. Looking ahead, Bungie plans to launch the House of Wolves expansion later this year, as well as another “major content release” sometime this fall.
Destiny has attracted 16 million registered users since release, with gamers users playing more than three hours per day on average. The game’s continued success is fueled, in part, by Bungie’s dedicated fan-base, the developer said.
“We’ve always had one of the better communities in the games industry,” the studio explained. “And it’s been a testament to them to see them continue to play our game and continue to be faithful in us and know that we’re going to work out the kinks as we go along.”
Bungie is well-versed in the shooter space, having created the blockbuster Halo series, but Destiny is unique in that it’s a larger-scale game, featuring online-focused modes, and gameplay elements the studio had never tried before. This is to say, Destiny was something of a risk, and a big one at that.
“We had moments when we were making Destiny where we’d be sitting in a room with [Bungie executives Jason Jones and Harold Ryan] and talking about, ‘This is kind of crazy!’ We’re growing this team, we’re going to go on four consoles, we’re making a new engine, we’re doing new types of gameplay that this studio has never done before.”
“It’s like when you look back at your teenage years, and you say, why did I do that?”
Jones, Bungie representatives acknowledged, was aware that the studio might face some hiccups with building a game that represented uncharted territory for the studio. He wasn’t scared by this challenge, but rather excited by the opportunity to build a better game over time, they said.