Bungie, the creator of “Halo” and “Destiny,” couldn’t wait until its weekly Thursday blog post to address the highly controversial pricing structure for “The Taken King,” the next major “Destiny” expansion coming this fall.
On Wednesday night, Bungie’s community manager David “DeeJ” Dague announced a new pricing structure for the Collector’s Editions of “The Taken King,” which many longtime players took issue with since they offered bonus content only hardcore fans wanted, but they also required the purchase (or repurchase) of the original game and first two expansions, for a grand total of $US80.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the news from Wednesday night:
- “The Taken King” as a standalone purchase still costs $US40.
- The digital content from the Collector’s Editions will be sold as a “$US20 upgrade bundle.” This includes extras like three armour shaders, three class items that give your character experience bonuses when worn, and three class-specific “emotes,” which are either new gestures or dance moves for characters.
- The $US60 “Legendary Edition,” which includes the original game and first two expansions, plus “The Taken King,” won’t include the digital content from the Collector’s Editions. “You can elect to pick this [$US20 upgrade bundle] up if you want to upgrade into a Collector’s Edition,” Dague writes.
The single positive takeaway from this news was that current “Destiny” players won’t need to spend $US80 to obtain the bonus content from the Collector’s Editions. But Bungie still needs to address two major issues before fans are satisfied:
- The digital content from the Collector’s Editions — just 9 pieces of total content — costs $US20, which is the same price as each of the last two “Destiny” expansions, “The Dark Below” and “The House of Wolves.” Both of those expansions offered a ton of content: new missions, quests, end-game activities, and of course, weapons and gear.
- “The Taken King” costs $US40 in the US, but £40 in the UK — or roughly $US63. If UK players want the digital content from the Collector’s Editions, they will need to drop an extra $US31 (£20). The grand total would come out to be a whopping $US95 (£60). A lot of “Destiny” players take issue with this, even though it’s common for US companies to charge the same UK pound amount. For example, the iPad costs $US499 in the US and £499 in the UK.
“Destiny” has never been a perfect game, but fans keep coming back because Bungie has proved time and again that it’s willing to tweak or revamp entire aspects of “Destiny”for the sake of players, who are constantly suggesting improvements on forums and message boards like Reddit and NeoGAF.
But since last week’s announcement of “The Taken King,” fans have been upset about pricing for over a week. And if these issues aren’t resolved, they could have major implications for the future of the series.
The initial pricing of “The Taken King” paired with the disastrous interview with Luke Smith, Bungie’s creative director on “The Taken King,” made matters worse, but Smith has since apologised, and Bungie has slightly adjusted the pricing to offer a standalone bundle. And yet, players are still upset.
It’s up to Bungie and its publisher Activision to make this right for players, particularly on the two issues listed above: The pricing disparity in the UK, and the valuation of the new $US20 upgrade bundle, need to be either altered or justified. One way Bungie and Activision can justify the pricing disparity between the US and UK is to say it’s common practice to price things differently, but so far, Bungie has remained mum on the topic.
“You’ve voiced your objections. We agree wholeheartedly. Now, our attention is focused on creating solutions,” Dague said in Bungie’s blog post Wednesday night. “These things take time, so pardon our silence these past few days. In moments like these, actions speak louder than words.”
Bungie is scheduled release a second blog post on Thursday night, but it’s unclear if the company will address the pricing controversy again. We’ve reached out to Bungie and Activision for comment, and we’ll update this story when we learn more.