Wall Street firm sees Destiny 2 ‘struggling with player engagement’

Try it out.

Destiny 2 is definitely not riding high in its first year of live operation. Warning signs started to appear late last year, as datamining pointed to a large player slump. Bungie hasn’t been helping its own cause despite a 2018 roadmap, as Destiny 2 has struggled with throttling bugs and poor communication in the past month.

Now one Wall Street firm has analyzed the state of the game and predicted a not-so-rosy future.

Destiny 2 is struggling right now with player engagement appearing to be on the wane,” wrote Cowen analyst Doug Creutz to the firm’s clients. “We do think Bungie still has some opportunity to fix the game’s problems over the next year and recapture engagement, but we’re not sure they have the ability to pull it off at this point. We also note that Destiny currently has more serious competition in its genre from a refurbished Division (Ubisoft) and the indie title Warframe than it did three years ago, when Destiny had its own share of player dissatisfaction.”

Indicators of the problem include reduced coverage of the game by popular video streamers and how Twitch viewership is less than a third of what the first game enjoyed.

So what caused this struggle? In Creutz’ opinion, he pointed at less engaging and distinctive design decisions, frustrating microtransactions, Bungie’s lackluster response to concerns, and poor communication from the studio.

Last November, Creutz called for industry-wide regulation on lockboxes amid the microtransaction uproar.

Source: CNBC. Thanks Alex!

No posts to display

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:




Jeremiah Wagner

Its Hilarious that things like PvP did not change in Destiny 2 when it was obviously way to shallow and casual feeling in the first game. This game just feels pretty much like a copy and paste of the last game. You would think that they would take the problems from the first and try to fix them for the 2nd so the game would be much better , but instead the game feels just as shallow and gets boring very fast for anyone who played the first game. Company’s be developing games for casual players in mind and expect to keep players long term…. It makes no sense at all. Literally completely broken concept.


For me I totally ignored the cash shop in D2. I made it to 333/335 gear score without spending a dime in the cash shop. What made me walk away or ‘lose engagement’ was when I realized that your gear scales to the content. (Or the content scales to your gear?). Either way, I can chase around a level 4 noob in the EDZ with my 333 gear score and he’s killing stuff basically just as fast as I am. Yah I have unlocked all of my subclass abilities and he hasn’t but in just general percentage-of-damage-per-shot speak, we’re on par. So then I asked myself, “why am I grinding this game when all my grinding is basically meaningless?”… so I “disengaged”… haven’t really missed it. I might go back when the next DLC drops since I already paid for it.

Maybe I’m the only one in this boat…

Nick // Genghis

One of the main reasons I’m leaning away from it as well. In The Division, with the world tiers 1-5 you can make it as hard or as easy as YOU want. Not what the game dictates. So many issues with the MMO portions of Destiny 2 that are making it easier and easier to walk away from…


Destiny 2 feels fun while leveling but it’s more like a nostalgia trip to me from Halo days rather than something I’d want to play super seriously. It doesn’t really look or feel like it has much depth to it beyond that anyway. Destiny 1 lucked out because its only competition at the time was pretty much just Defiance, and Defiance had nowhere near the budget/dev team size that Destiny did. Nowadays though, especially on PC, there are other options out there and quite frankly they offer more compelling gameplay. Do they offer 100% the same experience? No, but they do better with the grinds and are regularly being updated.

Bungie’s incompetence reeks at this point and eventually they’re going to fall if they keep shooting themselves in the feet with their deceitful attempts to fudge numbers and screw over players to get a quick buck off of their MTXes.

Dug From The Earth

This is what happens when all the effort is spent getting people to buy the game, rather than put into getting people to continue playing the game.

Its been a long time since the majority of games out there have pushed for anything more than having an explosive initial release. Companies dont want to wait 2+ years to see returns on their investment.

Its kinda like the difference between long term and short term stock investment. Only, it seems the the people who actually have the money to make a big and amazing game, are only interested in the short term gains. Less risk maybe?

From a publisher/investor mindset (not just a developer one), an mmorpg needs to be a long term investment. Short term may work fine for games like Call of Duty, Assassins Creed, any any number of other games that release a new version every year… but when an mmorpg is done this way, you end up with the exact issues that Destiny 2 (among others) is suffering from.

Danny Smith

I’m just amazed they never look at what works longterm. Look at Monster Hunter. Small selection of maps, repeats lots of monster fights but a year of free dlc updates and no ‘game as a service’ mentality lead to it being such a big deal the japanese government had to take steps to ensure its released on friday because it effects the national productivity in the workplace.

Meanwhile Destiny 2 has all the trappings of a mobile game gacha cash shop vector and its dying on the vine. All in the name of some whales spending some money now to kill at least a percentage of future release sales every time.

Dug From The Earth

Here is the difference between a monster hunter style game, and a destiny style game

Monster hunter = Gameplay focuses just on repeatable content and progression, with a nearly infinite replay-ability factor, assuming its got enough depth to not have the redundancy become boring.

Destiny 2 = Gameplay intitially based around a story driven campaign, really only playable once (per character), after which a limited amount of repeatable content and progression.

The main difference is, Monster Hunter, right from the start, is focused on replay factor and content. They arent trying to design this persistent world. They are fine with areas in the game feeling like nothing more than giant, free roaming arenas that you go to for your battles.

Games like Destiny 2 invest a lot of time and effort designing this “realistic, living world to exist in” with a story to play through, and then, whatever dev time is left, is spent on replay content for when you are done with the story. So its almost like they are designing 2 different games at once. Unfortunately, due to time and resource constraints, one aspect usually gets cut short, and under delivers. Typically, is the stuff at the end of the game, since the “front loaded” aspect of the game is what peoples initial reaction will be based on, and will affect the most initial sales of the game.


The fix for destiny 2 is developmental. The development team no longer works on the game.

This game is dead in the water. Don’t give Activision another cent.

Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor

I really liked the demo, enough that I was tempted to buy it, but it really felt like the kind of game I’d play for 40-50 hours and then be done, which puts it more in the $30 price category rather than the $60.


Is it me or do game developers just not “get” long-term multiplayer games?

Whether it be MMORPGs or games like Destiny, the overwhelming majority of them continue to make the same mistakes over and over again and then wonder why they can’t retain their players long term.

I assume the root of the problem is that most of these large developers started life in the single player world and simply can’t get past single player mechanics. Things like linear stories, vertical progression, shallow combat, tightly scripted encounters etc just don’t translate well into long-term multiplayer environments. I mean, if you’re designing a game that has an end, whether that be level cap, finished content, maxed out gear or whatever, is it really any surprise that when your players reach the end they leave?

Nick // Genghis

This past week I was unable to complete the weeklies on even one character due to scheduling and being exhausted from work getting out late. And once I did have time to play even a little something I realized that I’ve been doing roughly the same thing over and over since launch.

It felt bad but my clan hit me up on discord, “hey you want to join our prestige raid tonight?” and I said no I’m just not feeling Destiny much anymore, I’m sure I’ll hop back in when they add a little something more. “But it’s more difficult!” Well sorry bud but doing that same thing for the 50th time with a slight increase in mechanical precision and AI accuracy is all fine and dandy, it’s still the SAME thing.

The incredible disappointment from Mercury (like literally just copy paste TheDiv’s Underground mechanics and don’t give us a room and call it a DLC worth $20, please…) And the idea that I’m filling out a weekly chores list made me realize I can play other things and have missed very little besides some cosmetic gear changes and more token farming. Woo!.

Provide us substance. Right now it feels like Elite still kind of does and is a main reason I took an extended break from that well. The drip feed content system is not a solution to a content void created by lack of variety, engaging gameplay, and adaptability tied to challenge. I have over 800 hours in Elite, and 200 in Destiny. I got my money’s worth and will probably not pick up D3 in a few years time as it’s inevitable. Shame because Destiny graphics and environment art and effects are all top notch there’s just no meat to anything in the game besides pure grind for duplicates and chances at hitting Engrams to try to creep up to 335 despite being fully viable at 330 for any activity. (My clan mates could argue that Prestige are harder all day, still the same shiz)


Less marketing to push a very derivative grind game, met with much less acclaim than its predecessor.

The first Destiny was just luck at the right time in the right place (and with the biggest marketing of all time, possibly), not unlike the mobile juggernauts that can’t launch successful new games.

That kind of big AAA games has serious problems because of the targeted public, a massive audience with fickle and very casual gamers aplenty.
Not the best when you want to start a dynasty.