Destiny’s Festival of the Lost Failed, Now Let’s Fix It

Two weeks ago guardians welcomed back the Festival of the Lost to Destiny.  Festival of the Lost is fun live event created by Bungie for all to celebrate a Halloween like festival which guardians can wear masks of other characters while partaking in quests.  It’s a simple event but last year’s festival was a lot of fun giving players a reason to grind for cosmetic items.  Again this year the items are cosmetic but the event really failed in the eyes of the community.  Festival of the Lost this year is plagued with microtransactions while taking away reason to play the game.  We are not in the business of complaining and not offering a solution.  Here is why Bungie failed this year and how they can fix it.

We need to first look at the beginning of these events.  Back when The taken King launched in September of 2015, there were rumors of microtransactions coming to Destiny.  On 13 October, 2015 Tess Eververse returned to the tower with the Eververse Trading Company.  Destiny community manager Deej announced a week earlier that the Eververse Trading Company would be offering emotes and cosmetic items for real money essentially and that these transactions would “use these new items to bolster the service provided by our live team for another full year, as they grow and create more robust and engaging events.”  We would later on be welcomed to the Sparrow Racing League as well as Crimson Days for Valentines Day.  So how much money did Bungie make on these transactions?

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That’s a really tough question.  Bungie and Activision have been very secretive on how much they make on Destiny.  Here’s what we do know.  Destiny as a whole project was one of the largest media productions of all time costing $500 million to create.  That also was the amount they made on pre-orders and day one sales.  Also in the first month the game sold 6.3 million units for another $47.5 million in sales.  This past April, it was announced that Destiny has reached 30 million players so let’s just round the units sold revenue to $226 million.  We reported a couple weeks ago that Rise of Iron made approximately $50 million in its first month, beating out the original game’s sales even.  This does not count microtransactions from events so that is just more revenue made.  There isn’t any definitive information out there on how much Eververse Trading Company has made off players but early reports from outlets suggested it would make hundreds of millions of dollars!

Hopefully we aren’t all sleeping from those numbers.  On to the present day with this year’s Festival of the Lost.  Let’s just cut to what this year’s festival was.  Guardians got 2 quest lines for a single “Treasure of the Lost” which would reward you with a single piece of festival gear.  There are over 30 pieces of festival gear this year.  You could do these quests once per character so the max you could get is 3 Treasure of the Lost reward bags.  If you wanted these rewards last year, players would get an empty candy bag from Eva Lavente and play the game getting candy for the activities they would do.  Fill the bag, turn it in, and hope you got the mask and rewards you wanted.  You could use microtransactions to save time and effort but could grind for a chance at getting them for free.  This is what Destiny is – a grind.  This year though all the rewards are through a pay wall blocked by the Eververse Trading Company.  Players can’t even just purchase the items they want.  They can only purchase Treasure of the Lost bags and hope RNG is in their favor.  This has put a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.  Here’s our questions for Bungie?

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With the hundreds of millions that these microtransactions possibly brought in, is this seriously the best they could do?  There is a dedicated live team devoted to these events and the core gameplay of this years Festival of the Lost is simply standing in front of Tess Eververse and throwing money at her.  Why should players get excited for an event that just asks players to spend money for cosmetic items you can’t even use in serious events because they have no light level?  Why not make purchasing the items an option to make it easier and bring back the grind for these items?  Destiny players just like playing the game.  Reward them for it.  Of course the masks and items are optional and only cosmetic.  But how can you expect the community to be excited for these items when your event is simply saying “just give us money?”  The community has also come up with many terms for this year’s festival with names like “Festival of the Cost” and “Festival of the Lost Wallet.”  With this style of locking the items behind a paywall though leads us to believe that they are doing very well for revenue from microtransactions.  Bungie wouldn’t have made it such a key point in this event if it wasn’t working.  So what is next?

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We all know Sparrow Racing League is coming up in December.  Last year you could purchase the record book for some special cosmetic rewards but everything else dropped through end of race rewards and through the quests from Amanda Holiday.  What if this year is like Festival of the Lost where Eververse is going to sell all the special items and no matter how much you participate in the racing, you aren’t going to get anything out of it?  We will have to see.

There should be a real concern on how much Bungie is going to hear what the community is saying in regards to this lackluster event and ensure they don’t repeat these mistakes.  We love this game so much that when something special comes, we want to compete for it through the grind, not our wallets.  We will pay for content for what we want – but not when we feel forced.  It just seems like a dirty tactic.  Anyone who has played Destiny for a little while can name probably at least 1 item they have done something over and over to try and earn.  That’s what Destiny is and it’s why it’s an experience most of us love.  Bungie, please hear our prayers!

What have you thought of this year’s Festival of the Lost?  What would you change to make it better if anything at all?  Let us know in the comments below!

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Robert Rodkey

A husband and father with a love for gaming and gaming industry. Got my Bachelors degree in Game Design and Simulation and play anything I can get my hands on but currently addicted to Destiny. Whatever else you heard about me, don't believe it... unless it's good. Gamertag: aCerealMurderer

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