Destiny 2's Core Goes Free To Play When New Shadowkeep DLC Releases

Whether you want it or not, you can step into a war with the Cabal--for free.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Now Playing: Bungie Is Pushing MMO Features In Destiny 2 Shadowkeep Expansion - GS News Update

Bungie is dramatically rethinking how Destiny 2 operates. The developer is finally embracing its MMO elements and changing up a variety of things--dropping platform-exclusive content, selling future expansions a la carte, and even offering a significant chunk of the game for free to all players. Bungie has announced that, coinciding with the September 17 release of the new Shadowkeep DLC, it will launch something called Destiny 2: New Light. This is a completely free version of the game that includes the base game and some of its expansions. It will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Google Stadia.

Bungie made the announcement Thursday on a livestream unveiling its fall expansion ahead of E3 2019, the first since its split with former publishing partner Activision. The free-to-play New Light includes all of the Year One content for the game. That means the vanilla version of Destiny 2 with its original raid, plus its first two content expansions, Curse of Osiris and Warmind, are all part of the free package.

You'll still have to pay for the Forsaken expansion and the annual pass, which included three smaller content drops, that came after it. You will, however, be able to visit the locations added in Forsaken; the DLC itself will have to be purchased if you want to play its campaign, however. Both Forsaken and the initial annual pass will be sold in a bundle for $40.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Here's Bungie's full description of the New Light from its press release:

"Destiny 2: New Light: Alongside Destiny 2: Shadowkeep comes a new way for players to enjoy the game. Destiny 2: New Light is a brand new entry point for newcomers that puts the worlds of Destiny 2--and all of its foundational modes, activities, and rewards--into the hands of every player, with no barrier to entry. With Destiny 2: New Light, anyone can play Destiny 2, and Destiny 2: Shadowkeep's a la carte model is the first example of how we’re looking to deliver content to you in the future."

The press release also notes that Shadowkeep is a standalone expansion, meaning you won't need to own any past Destiny 2 content in order to play it. That's a big change from the model the game has previously used; each new expansion in Destiny 1 and Destiny 2 required players to own all previous expansion content as well. Shadowkeep will be priced at $35 in the US.

The price of entry has likely turned a lot of lapsed players away from returning to the game. Bungie has tried to mitigate that fact over the last year, offering the Destiny 2 base game for free for a short time on PC and through PlayStation Plus. New Light and standalone expansions look to be a further development on the idea of making it easy for players to return to the game even if they miss some content along the way.

Bungie also announced that Destiny 2 will support cross-saves on all platforms beginning with Shadowkeep--Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Google's Stadia. What's not completely clear at this point is how you'll access paid content on multiple platforms, and whether you'll need to buy those things more than once.

It also marks the end of exclusive Destiny 2 content for certain platforms. Up until now, PlayStation 4 players have enjoyed additional weapons, missions, and multiplayer maps that haven't been available to other players, but Shadowkeep puts a stop to that. Bungie's press release said that all these changes are part of its initiative to make it possible to play Destiny 2 "anytime, anywhere."

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 29 comments about this story
29 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for camverge

This is not going to bring back old players. I was one of those old players, I paid the full price for the game and full price for the annual pass which is now all free. Those of us who supported the game from the get go kind of got shafted here. Bungie/Activision said you couldn’t play The Forsaken without the first bunch of additional content, people complained, and got what so many other people paid for at the cost of nothing.

So the problem where those of us who paid for the first expansion and then refused to pay more, still exists.

Avatar image for ph1nn

I enjoyed it on PC, it ran really well ~120fps, looked and played great. Uninstalled it because it ran out of content quickly at launch. I'll be reinstalling when it goes free-to-play to check out the new content for sure.

Avatar image for cboye18

Ehh, even Borderlands 1 is worth your time more.

Avatar image for R34Vegeta

If they included Forsaken in that "bundle" then it would be more popular. They're basically giving the shittest part of the game for free, which doesn't mean much. Forsaken was what gave the game a boost in popularity and enjoyment.

Avatar image for Imavnas

@R34Vegeta: Completely untrue and unfounded, especially considering transmog is coming and it's backwards compatible. Warmind was the reboot of the game's ascent, and before Forsaken was even announced or leaked, Warmind had already boosted the games active daily players up from a crappy 85k to over half a million players.

Avatar image for Barighm

Why were comments disabled in the other article about doing away with the shitty forced DLC thing? That was one of Destiny's biggest problems. That and the matchmaking thing. Why would anyone complain about that?

Avatar image for linthenius

"New Light" fitting name for an expansion when you just secured the games future from activision.

Hopefuly the game can live on as a decent title since activision isn't behind it anymore. The franchise has potential.

Avatar image for Barighm

**** me. I'm shocked. I figured Bungie's attitude was bad enough that Activision didn't make much of a difference. And then Activision's influence is gone and then this happens.

My problem with the game is still gameplay based, so I doubt much has changed on that front, but this is enough to make me want to give the game a second chance.

Avatar image for samrvdman

@Barighm: Activision might have been douches when it came to business models but the truth of the matter is that bungie fucked up every dlc with their own dumb design choices too, not to mention, they were assisted by two other activision studios. Now, there's no more help, so yeah, maybe they make some consumer friendly decisions, but poor design choices will continue to persist. I haven't played destiny 2 since the start of the annual pass, that content is pure crap.

Avatar image for Imavnas

@samrvdman: Publisher time constraints and guidelines tend to affect everyone in this industry far more than your allowing them with your statement. Let's be real here; we all know thats one of the primary problems with the game industry in this era. Bungie may have made some bad decisions, but it's a guarantee many of them came about due to Activision's forced hand.

Avatar image for jako998

They should of also put cross platform play between all platforms. It would of been nice to play with PC players and PS4 players as a xbox one owner.

Avatar image for Guy_Brohski

@jako998: *would have

And yes, I agree.

Avatar image for Barighm

@Guy_Brohski: I don't. I don't believe in the whole mouse vs. keyboard thing, but PC gamers really do cheat like crazy and an RPG based game gives them a lot of opportunities to cheat.

Avatar image for Lord_Sesshy

@Barighm: You could separate the M&K players from controllers in PVP, but with PVE it wouldn't matter.

Avatar image for Barighm

@Lord_Sesshy: That was not my point. My point was PC players cheat. A lot. Forcing them to use a controller doesn't change that.

Avatar image for untouchables111

@Barighm: except in destiny 2 case where it was impossible to cheat on pc... not because u couldnt do it but because the detection was very good which is why they went with blizzard to host the service.

Avatar image for m4a5

Get cross-platform play going, and I'll pick it up again on PC...

Avatar image for Ryusui

Eh, they killed the game for me when they started requiring a resource to infuse gear. Happy for everyone who came in after Forsaken, but I'll be sticking to Final Fantasy XIV, where they sensibly make things less bullshit over time, and grinding is for improving my look instead of keeping the one I've got.

Avatar image for Imavnas

@Ryusui: Transmog is coming. That should alleviate the issue you speak of considerably if not completely.

Avatar image for proceeder

Warframe's dead.

Avatar image for PETERAKO

@proceeder: nah

Avatar image for 93ChevyNut

Played D1 on Xbox1 and D2 on PS4 Pro. Been wanting to try D2 on PC but wasn't willing to pay for it. Now I can.

Avatar image for Lord_Sesshy

It's more then just the base game fyi.

Edit: It includes all destinations including the new Shadowkeep DLC, just not the specific destination content I.E. raids and strikes.

Avatar image for yeknomdab

Eh...are they going to charge people a third time for a bit more of the same crap? Lol. I own Forsaken, and while I do like to occasionally drop into the Destinyverse for the top-class pew-pew action, very little has changed since D1:Rise of Iron. The grind is worse, but at least there's a wider variety of loot to stave off the tedium.

Avatar image for dlCHIEF58

@yeknomdab: Still waiting for a sale or price drop on Rise of Iron - expansion has not seen a sale since it was released unlike all the other expansions.

Avatar image for gunnyninja

I already got it free and don't play it...

Avatar image for santinegrete

The shooting is very good, but that's it. At least for me. If you like the idea of a MMO and shooting, now you can try it for free. But game is not good enough for holding your interest if you're uninterested in one of those two big categories.

Avatar image for Barighm

@santinegrete: I felt the gunplay was a step down from Destiny which is pretty much the only reason to play the games.

Avatar image for Imavnas

@Barighm: I'm curious here. How so? Maybe pre-forsaken I can agree, but now it feels like the best of both D1 and D2 vanilla combined. About the only issue is bloom for handcannons on console. Other than that it feels crispier than D1.