Destiny: The Taken King Should Have a "Founder's" Edition
Opinion: It would be a gesture of good faith to long-term players.
I've spent $100 on Destiny content, and I'm planning to pay $40 more when the next expansion, The Taken King, launches in September. I've played the game since the day it came out, and I've loved my time with it.
In general, I have no problem spending a little more money on a game to get more content. The DLC model has become ubiquitous in games, and titles such as Batman: Arkham Knight, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, and Evolve all got substantial post-release additions.
However, this upcoming Destiny expansion poses a unique situation. When Bungie announced The Taken King at E3, players were generally excited about the upcoming additions to the game. The developer then announced a couple special editions for the expansion, including a collector's edition with exclusive in-game items. The problem is, the $80 Taken King Collector's Edition bundles the base game and all three expansions. In other words, if you're already a dedicated Destiny player and you want all of the in-game items, you have to buy the game and the prior expansions again.
Developer Bungie's decision to split content among the different editions has sparked controversy on the internet, with long-term players angered that the developer expects them to shell out so much money for a few emotes and some shaders. The studio has said that loyal users will get some unique gear, and Bungie's community manager Deej promised, "Year-one players won't get the same perks as people who buy a collector's edition. They’ll get something better." But the dedicated fanbase should not have to face this decision. Destiny's most loyal players should get both the collector's edition perks and something more.
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That's why Bungie should release a "Founder's Edition" of The Taken King. The developer has already announced a "Founder's Pack" with one shader, a sparrow, and an emblem, but that's really not enough for players who have paid full price and stuck with the game since its beginning. The Founder's Edition would let Bungie recognize loyal players more meaningfully than just letting them have an emblem and still expecting them to pay full price for the expansion.
My proposed Destiny: The Taken King Founder's Edition ($50):
- The Taken King Expansion
- Founder's Pack (already announced) with a sparrow, armor shader, and Year One emblem
- Collector's Edition in-game content (already announced) including the class-specific items, emotes, and shaders
- Founder's Weapon (proposed) with an exclusive legendary/exotic weapon
- Founder's Armor (proposed) with an exclusive legendary piece of armor
- Founder's Ship (proposed) with an exclusive ship
- Founder's Emote (proposed) with an exclusive emote
This Founder's Edition would be available for purchase by players who've reached a certain level by the expansion's release. Such an edition would demonstrate to the community that Bungie does recognize the players who have dedicated themselves to the game.
Bungie's decision isn't new. Publishers have, for years, made some content exclusive to different versions of the games. For example, Watch Dogs infamously launched with a handful of separate, retailer-specific editions that all had unique items. What makes Destiny's situation feel egregious and noteworthy, is that it seems to prioritize enticing new players while simply expecting old players to keep paying full price for the game. For just $80, you can get the base game and all of the expansions, in addition to real-world objects and those exclusive emotes. If you don't care about all those extras, it only costs $60 to buy the entire Destiny experience.
But I will have spent $140 on Destiny when The Taken King launches. I will have played well over one hundred hours, and many others will have clocked countless more than me. We have played the game since its release, loving it for what it does but believing in its potential to grow. These players have kept the community alive and rabidly consumed all new content that's come to the game.
We don't deserve anything. I recognize that I am asking for Bungie to take time developing additional content as a reward for legacy players. I'm not going to stop playing, either, but I want to feel like I, and other loyal players, are as appreciated as newcomers. It would be a gesture of good faith for Bungie to at least make that Collector's Edition content available for legacy players for a slight premium. The dedicated fanbase passionately pursues any hint of a new shader or ship. It's not good for the company or the community for those items to be locked away from the players who want them most.
Bungie's nod to long-term players currently consists of an emblem and the promise of some other items. However, Bungie is not planning on giving those players the collector's edition content, and it still expects them to pay full price for the expansion. While the faithful will continue to buy additional content on the day of release for a time, eventually they will tire of the lack of recognition. A Founder's Edition would go a long way to keeping long-term players satisfied with having bought Destiny and its expansions on day one.
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