Destiny's Story Changes Came Against Writer's Wishes - Report

New report sheds light on the development of Bungie's shooter.


Ever since Destiny's release in September 2014, the game's story has been a major talking point. Most prominently, fans have commented that the narrative isn't as fleshed out as they were led to believe it would be. Now, a new report backs up what court documents revealed this summer: that Destiny's story was completely rebooted just one year before the game arrived.

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Six sources told Kotaku that, in July 2013, Bungie made the decision to totally change the story that former writer and world-builder Joe Staten originally conceived. Bungie founder and Destiny project lead Jason Jones and Bungie's other senior staff reportedly decided the story was "too campy and linear."

As a result, Bungie proceeded to rework Destiny's story. According to the report, Bungie "scrapped plot threads, overhauled characters, and rewrote most of the dialogue. The decision was made against Staten's wishes, sources say."

Staten left Bungie in September 2013. He now works at Microsoft as a senior creative director where he works on Xbox, Windows 10, and HoloLens projects.

Although Staten's Destiny story was overhauled, Bungie elected to keep key elements such as the Traveler, the concept of Guardians, and enemy types like the Cabal and Vex.

Kotaku's report provides a fascinating, in-depth window into Destiny's development. You can read the full story here. Some other highlights include:

  • Two sources said the original plan was for The Taken King (then known as Comet) to include a new planet called Europa and a new area on Earth called the European Dead Zone. Comet was also supposed to have a new featured called "multiple fireteam activities," which would have involved, as its name suggests, multiple fireteams fighting against a powerful enemy.
  • However, in March 2014, Comet was also reportedly rebooted and overhauled with the idea to have it instead focus on a single Hive ship. This ended up being the case; that ship is called the Dreadnaught.
  • Comet was also reportedly set to include a portion set on Mars. However, this was cut and then given to Activision's High Moon Studios (which is confirmed to be collaborating with Bungie on Destiny) for a "full-sized sequel" to launch in 2016, according to one source.

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