There has been some somewhat relentless bad news from Bungie lately with layoffs, revenue shortfalls, and what appear to be impending delays to Destiny 2’s next expansion and Marathon.
Marathon will be Bungie’s first non-Destiny project in a decade, a return to a classic IP but totally transforming it into a team-based extraction shooter with a wild aesthetic that was shown off in a first trailer before so that the team does not “go dark” to take him out. But it may not be before 2025.
There is a lot of pressure on Marathon. This will be one of Sony’s most high-profile live service offerings now that they own Bungie (even though it will be cross-platform like Destiny) and if Destiny 2 continues to decline, it will need to be a big revenue generator. There are early reports that testers had a lot of questions about what kinds of things the game was going to monetize, but that was in early versions of the game, so we don’t know what the end result will be.
However, I… believe in the Marathon. Yes, I’m cloudy about the fate of Destiny 2 right now given everything that’s going on, but I think if any company has the potential to make a splash in a crowded multiplayer scene, it’s Bungie. There are many reasons for this, like obviously Halo and Destiny have been hugely successful. There’s the fact that it will be by far the biggest pull shooter on the market initially, creating a relatively new space.
But I think there’s another reason: Gambit.
Gambit, to me, remains one of the most fascinating things Destiny 2 has done. It was added to the game in Forsaken in 2018, right at the height of the battle royale craze, and when Bungie promised a new mode, it was thought to be some sort of elimination-style PvP mode on a smaller scale to resonate. this games. Or at best, maybe a riff on something like The Division’s Dark Zone, if they did PvPvE.
Instead, Bungie created a mode that was truly unlike anything we’d seen in a shooter before. Mirroring maps, collecting particles and sending enemies to the other side. The primal boss burn run. The only invader capable of turning the tide of a game. A mix of PvP and PvE skills, and arguably one of the most creative additions to the game even at this point. (It certainly also helped that the man who runs it, The Drifter, became one of Destiny’s best characters).
Gambit itself has been a roller coaster, tons of changes and reworks and some really bad eras and now, today, what I would consider a really good era, even if it hasn’t received any real love and care for years and years now. I always I think it’s an incredibly solid mode that just doesn’t get enough attention.
But the main thing is Bungie’s ability to do the unexpected. Gambit went against the grain of everything happening in shooter gaming, and we know that Marathon has a lot of those same developers working there, like Lars Bakken. I’ve already heard that Marathon won’t just be a straight-out pull shooter, but will have… more, a nebulous term that indicates some sort of Bungie magic will be sprinkled on top, and it may not be exactly what people think.
We’ve heard about it publicly before, like Marathon game director Chris Barrett talking about large-scale community events, like a team finding a totally unique relic that has the potential to unlock a whole new part of the map for everyone. the world. It’s the DNA of Destiny that’s infused here, of course.
Gambit is an example that showed that Bungie can still invent interesting new things in a market that sometimes feels like every drop has been squeezed out of it. I believe that in the end, when he arrives, they will be able to do the same thing with Marathon. I hope I’m right.
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