Destiny 2 content delayed as Bungie looks to maintain developer work-life balance

Destiny 2 content delayed as Bungie looks to maintain developer work-life balance

And now a news story that really shouldn't be a news story - such is the nature of the games industry. A newly-independent Bungie has said that it is looking to "preserve" the work-life balance of its staff and content is being pushed back as a result.

Speaking on a GuardianCon livestream - as reported by Polygon - creative director Luke Smith said that a forthcoming patch for Destiny 2 to tweak some already-made changes would be ready next month, but that it could be available shortly if the studio wanted to make its developers work long hours to get the job done.

Smith said that it doesn't like making its employees work long hours constantly, admitting that this happened recently with another content update. But ultimately, the company wants to make sure its staff has a good work-life balance.

"We are looking at this summer, something like July," Smith said.

"The state that the game gets into is that we have a patch that we're readying right now. The patch will come out in a couple of weeks. We could take the patch off the 'patch factory' more or less and ask a bunch of people to work super long and add this thing in. We're having the conversation about if it's worth doing that or is it better to preserve the work-life balance and ship it later in July. That's the 100 per cent GOd's honest truth. We don't know but it's always a cost-benefit analysis for people working hard. Taking something out of release candidate is something we don't like to do very often. For instance, we just did it recently with the contest modifier that we added to the raid so we had to ask the team to do that back-to-back - full disclosure, that's not something we don't really like to do."

This comes as part of an ongoing narrative about the absurdly brutal work practices in the games industry. 

Since that stream, Smith has written a blog post on Bungie's website detailing what needs to be changed as a result of the Lord of Wolves patch.

Bungie teamed up with Activision to release the first two Destiny titles, but parted ways with the publishing giant at the start of 2019 after the megacorp expressed disappointment in the sci-fi MMO. COO Collister Johnson told investors in November 2018 that Destiny 2 wasn't hitting the sort of figures that it had hoped - something that Bungie's Smith later defended.

In February 2019, Johnson admitted that not owning the Destiny IP had placed a cap on how much money Activision could make from the brand.

Whether or not the game was hitting the mark is a matter of perspective, of course. Before Bungie acquiring the publishing rights for Destiny in a deal valued at close to $200m - the property boasted in the region of six million monthly active users, which is massive, but clearly not big enough for Activision.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.