Destiny 2's having a spot of trouble. Between massive controversy over experience throttling and a lack of transparency from the game's developer, Bungie, players appear to be turning sour on the shooter.
Bungie apologized for its missteps and promises to do better, but analyst Doug Creutz of the Wall Street financial firm Cowen wonders if Destiny 2 will be able to recover from its string of controversies.
In a Tuesday note to clients baldly titled "Destiny is Not in a Good Place," Creutz outlines how Call of Duty: WW II "clearly had a great holiday, which likely sets up strong franchise live services revenue in 2018," whereas Destiny 2's player engagement seems to be petering out.
"Design decisions were made that have made D2 a less engaging, and less distinctive, game than D1," Creutz writes. "In particular, key aspects of the D2 end game feel neutered compared to D1."
Creutz noted other signs of trouble, including much smaller Twitch audiences for Destiny 2 streams compared to audience numbers for Destiny 1 streams, which were much higher at this time last year (4,000 to 7,000 viewers on a Friday versus 14,000 to 17,000).
Creutz thinks there's still some hope for Destiny 2, but recovery will take a great deal of work and possibly a generous dollop of luck.
"We do think Bungie still has some opportunity to fix the game's problems over the next year and recapture engagement, but we're not sure they have the ability to pull it off at this point," he says. "We also note that Destiny currently has more serious competition in its genre from a refurbished Division (Ubisoft) and the indie title Warframe than it did three years ago, when D1 had its own share of player dissatisfaction."