Bungie is making a big change to the way it tells stories in Destiny 2. The seasonal model the game has employed so far is being dropped in favor of "episodes," which will provide players with larger chunks of standalone storytelling that the studio says will deliver "a new, innovative way for players to engage with Destiny 2 throughout the year."
"What's really important about episodes is that it's a really big shakeup to what we've been doing," assistant game director Robbie Stevens said during today's Final Shape livestream. "Instead of providing four seasons a year, you're going to get three larger episodes."
Destiny 2's new episodic structure will debut in 2024, following the release of The Final Shape expansion on February 26. Entitled Echoes, Revenant, and Heresy, each episode will be broken down into three six-week acts, with a new story, quests, activities, weapons, mods, and other content. Details haven't been revealed but Stevens said the overarching theme will be "all about the consequences and aftermath of The Final Shape."
The shift to episodes was driven largely by dissatisfaction with the current seasonal model, which chained players to a long-running 'tune in next week' format that moved the story forward in relatively tiny increments, largely via conversations between NPCs. Episodes will enable the studio to take bigger, more meaningful narrative steps forward, while players won't be committed to following along every step of the way.
"These new stories are actually playable as standalone," Destiny 2 general manager Dan McAuliffe said. "Each episode is something you can experience whether you've been playing Destiny for 10 years, or this is your first one.
"The opportunity with this big epic moment is that we get to innovate the game. We get to move the game forward."
"It's all about change frequently," Stevens added. "It's all about deeper story moments. It's all about more weapons, more loot, more often, and it really provides the team with a platform to go much deeper into scenes and fantasies and stories of any individual episode, as compared to the seasons you know of today."
Bungie also confirmed that it will continue to offer season passes under the new episodic structure—each pass will offer 200 ranks for players to earn across the course of each episode.