Analysis: Destiny 2 The Final Shape Pre-Orders Appear to be Less Than a Quarter of Lightfall’s Total Figures

By Zuhaad Ali
Image: Bungie via The Game Post

The Game Post analysis shows Destiny 2 The Final Shape has the lowest number of pre-orders when compared to the pre-orders for the last three expansions.

In the ever-evolving world of Destiny 2, pre-order figures have always been a critical indicator of player anticipation and overall interest in annual expansions and as an avid Destiny 2 enthusiast, delving into the realm of pre-order data has unveiled intriguing insights into the upcoming expansion, The Final Shape.

The Final Shape will be the last expansion in Destiny’s 10-year-long Light vs. Darkness saga. The expansion was initially planned to be released later this month on February 27, 2024.

However, due to Destiny 2 underperformance, lower-than-expected pre-order numbers for The Final Shape, and revenue projections running below 45% for the year, Bungie decided to delay the release until June 4, 2024, and laid off 8% of its workforce in October 2023, as reported by Bloomberg and IGN.

Both The Witch Queen and Lightfall expansions were successful in terms of sales. The Witch Queen not only succeeded in sales, but also received praise for its story, activities, and the raid.

However, the same cannot be said for Lightfall. While Lightfall achieved sales success, it did not deliver the penultimate storytelling experience that most fans hoped for which resulted in poor reception from critics and fans. On the other hand, The Witch Queen not only succeeded in sales, but also received praise for its story, activities, and the raid.

Data Sources, Caveats, & Methodology

The data used in this analysis is provided to The Game Post by Charlemagne, the Warmind of Discord, a third-party app that obtains it directly from Bungie’s API for Destiny. How this works is that Charlemagne scans all unique Destiny profiles, which amounts to around 66 million, to track every account that has acquired the pre-order bonus emblems for the expansions. These emblems can only be acquired if a player pre-orders an expansion.


That said, it’s important to note that the data provided here may not be the exact representation of the official numbers as there are some limitations. For instance, Charlemagne cannot access the data of players who have set their profiles to private mode, which makes up approximately <1% (0.15%) of the total player base. 

Additionally, the data does not reflect the pre-order emblems that are not acquired from the in-game vendors — Master Rahool, and Special Deliveries Kiosk As a result, there may be a difference between the numbers presented here and the official figures for the expansions.

Destiny 2 emblems
Image: Bungie via The Game Post

We are comparing the pre-orders for four Destiny 2 expansions — Beyond Light, The Witch Queen, Lightfall, and The Final Shape. Let’s take a look at the exclusive emblems available to players who pre-ordered any edition of these expansions. 

The pre-order exclusive emblem for Beyond Light is called Beyond Light. For The Witch Queen, it is Lucidity. The exclusive emblem for Lightfall is Neomuna Nights, and for The Final Shape, it is Paracausal Path

It’s worth mentioning that the pre-order emblem for Shadowkeep Benighted Omen was only available with the Shadowkeep Deluxe Edition. Therefore, the data available for it is not as precise as that for the other expansions since the emblem wasn’t included as a standard pre-order bonus with the Standard edition.

Comparing the Numbers: How Low Are The Final Shape Pre-Orders?

Based on The Game Post’s analysis and data provided by Charlemagne on February 23, 2024, it seems that Beyond Light received the highest number of pre-orders among the four expansions. Lightfall follows in second place, with The Witch Queen in third place and The Final Shape having the lowest pre-orders.

To put this into perspective, Destiny 2’s previous expansion, Lightfall, released in February 2023, has around 2.249 million estimated lifetime pre-orders, The Witch Queen, released in 2022, has 2.244 million lifetime pre-orders, and Beyond Light, released in 2020, has 3.189 million lifetime pre-orders.

Here are the estimated pre-order numbers for all four expansions based on our analysis:

  • Beyond Light: 3,189,075
  • The Witch Queen: 2,244,640
  • Lightfall: 2,249,679
  • The Final Shape: 407,601
Destiny 2 The Final Shape Pre-order analysis graph the witch queen beyond light lightfall
Image: The Game Post

Surprisingly, the numbers for all four emblems are still rising to this day. It highlights that the data derived from pre-order emblems does not precisely mirror the actual pre-order numbers, but there exists a solid correlation between the two.

Our analysis also shows that The Final Shape expansion managed to secure roughly 15,000 pre-orders (~15,000 emblems were applied to the profiles) in the 15-day period starting from February 5th and ending on February 20th.

Bungie made an official announcement on February 1, 2022, stating that The Witch Queen, a highly-anticipated expansion for Destiny 2, had already surpassed one million pre-orders and is on track to be “the most pre-ordered expansion in Destiny 2 history.”

Although the Destiny developer did not disclose the official pre-order figures for the Lightfall expansion, it can be assumed that it also surpassed the one million pre-orders before or by February 1, 2023, considering it had more pre-orders than The Witch Queen.

However, for The Final Shape, the pre-orders haven’t even come close to the above figures. The significant drop in pre-orders can be attributed to several causes, one of the reasons for this could be that fans are being cautious and waiting for more information about The Final Shape before making a decision, especially after Lightfall failed to hit the mark for many fans.

The Game Post has reached out to Bungie for a comment on this piece.

Player Sentiment, The Delay, Layoffs, & Marketing Void

Despite being one of the best-selling expansions in Destiny 2 and having broken the record for all-time high concurrent players on Steam, Lightfall faced severe backlash. Its story campaign was lackluster and failed to meet expectations, even with its commercial success. 

This marked the beginning of a decline in player sentiment, and the situation was made worse by the lack of updates to PvP content, the disregard for Gambit, a hybrid PvPvE mode introduced in 2018, repetitive seasonal model, increased number of in-game monetization, and time-gated quests.

The announcement of The Final Shape’s delay in late 2023 added a new level of intricacy to Destiny 2’s already complex narrative. With the extended six-month wait, along with the 8% layoffs at Bungie, there was an undeniable feeling of uncertainty in the air which also stirred questions about the expansion’s development and the studio’s ability to deliver a fitting end to this saga.

Destiny Bulletin's Poll on X (formerly Twitter), The Final Shape Destiny 2
poll results for The Final Shape pre-order on Destiny Bulletin’s X account

The Game Post’s Destiny Bulletin conducted a poll on X (formerly Twitter) on February 22nd. The poll received over 20,000 votes and revealed that 30.9% of voters are not pre-ordering The Final Shape expansion. 20.6% are waiting for more details on the expansion, 22.6% haven’t pre-ordered yet but plan to in the future, and 26% have already pre-ordered the expansion. While this poll only represents a fraction of the overall Destiny 2 player base, it provides a general idea of the player sentiment regarding Bungie and the Destiny franchise.

In a report from IGN, it was revealed that the player sentiment surrounding Destiny 2 was at an all-time low with employees “begging for necessary changes to win players back.” Bungie CEO, Pete Parsons also told employees that the layoffs were “largely due to underperformance of Destiny 2 over the last year, as well as lower-than-expected preorders for The Final Shape expansion.”

Following the layoffs In late 2023, Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier reported that Destiny 2 experienced a significant decrease in popularity among players. As per the report, the game’s revenue projections for the year were below 45%.

It’s worth noting that expansion sales aren’t the sole revenue stream for Destiny 2. Season passes, which received a 20% increase in price in 2023, along with cosmetic bundles, dungeon keys, in-game monetization, and merchandise sales also play major roles in contributing to the game’s revenue projections. However, due to low player sentiment, popularity, and engagement, retention, it seems the monetization spending in the Eververse store from Destiny 2 players took a massive hit in 2023.

Then comes the marketing void during the six-month-long delay period for The Final Shape, with no new announcements, details, or promotional initiatives for the upcoming expansion to sustain player engagement and interest.

Destiny’s Future of Uncertainty: No More Annual Expansions?

The revelation that Bungie is transitioning away from the traditional seasonal model to embrace a narrative structure centered around Episodes sparked concerns among players about the fate of annual expansions—the backbone of Destiny 2’s overarching stories and content.

During the 2023 annual Showcase, Destiny 2 General Manager, Dan McAuliffe revealed that Episodes will mark “the new way we are going to tell stories moving forward.” This announcement has raised questions among fans about the future of the game’s annual expansions. Even after six months, Bungie has yet to reveal any details about what the future holds for expansions in Destiny 2. One of the reasons behind this could be that Bungie only wants players to focus on The Final Shape expansion right now and sell as many copies as possible.

The yearly expansions are not only crucial in shaping the game’s narrative but also acting as significant revenue generators for Bungie. The financial reality is clear – annual expansions have consistently contributed millions in revenue, making them an anchor in Destiny 2’s success all these years. While the upcoming “Episodes” may offer a new way to engage players, relying solely on them may not be the most financially sound decision.

Destiny 2 traveler
Image: Bungie

Considering how resource-heavy Destiny 2’s live service really is, a strategic approach that could make sense is – releasing a couple of Episodes for a year or two. This would allow Bungie to redirect resources toward developing a brand-new Destiny installment.

From the player’s perspective, annual expansions are more than just content drops, they help generate excitement and hype within the community. These annual showcase events are essential in building anticipation for future gaming content, which ultimately leads to increased sales and revenue, something crucial for Bungie right now which is currently facing financial challenges.

Thoughts on the Past, Present, and the Future of Destiny 2

Destiny stands out as one of the enduring live service games, not just surviving for nearly a decade but thriving to the extent that it transformed Bungie into a multi-IP entertainment company. Bungie now juggles at least three different IPs simultaneously—Destiny, Marathon, and Project Gummy Bears—alongside engaging in multimedia projects.

The success of The Witch Queen expansion played a pivotal role in Lightfall’s impressive pre-order numbers. The success of Lightfall’s pre-orders can be attributed to various factors, with The Witch Queen playing a major role. The Witch Queen expansion laid the foundation for heightened anticipation, introducing The Witness and intensifying the Light vs. Darkness narrative. 

The brand-new subclass, Strand, further acted as a major selling point, creating substantial excitement within the player base—an element notably absent in The Final Shape.

Destiny 2 Strand subclass
Image: Bungie

Why The Final Shape pre-orders are lower-than-expected: Similar to how The Witch Queen expansion played an important role in Lightfall’s pre-order success, I think one of the main reasons behind low pre-orders for The Final Shape is Lightfall. The bad reception of Lightfall’s story has cast a lingering shadow, diminishing the overall enthusiasm for the upcoming expansion. 

Although The Final Shape is set to introduce three new Light-based supers, the lack of a new subclass and an enemy race adds to the muted reception from the player community. The impact of the delay and reported layoffs at Bungie has also played a role in the low pre-order numbers, as players opt to await more details before committing to a decision.

Destiny 2 player count is declining and will most likely continue to decline after The Final Shape. As much as we all want The Final Shape to kickstart another golden age for Destiny 2, I think this is unlikely to happen. It’s true that Bungie is trying to make this upcoming expansion the best it has ever released, but we also cannot ignore the fact that regardless of how exceptional this expansion might turn out to be, it’s going to be the final Destiny expansion for many players. 

As someone deeply invested in the Destiny community, I’ve encountered numerous comments from devoted fans who have said that The Final Shape is the end of their journey with Destiny. The driving force behind this sentiment is undoubtedly the desire to witness the conclusion of the narrative arc that has unfolded over the past decade.

This trend has been noticeable throughout the Lightfall year. As we moved through each season in 2023, there has been a consistent dip in player numbers. The Game Post analysis shows that the latest season, Season of the Wish, exemplifies this decline, marking the lowest day-one peak for a seasonal release ever on Steam (data via, with a mere 94,670 players.

Destiny 2 The Final Shape Pre-order analysis graph the witch queen beyond light lightfall
Image: The Game Post

Destiny will continue to get annual expansions, even after The Final Shape. Ever since the announcement that Destiny 2 will adopt an episodic structure post The Final Shape, speculation arose among players regarding the possibility that this expansion would mark the final expansion to be released in Destiny 2.

In a recent video titled “The truth about Destiny 2 And Bungie,” renowned PvP streamer GrenaderJake claimed that The Final Shape would be the “last-ever big DLC,” featuring the “last-ever big raid”—something I find highly unlikely for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, annual expansions are one of the primary revenue streams for Destiny 2, consistently generating millions of dollars each year. Even by considering only half of Lightfall’s estimated pre-orders as Standard edition sales, the revenue surpasses $50 million. In the current financial climate, where Bungie is facing financial challenges and potential Sony takeover concerns, abandoning such a revenue source seems improbable. So, I believe we will continue to get major annual expansions after The Final Shape.

Secondly, the teams and umbrellas. Bungie has specialized teams and umbrellas dedicated to Destiny 2’s live service, such as Player Journey, Nexus, and Scenario, overseeing different aspects of development. As an example, Nexus encompasses sub-teams like Team Epsilon and Team Delta, with Epsilon handling seasonal content and Delta focusing on the main campaign. If the strategy is to only release Episodes moving forward and no major expansion at all, it means Bungie would have to redirect all expansion resources towards untested episodic content, and without proven financial performance, it’s a risky move.

Moreover, Bungie houses the RAD (Raid and Dungeon) team that focuses on delivering raids and dungeons—the pinnacle end-game activities for Destiny 2 players. Given the longstanding integral role of raids in Destiny expansions, it is highly probable that we will continue to see big raids (and dungeons) after The Final Shape.

As stated above, a plausible scenario supporting the “no expansions” argument could be Bungie releasing episodes for a year or two without an annual expansion in between. This strategic approach would allow Bungie to reallocate the expansion resources into the development of a new Destiny game.


The response to Lightfall and the impact of the extended silence along with the wider industry landscape all contribute to this complex narrative. Destiny 2 fans are eagerly awaiting the gameplay reveal for The Final Shape in April along with the free two-month content update – Into the Light.

As Destiny 2 steps into the future, it is presented with both challenges and opportunities. With over 650 employees working on Destiny, excluding contractors and partnered studios, Bungie aims to deliver an “unforgettable Destiny experience” this summer. However, uncertainties from the revenue side loom large, and how the game will fare in the coming years remains to be seen.

Special thanks to the root team at Charlemagne /, TheSpartanAsh, and d2maxx from, another third-party app that also utilizes the Bungie API, for providing the necessary data for our analysis. For more coverage on Destiny and Bungie, follow our Destiny Bulletin outlet on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, and Threads.