In the world of live service games, one title has reigned supreme for years: Destiny, followed by the new installment in the franchise Destiny 2. Since its release in 2014, Bungie‘s Destiny 2 has amassed a massive player base of more than 30 million players and dominated the online looter-shooter genre.
However, with the massive launch of Diablo 4 earlier this month, Destiny 2 may finally face fierce competition for its dominance. Destiny 2 and Diablo 4 are different games with different gameplay styles. Destiny 2 is a first-person shooter MMO, while Diablo is a role-playing game centered around hack-and-slash combat. However, the emphasis on looting items is a significant similarity between these two games.
At the core, both Diablo and Destiny offer players the opportunity to diversify their playstyle by buildcrafting, customizing their characters, and collecting rare loot.
Over the years, we have seen many live services games come and go, including the highly anticipated Anthem, which received poor reception at launch and was later called by EA and Square Enix‘s Outriders.
Earlier this week, Blizzard announced that Diablo 4 is its fastest-selling game of all time and has the “highest pre-launch unit sales ever on both console and PC.” This new installment has also received near-perfect reviews from major media outlets, currently standing at a healthy 88 score on Metacritic.
Is Destiny 2 in Danger of Losing its Crown to Diablo 4?
The simple answer is no. I think Bungie has created a unique and beloved game franchise with a devoted community of players who are deeply invested in the world of Destiny. However, this isn’t to say that we won’t see a slight decline in Destiny 2’s active player count, particularly in the upcoming weeks, as Diablo 4 gains traction in the market.
At the time of writing, Destiny 2 is averaging around one million daily active players across all platforms combined. So, we’ll have to wait and see how this number changes in the next couple of weeks.
In fact, fans and content creators in the Destiny community are already discussing whether we’ll see players jump ship to Diablo in the coming weeks or months, especially after the poor reception of the Lightfall expansion.
Although it’s a different kind of game, I foresee many pve players making the move to Diablo from Destiny. Endless builds. Endless grind. Endless loot. And a live service on top of that.— Aztecross (@Aztecross) June 6, 2023
We are already seeing some Destiny 2 content creators shifting their focus to Diablo 4 content upon its launch, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. One notable example is Fallout Plays, a well-known Destiny content creator who has garnered substantial viewership and engagement on his new Diablo 4 video. This shows that there’s definitely some interest in Diablo 4 in the Destiny community.
A Solid Competition is Good for Destiny 2
Competition has always been a driving force for progress and innovation, and the gaming industry is no exception. In the case of Destiny 2, the arrival of Diablo 4’s massive launch signifies solid competition that could be beneficial for the game in the long run.
First and foremost, healthy competition pushes developers to continually improve their games and deliver better experiences to their players. With Diablo 4 entering the scene, Bungie will undoubtedly feel the pressure to step up its game in terms of retaining its player base, exploring new ideas, and experimenting with fresh concepts.
This doesn’t mean that Bungie hasn’t already introduced significant improvements to Destiny 2 over the years. In fact, last year, the developer announced some highly-requested features in the game, such as a mod manager, an in-game looking-for-group (LFG) system, and in-game loadouts. Two of these features were released alongside the Lightfall expansion earlier this year, with in-game LFG coming out later this year.
While Diablo 4 brings its own allure with its endless loot grind, buildcrafting, and other elements, there is something uniquely captivating about Destiny 2 that sets it apart. Whether it’s the rich and immersive lore, the beautifully crafted worlds, or simply the satisfying feeling of shooting a gun, Destiny 2 has captured the hearts of millions of players.
The competition between Diablo 4 and Destiny 2 may draw players in different directions, and it’s important to recognize the distinct appeal that Destiny 2 holds. Also, this competition might serve as motivation for Bungie to release more frequent updates for the game’s PvP and Gambit playlists.