Usually when a game’s release date changes, it means we’re going to end up waiting. Once in a while, though, a hotly anticipated game gets moved forward instead of pushed back. Destiny 2 just happens to be one of those, but it wasn’t a move Activision and Bungie made to thrill fans. It turns out there’s a very good reason. It’s because if they released it on a Friday as planned, we’d bring the servers to their metaphorical knees.
Destiny 2 was set to release on Friday, September 8, but the release was recently moved forward two days to Wednesday, September 6. Director Luke Smith explained the move in a chat with GamesRadar.
“We were looking at a bunch of logistics,” Smith explained. “Our games at Bungie historically have their highest concurrency on the Saturday of their first week. And so by [originally] going out on a Friday, I think we were putting our technical teams at risk.”
Good for the hardcore, good for the casual
The hardcore Destiny fans that loved and poured hours into the original were going to play the game on release day regardless of when that was. Friday, Monday, the day of their first child’s birth – they were going to be there. More casual gamers who “have their priorities straight” and “care about their jobs and families” and “need to sleep at night” were going to login once they had time.
By launching the game on Wednesday, Bungie is spreading the traffic out a bit. And while those committed fans deserve the best experience, they’re going to be a bit more willing to weather the storm if things do go south when everyone tries to log on at once. If the game is as big as Bungie is expecting, they also have time to roll up more servers before that weekend crowd rolls in.
Online-heavy games have often had difficult launches, but this shows that Bungie is thinking hard about how to give Destiny 2 the smoothest launch they can despite its mammoth size.
Destiny hits PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 6, while the PC version comes later, on October 24. The beta for the game starts July 21, though those who pre-ordered get a few extra days, with PlayStation 4 users getting in on July 18 and Xbox One users on July 19.