A recent leak from prolific PS Plus leaker, billbil-kun, has revealed that Destiny 2’s 3rd expansion, Beyond Light, is coming to February’s PS Plus line-up. This is great for Destiny 2 players on PlayStation consoles both for the solid campaign and endgame content included in the release, but also because it’s bringing Stasis, Destiny 2’s first Darkness subclass, along with it. The timing here couldn’t be better for PS fans as Lightfall, Destiny 2’s newest and fifth expansion is bringing Strand, the second of these cool new Darkness subclasses, at the very end of the month. This will give lapsed or new players on the platform the chance to dip their toes into the powers of our enemies just in time for a whole new experience and suite of powers and weapons.
This should come as no surprise for Bungie fans following last year’s announcement of Sony’s acquisition of the former Halo developer. While Destiny 2 and it’s then-available expansions had come to both console and PC Game Pass, as well as Xbox Cloud Gaming in October of 2021, they were quick to leave the service in December of the same year. Though the reason for it became clear in the following weeks,I found this fascinating at the time as it seemed far too short lived.
The primary focus for fans of Bungie and their juggernaut Destiny was whether it would become console exclusive on PlayStation, though Bungie was quick to squash those concerns sharing this graphic in their Destiny blogpost following the news of the acquisition:
Cutting The Ties That Bind
With the leak that Destiny 2 Beyond Light is coming to PlayStation Plus subscribers as part of the free game and DLC lineup, one user on our own forums, EldenDarkwraith, raised their concerns about what it means for Sony’s deal, in which Bungie said they maintain autonomy with Destiny as an IP, including it’s platform availability and publishing.
I think EldenDarkwraith raises some solid points, but I think it’s important to note here that Beyond Light is coming to the free games with PS Plus for the month of February, not that it’s going to their PS Plus multi-tiered catalog of games in the same way that it was available on Game Pass. PS Plus’ catalog is broken down into monthly free games (and occasionally, DLC), as well as the included catalog of titles that are available for users at the discretion of Sony and the tier the subscriber is paying for. The latter is most similar to Game Pass, though it does lack some of Game Pass’ benefits, like first-party releases available on day one.
Beyond Light is coming to the former, the limited, miss-it-and-it’s-gone, PS Plus free titles more akin to Xbox’s Games with Gold. This creates the opportunity for Destiny 2 players that have missed out on grabbing Beyond Light the chance to get it free, and maybe convince a whole slew of new players to jump into it before the newest expansion. This sales tactic is nothing new.
The big issue here is Sony’s proclivity to include their now-first-party studio’s titles in their service when they’ve leveled complaints against Xbox’s pending acquisition of Activision Blizzard for much the same, or at least similar, reasons. Sony doesn’t want Call of Duty, or any Activision franchise for that matter, on Game Pass because Sony claims they cannot compete with the service. This may come across as hypocritical or disingenuous when you look at the 3.6 billion dollar studio’s own title coming to Sony’s service, though I don’t think it’s necessarily apples to apples.
However, it is certainly a slap to the face of recent Destiny 2 fans on Xbox who were stoked to jump in and play the game via Game Pass, or even the Cloud. I myself was devastated when it was removed, not because I don’t spend an ungodly amount of money on the game every year, but because I genuinely loved Destiny 2 on Xbox Cloud Gaming. I can’t count the amount of planetary materials (RIP) and Patrols I knocked out on my lunch breaks while I was still working in a retail space.
Mile High Club
Why doesn’t Sony Want Call of Duty on Game Pass? Regardless of Which service it’s being put on, it’s no doubt that Destiny 2’s inclusion in any service is bound to make money. With millions of players joining the MMO every year, Sony knew exactly what they were doing when securing the acquisition last year. The inclusion of any of Destiny 2’s expansions on a PlayStation service is going to help it grow, and the same is infinitely truer for Call of Duty. There is no doubt that Call of Duty becoming first-party would mean a huge boom in Game Pass subscription numbers. Whether Sony genuinely can’t compete with Game Pass, or just doesn’t want to, it’s clear that it would be a loss to them for Call of Duty to be on the service, but that’s the price paid when operating in a free market.
Does Call of Duty on Game Pass mean Sony can’t compete with Microsoft? Not in the slightest. Sony is the console market leader, so says the Lead of Microsoft Communications Frank X. Shaw. Sony still has the mindshare to stay more than just competitive if the ABK acquisition were to be successful. This is a power move on Sony’s part, and perhaps one that could bite them in the ass should the FTC and CMA decide to look into similar practices Sony may be incorporating into their services when investigating the ABK acquisition.
The removal of Destiny 2 from Xbox and PC Game Pass following the acquisition left a bad taste in my mouth. Now, Sony adding Destiny 2: Beyond Light, just weeks ahead of Lightfall, feels like adding insult to injury in some ways. While I understand and appreciate the marketing tactic, and even feel happy for the players who will now get to dive into one of the game’s better expansions, it feels lousy for Sony to promote the game on their service when they couldn’t fathom the possibility of Call of Duty on a similar, competing service.
Bottom of the Ninth
Will Call of Duty come to Xbox Game Pass? Will Sony put the rest of Destiny’s expansions on the PS Plus service? Only the mega-corporation wizards behind the curtains really know. My money is on both happening. I know that, as a video game enthusiast, I don’t think anything better could come of all this than for more people to have more options to play more games.