Destiny 2 Continues to Spark Outrage with New $15 “Starter Pack” Microtransaction

Bungie continues to demonstrate how little they've learned and how much less they care.



The developer behind Destiny 2, has found itself once again in the crosshairs of its community following the release of the game’s 23rd season, Season of the Wish. The contentious issue at hand is the introduction of a $15 starter pack, which, according to many disgruntled players, raises concerns about the game’s direction and the company’s commitment to its fanbase.

At the heart of the controversy is the inclusion of a $15 starter pack that some players argue leans dangerously towards a pay-to-win model. The pack offers an underwhelming amount of in-game currency and a handful of exotic weapons including Traveler’s Chosen, Ruinous Effigy, and Sleeper Simulant. And while each and every season aims to introduce a handful of the coolest-looking cosmetics into Eververse, this is the first time in Destiny 2’s history that weapons have been available for direct purchase (with the exception of Yuna in South Korea).

None of this should come as a surprise, though, as Bungie is known for its heavy and overly aggressive microtransactions that they push further and further every season. In addition to this “starter pack” scam that is likely to trick any new players into a naive purchase, they also released a handful of cosmetics in a collab with CDPR that cost over $100. The collab, which features cosmetics inspired by CDPR’s Geralt of Rivia of The Witcher, was broken out into separate purchases without the option of a bundle. The entire collection, should you want all three armor sets, emote, finisher, and vehicles, would set you back over $100 in your local currency. And fans are rightfully pissed.

We can’t believe we are writing about this, honestly. From a certain perspective, this move seems to blur the line between providing additional content for purchase and creating a system where those willing to spend real money gain a significant in-game advantage. At this point, we feel confident that this probably is less of a blur and is more clearly a pay-to-win purchase, considering that winning in Destiny is equivalent to loot earned, such as this pack of exotics. Even if they all are a bit mid.

For $15, you get everything pictured above in the “Starter Pack”.| Bungie

Many members of the Destiny 2 community have taken to platforms like Reddit and other social media outlets to express their frustration with one user pointing out how quickly players can earn the above weapons and currencies with very little playtime. The consensus is that Bungie’s decision to introduce a paid starter pack not only comes across as scummy and aggressive but is also perceived as intentionally misleading. Critics argue that the pack takes advantage of players who may not be fully aware of the in-game economy, leading to an atmosphere of exploitation rather than collaboration between the developer and its community.

One prominent figure in the Destiny 2 community who has voiced his discontent is Datto, a popular Destiny streamer and YouTuber. In a video addressing the controversy, Datto expressed his incredible disappointment with Bungie’s choice to introduce a paid starter pack. As a content creator with a significant following, Datto’s critique carries weight and reflects the sentiments of many players who feel let down by the recent decision.

“hope you’re stoked with yet another wave of hate articles, hate videos, and bad publicity yet again. you never will learn. i give up. hope it was worth a few grand.”


Datto’s video briefly touches on the disappointment with the pay-to-win implications but heavily underscores the potential damage such moves in taking advantage of naive new players can inflict on the relationship between a gaming company and its community, especially in such a volatile time where said relationship is already on fire. In a game where player investment is crucial for longevity, the backlash from influencers like Datto could have lasting consequences for Destiny 2’s player base and Bungie’s choice to keep this microtransaction in Season 23 after everything that has happened recently does not look good at all.

This controversy comes at a time when Destiny 2 has been grappling with a substantial player drop-off and missed revenue projections. Reports indicate a 45% drop in player engagement and revenue falling short of expectations. In such a challenging landscape, Bungie’s decision to introduce a controversial paid starter pack raises questions about the company’s strategy for rebuilding goodwill with its player base.

Instead of addressing the concerns and desires of the community, Bungie’s move with Season of the Wish seems to exacerbate the existing issues. The introduction of a paid starter pack, which some players perceive as a cash grab, only adds fuel to the fire, creating an environment where trust is eroded, and loyalty is tested.

As Destiny 2 navigates through the challenges of maintaining a vibrant player base, the recent controversy surrounding Season of the Wish and the introduction of a paid starter pack raises critical questions about Bungie’s priorities. The perceived shift towards a pay-to-win model, coupled with the discontent expressed by influential community members like Datto, casts a shadow on the company’s commitment to its player base.

For a game facing a substantial player drop-off and missed revenue projections, the decision to implement a paid starter pack seems counterintuitive to rebuilding goodwill. Instead of fostering a positive relationship with the community, Bungie’s move risks alienating players further and sending the message that profit takes precedence over player satisfaction. Not to mention how poorly Bungie’s overall reputation is being viewed not only by loyal fans and players but also by the industry as a whole.

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