Whenever, wherever, and however you play Destiny, the mad scientists in Bungie User Research are watching. Every helmet you don, every weapon you wield, and every enemy you dispatch (and how) becomes a data point in our matrix of carnage and mayhem. The numbers add up to a mountain of learnings we can use to refine the player experience.
Not only has Bungie programmed the action in a formulaic mode, they created a world that is oddly lifeless, and while many will say that there is now a story with TTK, the plot alternates between baffling and non-existent and the whole thing has failed to deliver on its pre-release hype.
And yet people cannot seem to stop playing Destiny.
Destiny Support Group - #RTES A comedic video of a Destiny Support Group - that is closer to the truth than it is funny. (the video includes a Destiny FanBot/Sherpa)
One of the highest-profile video game releases of 2014, developed by the original creators of Halo and published by the same company behind Call of Duty, Destiny was supposed to change the way we look at games when it landed on the Xbox and PlayStation systems in 2014.
It didn’t, but it has managed to do something that, from my own personal experience, is nearly as impressive: it’s hooked people. Hooked people hard.
As someone with basically an unlimited amount of free time to play games (I'm retired) and I do have to watch how I spend my fixed income, I have to choose my games carefully. Destiny had originally effortlessly absorbed nearly all of that free time.
Destiny did not make a fantastic first impression, it’s true, and it’s a game riddled with odd creative decisions. There’s a nuance to the way all of Destiny’s systems mesh together that, for the most part, is very clever indeed; it can actually be called diabolic.
There’s a strong framework in the game that includes all the major structures that help them induce the dopamine flow, and it functions quite well with that implementation. This is why most people here are still hoping that as the game is being doled out in small pieces, it will organically grow into something more meaningful and profound, something that won’t squander its wealth of potential.
Yet, because of what they are doing, (what they have done from the beginning,) I have concluded that this might be why many of the original people that created Bungie, no longer part of the team. I think that they were stepping over the boundary of what many would consider morally ethical principals, so many left. Those that didn't want to leave, but were against how the game was going to be released, they were fired.
So whether you want to believe that you are being seriously manipulated and are being subconsciously addicted to this game, through lenitive and/or stimulative means, that is up to you (or your postulated choice or manipulated hypothesis.)
But you might want to really check some things out, so that you can decide for yourself.
How about reading this GamesRadar+ Article:
Bungie worked hard to trap you in Destiny
Find out about John Hopson, head of User Research at Bungie
Now working for Bungie - To help them milk players
Features by John Hopson:
10 Years of Behavioral Game Design with Bungie's Research Boss [06.15.12]
MMO Class Design: Up With Hybrids! An Economic Argument [04.18.08]
We're Not Listening: An Open Letter to Academic Game Researchers [11.10.06]
The Psychology of Choice [02.06.02]
Behavioral Game Design [04.27.01]
Customer User Management and Research
Session Name Behavioral Game Design
Speaker(s) John Hopson
Company Name(s) Bungie Inc.
Track / Format Audio
Scientific America - Delayed Gratification
Omnivores have a richly participatory relationship with digital content
"There's always been an idea for Destiny that there would be a variety of activities," Hopson said. "One of the essential design pillars was, 'An activity for every mood.' That we would have intense competitive activities and very calm activities, story missions that you were guaranteed to win if you spent enough time and raids that were intended to be deliberately very hard."
Join in trying to make a change: https://www.change.org/p/bungie-activision-bungie-activision-guardians-are-you-with-me-bungie-activision-enough-is-enough