A Destiny 2 Witch Queen delay has pushed the game's next expansion to early 2022, and Bungie is also adding yet another annual release to the game's long-term roadmap.
Originally planned for this fall, The Witch Queen was positioned as the second expansion in a trilogy started by Destiny 2: Beyond Light last year. Bungie has chosen to move it to early 2022 to give it more time in the oven, to establish a new release schedule for future Destiny 2 expansions, and to give the team more time to focus on the live game this year through features like crossplay and transmog. The studio is also prioritizing the health of its developers with this change, particularly in the shadow of COVID-19.
"We’ve long thought about moving Destiny’s annual release to the early half of the year primarily for the health of the team, but the Witch Queen and not being tied to legacy expectations allowed us to make this choice early," writes assistant game director Joe Blackburn.
"The Witch Queen represents an important evolution in the ongoing story of Destiny 2," he explains. "Beyond Light built the foundation and allowed us to weave the world-building of Destiny and Destiny 2 together, but The Witch Queen will light the fire on a strongly interconnected narrative across Lightfall and beyond, unlike anything we’ve ever attempted before, with characters, arcs, heroes and villains that persist over multiple future releases. Even more importantly, the conclusion of these releases will also conclude the 'Light and Darkness Saga,' the conflict we first introduced with the launch of Destiny many years ago."
Light and Darkness is merely the "first" saga in Destiny's history, Blackburn says, so Bungie is hunkering down to continue work on Destiny for "years to come." For starters, the Beyond Light trilogy has now grown to four expansions, with "an additional unannounced chapter" scheduled to follow Lightfall.
With the game's updated release schedule, we can expect The Witch Queen in early 2022, Lightfall in early 2023, and the final chapter of Light and Darkness in early 2024. The exact timing of all three remains to be seen, and while we do know that Bungie is targeting Q1/Q2, Lightfall and the saga finale won't necessarily arrive in the same month as The Witch Queen or each other. For now, we'll have to make due with the Witch Queen armor teaser above, which Bungie cheekily put out today.
Bungie wants to bring Destiny to "additional media," so we could even see a TV show.