Gafner's departure comes just a couple of months before the hotly anticipated launch of Destiny 2 Lightfall
Dylan Gafner, known to countless Destiny 2 players as community manager dmg04, is leaving Bungie at the end of the month after serving as a key liaison for the MMO for years.
Dmg (it just feels wrong to call him Gafner, doesn't it?) announced the news on Twitter earlier today. His last day as senior community manager and at Bungie overall will be December 30, 2022. He says he doesn't know "where the future will take me" but looks forward to "new opportunities and new challenges."
"Maybe I'll stick in the game industry and go for a different role in communications," he muses in a longer statement posted to Twitter. "Maybe I'll try my hand at game design... or maybe I'll do something entirely different and investigate commercial baking."
Dmg has been with Destiny almost since its inception; as he notes in his exit statement, he started on the player support team just before the release of the House of Wolves DLC for the original game, which wasn't long after launch. "It's hard to think of any words to really encapsulate how much you've all impacted my life," he tells the Destiny community.
"I admit, this is a scary move, but some of the most amazing opportunities have come during times of drastic change in my life," dmg concludes. "I've learned so much during my time in this position, from everyone at Bungie and this community, and I really cannot thank you all enough. Hope to make you proud."
Bungie has shed plenty of key staffers over the years, including some high-profile designers, but I'd wager dmg's departure will hit many players the hardest, even if he's far from Bungie's only community manager. On top of countless weekly blog posts, he was a regular in the impromptu Reddit and Twitter discussions which often reflected the general vibe of the community and informed forthcoming updates, setting the table with corrections, expectations, and optimism in equal measure, and sometimes giving bad apples a public paddling. Those talks won't be the same without his input, even when limited to the well-worn, boilerplate "we're listening" response that he jokes about in his exit post.
Most recently, dmg attempted to calm a community in uproar over an API outage which reminded everyone that Destiny 2 is almost unplayable without apps like DIM.