Work on Destiny 2: The Witch Queen is approaching "the final stretches," according to game director Joe Blackburn.
Blackburn commented on the expansion's development in a recent tweet (opens in new tab). "We're in the final stretches of [Witch Queen and Season 16] development," he said. "To the naked eye, the game has been done for a while, but it's the often invisible work that gets done by those at the end of the pipe that makes sure it all comes together."
It sounds like the meat and potatoes of Destiny 2's next expansion and season are functionally done, and Bungie's now polishing up the finer details as launch approaches. Bungie's stuck firmly to the revised February 22, 2022 release date for The Witch Queen throughout the ongoing (and greatly extended) Season of the Lost, but given the state of the world and the fact the expansion received the biggest delay in Destiny 2's history, it's encouraging to hear that this extra time gave Bungie the breathing room it needed.
This news also bodes well for the shifted release schedule that Bungie plans to follow going forward, with expansions now arriving early in the year rather than in the fall. The Witch Queen was originally planned as the second expansion in a trilogy which started with Beyond Light, but this saga has since grown to four parts ending with The Final Shape in 2024, which will follow the Lightfall expansion scheduled for 2023.
Blackburn's tweet arrived on the heels of a new blog post outlining some major artifact and armor buffs coming in The Witch Queen, not to mention a small hint at how the expansion's new weapon crafting system will work. The new expansion hype train is picking up speed, just over one month after a report spotlighting harm caused by Bungie's work culture, which was widely shared by Bungie employees and prompted an apology from studio CEO Pete Parsons.
A new trailer for The Witch Queen arrived earlier this week, showing off more of Savathun's Throne World and potentially teasing some Deep Lore around the Hive.