It seems Bungie are looking to fill a position for a ‘senior progression designer’ on Destiny 2, someone whose job it’ll be to keep players hooked on the game through long-term chases for appropriate rewards. That’s not a bad thing – in fact, a lack of late-game goals form one of the biggest complaints for current players – but some of the details of the listing are a bit more concerning.
The role hints at an expanded role for Destiny 2’s Bright Engram loot boxes, which have already been at the centre of the game’s two biggest controversies so far. Specifically, one of the position’s key duties is to “create sustainable player progression and chase through Destiny 2’s Bright Engram.” The candidate will also “craft a long-term vision for the Eververse and its presence in the Destiny IP.” Eververse is the microtransactions store where loot boxes can be bought for real money, so this ad suggests MTX are to be repositioned, perhaps more prominently, in the same breath as it links progression with loot boxes.
Clarity on what “progression” means is key here. Bright Engrams currently contain cosmetics (and gameplay items of only trivial usefulness), whereas progression generally refers to the player growing more powerful through gear or levels, or otherwise progressing through a game’s content. Linking such systems to loot boxes that can be bought with real money has every chance to be another huge controversy.
More generously, this might just be a poorly phrased way for Bungie to say they want to make those cosmetics more engaging to offer players long-term goals of unlocking new bits of gear. Either way, Bungie have seemingly thought twice about their employee needs, or perhaps their phrasing of them – the job ad has since been taken down.
The Internet doesn’t forget, however. Here’s a screengrab of the original ad, courtesy of the Destiny 2 subreddit, where players are expressing quite a bit of concern. The fact that Bungie want someone to “design and implement new features and systems with an eye on engagement, retention, and monetisation” might raise some ire, but the long-term grind has proven to be one of the game’s weakest aspects. Yet no one is eager to see an expanded role for loot box-style random drops as a key part of any game’s progression.