Late last night Microsoft was drowned in a bunch of Series X and Series S leaks including the prices for both (a competitive $500/$300 split) and the release date for both, November 10.
Does that date sound familiar to anyone else?
Yep, that is the new, delayed date for Destiny 2’s Beyond Light expansion, and if this date ends up being confirmed for the Series X/S launch (everything else about last night’s leaks has been, pretty much), that leads us to a kind of hilarious, ironic conclusion.
Bungie’s Beyond Light is the Xbox next-gen launch title, replacing 343’s Halo Infinite, delayed into 2021.
Yes, a few things are true. Beyond Light is available on PS5 and PC too. And the following week or so there are a number of other huge “next-gen” type games launching, namely Cyberpunk, 2077, Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
And yet Destiny 2’s Beyond Light expansion is the only one launching on Xbox Game Pass, which is something that Sony can’t match, and something those other games aren’t doing, even if AC and Cyberpunk are on board with Microsoft Smart Delivery for next-gen upgrades.
Even in my Destiny bubble, yes, I understand that Beyond Light is not as significant of a launch as Halo Infinite would have been for Series X and yet wow, look how this situation played out. To recap:
- Bungie leaves Microsoft to make Destiny, leaving Halo behind.
- 343 takes up Halo, Bungie partners with Activision to make Destiny and does Sony exclusive marketing deals for it.
- Bungie leaves Activision and six years after Destiny launched, returns to Microsoft to replace 343’s delayed sequel for their old series to become the highest profile new Game Pass offering on Xbox’s next-gen launch day.
What a journey.
I’ve had some people ask me if they thought that the Beyond Light delay was done purpose so this exact situation could unfold the way it did.
I…don’t think so? Remember, the Beyond Light delay was announced in mid-July, and that was well before Halo Infinite was delayed, or had even debuted the rough footage that ended up causing Infinite to be delayed (that was about a week or so later). The actual Infinite delay was announced in early August, well after Beyond Light had been re-dated.
It clearly would have been a nightmare for Destiny 2 fans if Beyond Light hit Game Pass the same day that Halo Infinite also hit Game Pass on Xbox Series X/S launch day. That week was going to be rough enough already without also piling Infinite on the exact day Beyond Light was coming out.
Part of me wonders if that behind the scenes, Microsoft went to Bungie and said “hey, we may have to delay Halo, would you be okay with delaying Beyond Light two months if you’re our flagship Game Pass launch title on next-gen release day?” I mean, it’s a total win-win for everyone. Bungie delays, gets more time to work on Beyond Light (which they probably do actually need), Microsoft gets an attractive Game Pass offering from their old Halo studio, even if Halo itself is delayed. 343 gets to rework Halo and not launch an unfinished game due to next-gen timing demands.
Like I can see the conspiracy theory there, and yet I just don’t think the timelines really add up for all this. I do not believe Microsoft was planning to delay Infinite until after the Beyond Light Game Pass deal was made and the Beyond Light delay was announced. I’m not going to totally rule it out, and yet I do think it’s unlikely, and it probably just worked out well for Bungie rather than being some master chess move. I ultimately still think Beyond Light would be in a better position if it was able to stick with its original September date, given all the competition at its new November date. But yes, being able to launch with Series X is obviously a pretty great opportunity.
Alright, I’ll have more Destiny stuff later today because of reset. But I wanted to get on this angle after last night, as it’s kind of an amazing turn of events.