How much does Destiny 2 cost? Rating the value of all releases

The debate about cost and value has been raging in the Destiny 2 community recently since the announcement that year 5 dungeons are only going to be accessible for those who purchase the Witch Queen Deluxe Edition. Today I am going to have a look at Destiny 2, the base game, plus all the expansions, DLCs, and seasons and look at the cost of each to see how much the cost has risen over the years, plus give each year a value rating.

Before we get into cost, let’s have a look at the conversation that sparked all of this, and it’s the news that The Witch Queen Dungeons are going to be only available to those who buy the Deluxe Version of the Witch Queen. That costs $79.99, and it’s the first time the Dungeons have been put behind a specific version of the game. I’m keen to get your thoughts on what you think about the Dungeons being put behind the Deluxe version, and also what you think of the value of Destiny 2 overall. Do you think it’s a reasonable deal, too cheap or too expensive?

Let’s dive into Destiny 2, and check out how much it’s cost over the years.

Destiny 2 Year 1

Destiny 2 Base Game (6th September 2017) – £59.99

  • Red War Campaign
  • EDZ, Nessus, Titan, Io
  • Strikes, Nightfalls, Cruicble, Trials of the Nine
  • Leviathan Raid

Curse of Osiris DLC (December 5th 2017) – $16.99

  • DLC Campaign
  • Mercury
  • Infinite Forest
  • Raid Lair – Eater of Worlds

Warmind DLC (May 8th 2018) – $19.99

  • DLC Campaign
  • Mars
  • Escalation Protocol
  • Raid Lair – Spire of Stars

Total = $96.97

Yea 1 will be remembered as a bit of a disaster for the Destiny franchise. Bungie dramatically changed the game to focus on a more casual audience, with the removal of random weapon rolls and moving from 6v6 to 4v4 in PVP, plus adding double primary weapons. Many of the features we had at the end of Destiny 1 had been removed and players were leaving the game in droves. The Red War Campaign was good, but the follow-up Curse of Osiris was widely panned. Things did get better with the introduction of The Warmind DLC and Escalation Protocol felt like a big improvement. Also in year 1 Destiny was made available for the first time on PC. Framerates and FOV were incredible, making it feel like a very different experience from the console, however, communities and clans were broken up and distributed across more platforms than ever before.

Overall value rating: C

Destiny 2 Year 2

Forsaken DLC (4th September 2018) $39.99

  • Tangeled Shore, Dreaming City
  • Gambit introduced
  • Last Wish Raid
  • Shattered Throne Dungeon
  • Trials of the Nine removed

Seasons pack $34.99

Season of the Forge (Black Armoury)

  • Forges activity
  • Scourge of the Past Raid
  • Exotics – Anarchy, Izanagis Burden, Jotunn, Le Monarque, The Last Word

Season of the Drifter (Jokers Wild)

  • Gambit Prime
  • The Reckoning
  • Pinnacle Weapons – Recluse, Oxygen SR3, 21% Delerium

Season of Opulence

  • Menagerie
  • Crown of Sorrow Raid
  • Pinnacle Weapons – Revoker, Wendigo, Hush

Total = $74.98

Year 2 was arguably the best year for Destiny 2 we’ve ever had. We had a fantastic campaign with the loss of Cayde-6 and the developments with Uldren & The Dreaming City. The Last Wish Raid was one of the best ever plus the introduction of seasonal content. We had 4 seasons in total, although Season of the Outlaw was essentially the Forsaken DLC which followed Season of the Forge/Drifter and Opulence. Bungie also reintroduced random rolls on weapons, making the chase for weapons much more viable, and like Destiny 1. Much of year 2 was spent undoing the changes in Destiny 2 from Destiny 1, including faster gameplay, 6v6 crucible.

Bungie was bolstered by High Moon and Vicarious Visions Studios at the time, supported by Activision, which means their content output was far greater than what we see today. We had the introduction of the Last Wish Raid, which went down as one of the best in history, plus 2 more raids later in the year with Scourge of the Past and Crown of Sorrow. The weapons were some of the best we’ve seen with Izanagi’s Burden, Anarchy, Jotunn, Le Monarque to name a few plus the return of Last Word, Thorn, and Ace of Spades.

A brand new game mode was introduced with Gambit and later we had Gambit Prime and The Reckoning as part of Season of the Drifter. We also had new locations introduced on the Tangled Shore and The Dreaming City, with the Dreaming City arguably one of the best destinations we’ve seen in the Destiny franchise. All that plus the Secret Mission for Whisper of the Worm and later Zero Hour for Outbreak Perfected.

Overall Value Rating: A+

Destiny 2 Year 3

Shadowkeep DLC $34.99

  • Moon location
  • Garden of Salvation Raid
  • Altars of Sorrow activity
  • Pit of Heresey Dungeon
  • Season Pass introduced (Free and premium)
  • Seasonal artifact introduced (mods)
  • Armour 2.0
  • Interconnecting story season over season
  • Base game made free-to-play (included strikes, crucible, gambit and destinations)

Seasons pack $30 ($10 each)

Season of Undying

  • Vex Offensive (6 player matchmade activity)

Season of Dawn

  • Sundial activity (6 player matchmade activity)
  • Saint-14 returns (Story missions)
  • Corridors of Time
  • Bastion Exotic Quest (including huge community puzzle)

Season of the Worthy

  • Serpah Towers
  • Warmind Cells introduced
  • Trials of Osiris returns

Season of Arrivals

  • Weekly story missions
  • Contact Public Event
  • Prophecy Dungeon
  • Umbral Engrams
  • Live event

Total $64.99

Destiny 2 Year 3 was the first year they operated without Activision, and therefore in comparison to Forsaken, the content offering did seem much less. However, one thing that changed in Year 3 was the interconnecting story season-over-season, with the whole year making sense from a story point of view.

Destiny 2 was made free-to-play and brought to Steam for the first time, which did help for the player population on PC, although communities were still fragmented from the original Destiny 2 launch as they were unable to play across platforms. Armour was given a huge overhaul and now we had armor mods, making build crafting much more viable, and over time more powerful mods were introduced including Warmind Cell mods in Season of the Worthy.

Two Dungeons were introduced with the Pit of Heresy, and then another in Season of Arrivals (which was made free for all players) with Prophecy. Prophecy was arguably their best Dungeon to date, plus players were taking on these challenges in fireteams and also solo too.

Bungie had to push the release of their next DLC bak to November 2020 due to Covid having an impact on development, which meant a 2-month delay and an extended Season of Arrivals.

Overall Value Rating B-

Destiny 2 Year 4

Beyond Light DLC $39.99

  • Europa (New location), Cosmodrome Returns
  • New Campaign
  • New darkness subclass – Stasis (aspects and fragments)
  • Deep Stone Crypt Raid
  • Removed Io, Titan, Mars, Mercury, The Farm, Leviathan
  • Removed Gambit Prime, Cruicble Maps, The Reckoning, Menagerie, Tribute Hall, Escalation Protocol, Forges, Zero Hour, Whisper Mission, Niobe Labs, Strikes, Vendors
  • Removed The Red War, CUrse of Osiris, Warmind Campaigns, Season of the Forge, Season of the Drifter, Season of Opulence
  • Removed The Leviathan, Easter of worlds, Spire of stars, Scourge of the Past, Crown of Sorrow Raids
  • Removed various exotic quests and replaced them with the Monuments to Lost Lights Exotic Kiosk in the Tower
  • Weapon sunsetting (Some weapons cannot be infused above power cap)
  • H.E.L.M. introduced
  • Engine upgrade

Beyond Light & Seasons $69.99

Season of the Hunt

  • Wrathborn Hunts
  • Hawkmoon returns

Season of the Chosen

  • Battlegrounds
  • New Strike – Proving Grounds
  • Umbral Engrams & Prismatic Recaster
  • Returning Destiny 1 Cosmodrome Strikes
  • Gambit and Crucible vendor progression improved
  • Presage Exotic Mission

Season of the Splicer

  • Override
  • Expunge
  • Vault of Glass Raid returns
  • Armor Synthesis (Transmog)

Season of the Lost

  • Astral Alignment
  • Shattered Realm
  • Crossplay

OPTIONAL 30th Anniversary $24.99

  • New Dungeon
  • Gjallarhorn Exotic Rocket Launcher, Catalyst, and Ornament
  • New Weapons Inspired by Past Bungie Worlds
  • Thorn Armor Set
  • Bungie Streetwear, Marathon, Unique Helmet Ornament Set
  • Exotic Sparrows & Ship
  • Emblems, Shaders, Emotes, and More

TOTAL $69.99 ($94.98 if you want to play 30th Anniversary)

Beyond Light was an expansion of major change for Destiny 2 with many activities, planets, moons, crucible maps, exotic missions, and strikes removed from the game. The game had become too big and difficult to manage for Bungie, and little bugs were creeping out here there, and everywhere. As well as the streamlining of much of the content, a new engine was introduced behind the scenes, which set the stage for the game to play on the new generation of consoles being PS5 and Xbox Series X, for the first time console players could get a similar experience to PC from a visual point of view.

Narrative and story were benefitting from the major investment, and apart from Season of the Hunt, seasons have gone from strength to strength, with the weekly story being one of the major things people just into each week.

Stasis was a massive talking point from the community, with many players complaining it was too strong in PVP, leading to lots of big streamers leaving the game. Stasis was nerfed hard and then slightly buffed again, but overall the sandbox feels like it’s in a reasonable place at the moment. The light subclasses also got a decent-sized balance patch too. The player population recovered well throughout Beyond Light, bolstered by Crossplay introduced in Season of the Lost, allowing players from Xbox, PlayStation, PC, and Stadia to all play together.

Activities and destinations went away, but we also had content come out of the Destiny 2 Content Vault including The Cosmodrome, two Destiny 1 Strikes, and also the Vault of Glass, the original Destiny 1 raid, complete with most of the weapons. Vex Mythoclast came back and was very underwhelming until it was buffed to be overpowered, and now it’s going to be nerfed again.

Trials got a rework, and the team has been experimenting with different variations of the flawless pool, matchmaking, and rewards. This led to an early surge in popularity

Overall Value Rating B+

Destiny 2 Year 5

Witch Queen DLC $39.99

  • New Campaign
  • Weapon Crafting
  • New 6 player activity
  • New Weapon type – Glaive
  • New Raid
  • New Location, Savanthun’s Throne World

Witch Queen Deluxe (plus seasons) DLC $79.99

  • All of the above
  • Exotic SMG
  • 2 x Dungeons
  • Exotic Sparrow

Witch Queen Deluxe (plus seasons & 30th Anniversary) DLC $99.99

  • New Dungeon
  • Gjallarhorn Exotic Rocket Launcher, Catalyst, and Ornament
  • New Weapons Inspired by Past Bungie Worlds
  • Thorn Armor Set
  • Bungie Streetwear, Marathon, Unique Helmet Ornament Set
  • Exotic Sparrows & Ship
  • Emblems, Shaders, Emotes, and More

Given Witch Queen isn’t out yet, we don’t know the value at the moment. However, there has been some recent talk of the Dungeons going behind the Deluxe version, which looks to be a new move from Bungie. I am guessing the reason for this is because Bungie wants us the Destiny fans to purchase the Deluxe Edition, giving them more revenue and it allows them to plan better, know where to direct resources, and can pump more money into certain parts of the game including investing in upcoming expansions like Lightfall and The Final Shape. They have talked about investing in regular content drops with raids and dungeons, as well as the crucible revamp.

Overall Value Rating ?

TOTAL $99.99

Looking at all the years of Destiny 2 side-by-side we have this picture

Year 1 $96.97
Year 2 $74.98
Year 3 $64.99
Year 4 $69.99
Year 5 $79.99 (or $99.99 with 30th Anniversary purchase)
30th Anniversary $24.99

I’ve separated out the 30th Anniversary given it’s an add-on, you can buy it if you want, but I don’t think it’s going to be core to the development of Destiny 2. From what I can see, the Dungeon included is going to be a meme-loot Dungeon. The Gjallarhorn is a major incentive to buy, as I imagine this plus the catalyst is going to be very powerful in-game, but it’s not going to be integral to the story developments of the main light vs dark saga.

Looking at the graph the cost is on the upward trend for all content, however, Witch Queen looks on par with Forsaken, which is arguably the best content expansion we’ve ever had. Back then Bungie had the support from 2 other major studios with High Moon and Vicarious Visions.

Looking at my playtime I have about 876 hours in Destiny over 4 years, which is approx 219 hours per year. Looking at the total cost so far that’s $306.93, which is $76.73 per year. In terms of entertainment value, I think that’s pretty good. Netflix for example costs $156 per year, and I think I play Destiny more than I watch Netflix.

The main issue I see with the cost of Destiny at the moment is Bungie clarifying how much things cost and what is included. The Dungeon debate has raged over the past few weeks. Personally, I don’t mind paying developers for great content. Saying that I’m also in the very fortunate position that I have the money to buy the game, DLC and Seasons. Looking at the stats for Destiny’s cost, yes it’s going up, but so I think is the quality of what they are producing. The story content is the best it’s ever been. PVP and the core playlists could certainly do with some investment, but Bungie has laid out their plans and I’m confident in the content we have coming up in Witch Queen and beyond.

Let me know in the comments what you think of the cost breakdown, and let me know what you think about the Dungeon debate!

That’s it for this guide for how much Destiny 2 costs. For more Destiny 2 content like this check out This Week In Video Games on YouTube and subscribe today.