Though Destiny 2 is a vast improvement over its predecessor, that didn’t stop its physical sales from slipping over 50% in the United States compared to the original in its first month. According to NPD sell-through data sourced by three Wall Street analyst reports (via CNBC), the sales from Activision and Bungie’s title are coming in below expectations.
Destiny 2 released on September 6, 2017 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, unlike its predecessor which released on both last-gen and current-gen systems. In addition, the NPD only tracks physical sales in the US and does not account for digital sales. Still, CNBC concluded that “even if Destiny 2 digital sales are up significantly versus the original Density, it is highly likely overall sales will still be down materially compared to the first title.” This is taking into consideration comments from Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and executive Dennis Durkin who said that digital downloads of the original Destiny around 2016 and 2017 made up 20%-30% of its overall sales.
When asked for comment on the NPD sales, Activision Blizzard issued this statement: “The original Destiny became the biggest new console video game franchise launch in history, and Destiny 2 surpassed the original’s records for engagement and digital sales in launch week. The Destiny universe will welcome a new community of players for the first time on PC on October 24.”
There are a myriad of factors that affect how well a game sells, including the reception of its first game. Destiny was criticized harshly at launch for being grindy, shallow, and lacking a good story. Its sequel rectified many of these mistakes, but that may not have been enough to bring people back or gain new fans.