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Destiny Adding Microtransactions On October 13

A new currency called "Silver" will be purchasable with real money and will be used to purchase emotes.

Dancing is really right at the core of the Destiny experience.
Dancing is really right at the core of the Destiny experience.

It's always felt like something of an inevitability to me that Bungie would add microtransactions to Destiny. Well, Bungie has announced that they're finally arriving. Starting on October 13, Destiny players will be able to buy "Silver" via PSN and Xbox Live and then use it at Destiny's new Eververse Trading Company, where they'll be able to buy new emotes. Players will be given a small free batch of silver so that they can try the system out and pick up "an emote or two" for free.

There really isn't much more information than that at the moment. Bungie hasn't indicated how much Silver will cost, nor how expensive the 18 new emotes will be. While the studio does note that these emotes "won't impact the action game in any way," it isn't clear whether the Eververse Trading Company's catalog will stick to aesthetic goods or if it will ever expand to include things like armor, weapons, or gameplay boosts.

In the announcement, Bungie emphasizes that this program will serve to expand on the "surprising" new content that the Destiny fanbase has enjoyed in The Taken King. The studio specifically notes the plan is to use these microtransactions to pay for "more robust and engaging" updates from Destiny's live team, including an increased focus on world events.

Pictured: Two Destiny fans with differing opinions on the inclusion of microtransactions.
Pictured: Two Destiny fans with differing opinions on the inclusion of microtransactions.

For better or worse, microtransactions have become part and parcel to the modern MMO experience, and I'm pretty ambivalent about them. When done well, microtransactions can provide value to interested players (and a new income stream to the studio) without ever dragging down those players who'd prefer not to pay.

Of course, what a "good" microtransaction system looks like depends on the game in question. What seems pretty scummy in a full-priced game is much more reasonable in something that is free-to-play. In a highly competitive game, "boosts" and similar microtransactions can severely unbalance the game in a way that makes it unplayable for players who can't (or won't) pay, but I'm cautious about totally dismissing the argument for "convenience" micotransactions (especially as my own free time becomes increasingly limited). There really are a ton of variables in play.

Bungie seems to be hedging their bets with this announcement, and I'm not quite sure how to take that. This opening salvo of emotes seems unobjectionable, but the studio also hasn't made any promises about future microtransaction content. Given how Destiny has recently gotten its claws into me, I'm interested to see how they execute on this strategy... And if I'm being honest, I'm pretty curious to see these new dances, too.