Destiny, Bungie‘s ambitious sci-fi shooter is a few weeks old. The monster release was not without its problems, but overall, the game appears to be a smash hit, bringing in over $325 million in sales in its first five days. One of Destiny’s largest features, if you’re inclined to call it that, is the extensive lore and extra options that are available online at Bungie.net and in its native apps for iOS and Android. While no means necessary for playing the game, the Destiny companion apps provide an extra layer of interactivity in the world of Destiny. In this post, we’ll take a look at the utility of Destiny’s companion app for both users and Bungie.
The most obvious feature of the app is the ability to review characters, whether they belong to the user or other players. For users, this is a way to keep track of progress and inventory, but doesn’t really add any value besides on the fly information. In Bungie’s defense, this is an attempt to keep players engaged with the game and more likely to purchase expansion content. However, more features need to be added for this to really add value to the overall experience.
Destiny’s currency system – whether you think it’s brilliant or broken – is available for you to review, along with character gear, right in the app.
The Grimoire is Bungie’s extensive library of lore to supplement Destiny’s story (or lack thereof). Cards are unlocked by completing tasks in-game and explain much of what the game doesn’t. While this is certainly a nice addition for those who enjoy reading, most of this should have probably been in the game to begin with. And if not that, at the very least be readable on consoles. Hardcore fans may get a kick out of this, but most people will probably pass by the veritable novel they’ve written about Destiny’s complicated game world.
The Tower Map
The Tower Map shows you all the vendors in Destiny and what wares they have for sale. Curiously, no prices are listed.
You can track Bounties from Destiny, but you can’t manage them from this part of the app.
Destiny’s companion app certainly adds a ton of content to the game, but there are a lot of unanswered questions and missed opportunities that come along with it. The purpose of a companion app is to add utility to the user, but a lot of features remain unimplemented. Item management is underdeveloped, which would perhaps be the largest draw of an app designed to supplement the game. All in all, the app serves as a way to keep users engaged with them as a draw for future DLC purchases. Destiny is a big gambit for the studio based on its “10 year plan,” so keeping players engaged with wallets open is critical for its long term success. The companion app achieves this end, but could be integrated much more into the game to keep users invested.