Does he come up with an alternative to Destiny 2?

The online shooter Destiny 2 is currently in crisis and the number of players is dwindling. But there was already such a crisis in 2016: Back then, Bungie’s long-time boss, Harold Ryan, had to leave. He founded a new studio with former Bungie employees. Big AAA games were promised. What about the “Probably Monsters” studio in 2023 and can we have an alternative to Destiny 2 from this perspective?

What was it like back then?

  • In 2016, Destiny 1 was in crisis: It became clear that Activision Blizzard’s master plan to release two DLCs and new parts of Destiny every year could not be fulfilled. Destiny 2 had just been rebooted and DLCs were canceled for 2016.
  • After 16 years as CEO, Harold Ryan had to leave Bungie and founded a new company, “Probably Monsters”, right in Seattle: many former Destiny employees moved to him. The name came about because when asked what they were working on, employees at the company could answer “Probably on monsters.”
  • The company’s idea was to provide an “umbrella” that would handle organization and management, while teams would work on large AAA games under their own “creative leads.” At the time, this was thought to be a strong idea; apparently Ryan was hurting “Activision Blizzard” and wanted to offer creative people a better environment.
  • Those were the days, Destiny 1:

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    This is how the new company was set up: So far, Probably Monsters has focused on 3 teams:

  • The Cauldron team – they were working on a “single-player, adventure-driven game” that would develop with and around players. The team consisted of former Destiny and God of War developers. However, this project has apparently already been discontinued.
  • The Battle Barge team was formed by former employees of Borderlands and Torchlight. You are developing an open-world co-op RPG
  • Team Firewalk was supposed to develop AAA multiplayer games.
  • A team is sold to Sony and introduces a new PvP shooter

    Is there already a game from them? Indirectly yes. The “Firewalk” team has now been sold to Sony. They showed their game “Concord” in May 2023.

    This is a PvP multiplayer shooter that is scheduled to be released for PS5 and PC in 2024.

    Teaser trailer for the shooter “Concord” from Firewalk Studios

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    A lot of money came from investors and new employees

    This was the highlight so far: In addition to the sale of Firewalk 2023, the company “Probably Monsters” also reported further successes in 2021 and 2022:

  • In a financing round in 2021, the studio was able to raise $200 million from various investors (via Forbes).
  • A financial report states that they have set a minimum salary of $77,000 and are relying heavily on home offices. It said the company grew 65% in 2022 (via businesswire).
  • 2023 was a year of setbacks

    What have been the setbacks so far? In June 2023 it was announced that “Team Cauldron’s” debut project had already been canceled. Apparently there was too much competition on the market for the single-player game (via geekwire).

    It was said that they wanted to keep the team employed, but a few months later, in September 2023, news came that Probably Monsters had laid off some employees (via geekwire). The exact number of employees laid off is not known; a request from GeekWire for a statement on the layoffs was rejected.

    It can be assumed that the layoffs primarily affected Team Cauldron employees, including former Destiny employees.

    Is there a Destiny alternative from Harold Ryan coming? It doesn’t look like Probably Monster is developing anything along the lines of Destiny. The closest thing to a Destiny alternative, the FPS shooter Concord, was sold to Sony, along with Firewalk.

    The Destiny developers’ project apparently suffered a setback and was canceled.

    The game that the ex-employees from Borderlands and Torchlight are building sounds like a completely different game.

    Anyone who hoped that Destiny’s ex-employees would soon deliver an alternative to the struggling multiplayer shooter will likely be disappointed. Even after so many years, there seems to be no real alternative. Ubisoft has announced The Division 3, but that is still a long way off.

    Although Probably Monsters has apparently raised a lot of money and employees over the last 7 years, they haven’t revealed much that’s really presentable yet. The development of such large projects takes a long time and people have obviously worked on structures and project ideas for many years.

    More about the current situation with Destiny 2:

    Destiny 2 has so few players that even matchmaking doesn’t always work – expert analyzes player numbers