Bungie has done a surprisingly honest AMA on Reddit to clear up some of the questions that the Destiny community has over its fairly sparse storyline.
In the Reddit AMA the un-named Bungie employee explained that the story was cut down in part over fears from higher up the food chain that it would not be as “easily accessible”. The departure of lead writer Joe Staten for a job at Telltale Games with seven months to go didn't help either.
“I can confirm that there were sudden and abrupt changes in the development of Destiny less than a year ago,” the staffer began. “There was tension between higher ups the entire time we were developing the title due to a lack of cohesion about the vision for the game. One side wanted this huge space epic, like an MMO Mass Effect and the other side was not convinced that would sell and wanted to pare things back to more 'easily accessible' standards. They were afraid too much story elements and cut scenes would drive players off.”
“Then Joe left and everything just fell apart. By the time we were seven months out to release, word came down that we were making massive revisions to the game's story,” the insider went on. “Huge portions of dialogue were excised and I think several recordings were redone to support the new narrative. Entire areas that would have been in the final game were removed, but some of the context wasn't, which explains weird reactions from NPCs and strange, unexplained motivations. We had a guy come in to write the grimoire cards who was given access to the original script with notations on what was cut and what needed to be revised in order to make this zombie of a game seem plausible.”
The source was also pretty candid about what was cut and what was repurposed. He explained, “All of the Last City factions had their storylines and dialogue cut, the Guardian's initial introduction to the Tower and the Last City was cut, and ALL the origins were homogenized down to the one originally used for Exo characters. Most of what was cut was planned to be re-polished into DLC, but it's all there on the disc. Not all of it is live on the servers, but it's all there on the disc. Some last minute art assets needed to be remade, which is what you'll be downloading.”
“It's an embarrassing disaster and not the game I thought would be published,” the source added.
The bulk of the Reddit discourse is available over on the Bungie blog and it is quite an interesting read for those that are currently playing and enjoying Destiny. It is worth saying that despite all of the issues that are highlighted in the AMA Destiny still turned out to be a pretty decent game anyway.