We’re Out of Reasons Why Destiny Doesn’t Have Cross Saving
Picture courtesy of YouTuber Snake DST
Just yesterday, Sony announced they were lifting their block on crossplay between competitor consoles. Fortnite, the biggest game on the planet now, has taken full advantage, opening crossplay to all platforms, just in time for the release of its 6th season. Suddenly, a lot of potential has suddenly risen to the surface.
In the world of Destiny, a persistent gripe from players and journalists has been the lack of cross-saving. Keep in mind, this isn’t crossplay; it only means that progress on one console will be mirrored on all others on the same account. But the hypothetical reasons against it were the same. “There’s no way Sony will play ball” seemed to be the last word on the subject.
For those who aren’t familiar with cross-saving, I’ll describe the most popular implementation that most players have suggested. If I have a PlayStation and a PC, both attached to the same Bungie account, my character should show up on both. When I log onto PlayStation, I play with PlayStation players. When I log into PC, I play with PC players. When I earn gear in either, it’s earned on my character on both platforms.
Keep in mind that all player data is on Bungie’s servers; the studio’s already established that on their end, accounts are “platform-agnostic,” and not segregated by platform. Aside from not blocking cross-saving, Sony needs to do nothing for this to work. It’s all on Bungie now.
This will undoubtedly take a lot of work from Bungie to get working. They’ll need to make huge changes to their infrastructure, and even how the game works. I don’t know how it works, but I know it’s probably 10x as complicated as I imagine it is. It could conceivable take hundreds, even thousands, of man-hours to get this rolling. So why should Bungie spend time on this? Let me make the case.
I started Destiny 2 on PS4. Since the game launched without its PC version, this was my only option not to be left behind on Day 1. Even after the PC version was released, I stayed on PS4, juts for the sake of having a clan. I was clearing Raids regularly and even managed to nab a Flawless Trials run early on. My character was absolutely decked out in the full Flawless Trials gear, with the Raid shader coating every inch of my body in gold.
But come Curse of Osiris, players got bored, my clan evaporated, and I was left alone. Suddenly, I was a PC gamer stuck on a console that was playing at 30 fps, with a controller I didn’t particularly care for. I stuck with Destiny, but I didn’t stick with PS4.
By the time Warmind released, I’d picked up the game on PC. Over the course of the expansion, I prepared my character for Forsaken. And once Forsaken launched, I was thrust into the glory that is its properly deep grind. But this time, in glorious 4K 60fps in HDR. I love my PS4 Pro, but it never stood a chance.
I’m digging on my PS4, but here’s the problem: I still want to play on it. I still have friends on PS4 I’d love to play with, players I’ve Raided, fragged and partied with for years, from whom I’m now stranded.
Forsaken’s grind is deep enough that grinding out my characters on PC takes up all my free gaming time. It isn’t practical for me to 50-50 duties with my PS4 account because, well, the math gets pretty grim. My characters are both progressing at half the rate they would otherwise; I’m working twice as hard for the same progress. Every hour I’m playing on PS4 is an hour that my PC account won’t be progressing. Even if I made a pact with a Gaunter O’Dimm and traded my soul for 48-hour days, I wouldn’t want to do this. It’d be an unfun slog.
So, this is a personal problem. But it’s also Bungie’s problem. Because this math works out so poorly, I can’t justify giving them $70 for this year of Destiny on PS4. After talking to people across multiple Destiny-focused Facebook groups, it seems there are quite a few players stuck in this same conundrum.
If I can play the same character on PS4 and PC, I will absolutely shell out $70. And I’m willing to bet hundreds of thousands of players will, too. It’s been a persistent and repetitive request from the Destiny player-base since before the game even released. And every single year, we get dozens of Reddit posts and articles absolutely baffled as to why this isn’t a thing.
This is a potentially huge quality of life bonus and with Sony laying down arms on crossplay, we’re running out of reasons why it’s not here yet. If the only holdout is Bungie themselves, I get it. Greenlighting this probably means a lot of work has to be done to the game’s plumbing. But it’s something players want; and unlike most player requests, this is something that directly puts extra revenue in Bungie’s pockets.
It’s a win-win for Bungie and players. And it’s a win-win for my PS4 and PC.