The Destiny expansion The Taken King featured a corporate partnership with Red Bull that offered players consumable XP boosts and timed-exclusive access to a minor but time-exclusive quest line, in exchange for drinking (or, at the very least, buying and then pouring out) its foul-tasting concoction. For Destiny 2, Activision and Bungie is doubling down on that strategy with two new, equally-irrelevant sponsorship deals.
Energy drinks are still on the roster but this time around it's Rockstar's turn. The purveyor of heavily-caffeinated, super-sugary syrup that can kill you prematurely if you're not careful will launch a series of Destiny 2-themed "premium cans" in the US, UK, Canada, and Germany, that will include codes for in-game gear and entry into draws with daily and weekly prizes, plus a grand prize that includes Destiny 2-themed motorcycles. Because motorcycles are a bit like the 'Sparrows' you ride around in-game. I dunno. Because money.
But let us not underestimate the importance of the bland and doughy to this powerful Confluence of Brands: Specially-marked boxes of Pop-Tarts, which will feature "custom-designed, collectible packs highlighting each Guardian Subclass," will have their own special codes for XP boosts, launching your characters into high-level status like a cheap, tasteless pastry "popping" out of the toaster.
"Whether you’re pushing back against Ghaul’s invading foot soldiers, or forcing your opponents to eat crow in PvP, Rockstar and Pop-Tarts are a perfect complement to your adventures in Destiny 2 and beyond," Activision said.
No offense to whoever at Activision came up with that little firecracker, but I think that one really is phoned in from another galaxy. The Red Bull quest in The Taken King was at least incorporated into the game vaguely naturally. (It gave the Dying Light guys something to poke fun at too, which I really enjoyed.) Rockstar and Pop-Tarts may be "renowned lifestyle" brands but their relevance to Destiny is zero. And let's be honest about it: These are just microtransactions that you have to go to the store for.
(And yes, that's taken from a real quote. "In collaboration with Rockstar Energy Drink and Pop-Tarts, we chose strategic, renowned lifestyle partners in major markets to bring the Destiny 2 universe to life,"Activision senior vice president of production management Byron Beede said. "We're bringing these partners together to complement the overwhelming excitement of Destiny 2's launch with benefits that reward players both inside and outside of the universe." Wowzah.)
In case that's not cynical enough, enjoy the Game of Thrones reference in this Pop-Tarts tweet.
How do you do, fellow kids?
Destiny 2 comes to the PC on October 24. To enjoy something that is relevant to the game, catch up with our complete rundown of all the lore right here, which actually points to a rich, deep sci-fi universe. Or read our impressions of the recent console beta, the verdict from which was positive but with the need for some balancing tweaks. From the sounds of it, Bungie has been implementing some of that feedback in time for the PC beta later this month, so it'll be interesting to see how that changes the flavor. (Hopefully not to 'Unfrosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon'.)