Destiny 2 dataminers admit leaked subscription plan was a hoax: 'We trolled everyone'

Images from Destiny 2's Season of the Seraph
(Image credit: Bungie)

In yet another reminder that you can't believe everything you read (especially if it originates from unverified sources on the internet), a couple of Destiny dataminers have admitted that their discovery of a planned subscription service for Destiny 2 was in fact just 'trolling.'

Like many free-to-play games, Destiny 2's base game is free, but there's a ton of additional content like expansions, season passes, and cosmetics that you can throw money at if you like. Last week, however, the D2 Datamines Discord (via The Game Post) revealed the discovery of files indicating that Bungie had plans (that seemed to have been subsequently scrapped) to incorporate multiple types of premium subscription tiers in Destiny 2. 

(Image credit: Bungie (via D2 Dataminers Discord))

There was no information on pricing or content, but it was expected that the subscription would be somehow tied into the launch of the big Lightfall expansion, which is coming on February 28.

The reaction to the report seemed split: Not everyone was thrilled with the prospect of a subscription option in a game that's already deeply monetized, but some players saw it as a good idea, particularly for newcomers.

"I would think a new player would find the prospect of buying The Forsaken Pack ($19.99), Shadowkeep ($29.99), Beyond Light ($39.99), The Witch Queen ($39.99), and Lightfall ($49.99) plus two dungeon passes ($20 each) for a grand total of about $220 just to have access to 'all the content' a little daunting," redditor Ross2552 wrote. "Meanwhile here's a subscription you can sign up for that gives you access to all the content while it's active. It'd probably be popular and a lot easier for newer players to jump in."

"I hope it's a success," FlyingWhale44 wrote. "I know it would make it a lot easier for me to get my friends into this game if they could get a sub for a couple months and check it out instead of me saying 'Oh that? You need to buy X for that'."

It doesn't matter either way, because none of it was true. The whole thing was a joke—a troll—a lie. Elliott of the D2 Dataminers Discord copped to making it all up in a now-deleted statement captured and shared on Twitter by DestinyTracker.

"Was gonna just let this keep on going, but since it grew really large and people are actually worried outside of the server we just wanted to formally apologize and admit that we trolled everyone," Elliott wrote. "This will probably make a lot of people angry, but it was all meant to be done non-maliciously."

Elliott also promised that future "joke posts" will be labelled as such from now on.

That message has since been deleted, but another one, also acknowledging that the whole thing was a joke, has taken its place in the Discord's "Datamines" channel.

(Image credit: D2 Datamines Discord)

"It was really immature that I allowed the made up rumor to go that far and spread outside of the discord server," Elliott wrote. "I take full responsibility for my actions and shouldn’tve used my platform in that kind of way. No matter if it was a joke or not. I feel pretty awful and I’m sorry to anyone that is still upset over it."

You have to be careful about making "jokes" when you're in a position of authority or responsibility, especially when said joke is played completely straight and entirely believable. What I think is really interesting about this situation, though, is the reaction to the initial report—an awful lot of people seem to think a subscription model, properly implemented, would be a good idea for Destiny 2, which is not at all what I would've expected. The report may be fake, but maybe it's time for Bungie to take the step anyway?

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.