Since Destiny first released on September 9, 2014, the ninth month of the year has become Bungie's hallowed ground for major releases. The Taken King, Rise of Iron, and Forsaken were all major expansion releases in 2015, 2016, and 2018, while the franchise's flagship sequel release Destiny 2 came out on September 6, 2017.
This year, September may become a battleground for Bungie's franchise as it staggers into the new content - as yet unknown - potentially releasing in its favourite month (and number). It was announced recently that Gearbox's much-loved, massively popular Borderlands series would be returning to numbered content after a spin away with some "pre-sequels" and side missions.
Borderlands 3, which we now know continues the stories of the Vault Hunters from the first two games, has been pencilled in for a September 13, 2019 release date, and looter-shooter fans are already salivating at the mouth at the thought of the billions of guns ready to pop out of loot crates. Here's the problem for Bungie - Borderlands and Destiny are two of the main looter-shooters on the market, and while the first instalment of the franchise dropped in 2009, and the sequel was released three years later, this time Destiny exists in the same space as the cartoon-stylized pathfinder.
Many believe Borderlands was the foundations with which Destiny lay its throne, and so it stands to reason there's a major crossover between fans of both series. Heck, Borderlands' cartoonish comic character Claptrap even seems like a precursor to the humour of the Ghosts we'd eventually get in 2014's release of Destiny, minus a bit of "oomph" because of Peter Dinklage's direction with the voice lines.
Here's another sticking point for the purchase - offline, story-driven, split screen co-op. That's the selling line for Borderlands 3. After so many games have gone for the "always online" route, including Bungie's franchise series, it's refreshing to hear that you can play this at your own pace without internet connection, drop-in, drop-out features, or even server problems, affecting your gameplay.
On top of that, the co-op features of Borderlands are unparalleled. If there's brothers and sisters, or roommates, or even just friends, who are trying to decide which one to buy, I know which one I'd get. It's a showdown between a title that requires at least two purchases to play together, plus an Xbox Live/PlayStation Network subscription, and a good internet connection.
Borderlands takes players back that 'old-fashioned' style of just two controllers, the game (one disc), and one console linked up to the television. Simply, and easy to sell parents, friends, siblings, and anyone looking to play alongside others on. That's where Destiny is going to lose if Bungie's September release locks horns with the Gearbox announcement.
So how does Bungie get around this? Well, announce when the heck they're going to release new content first of all. We're starring down a dark hole of content-less months at the moment, and it's only speculation that Destiny 2's big expansion is even going to fire in the later months of the year. There's a very good chance it will just be another Season Pass release instead of a Taken King/Forsaken style release, but the pass releasing is just as big as any of those.
In essence, Bungie must reconsider the release of their major content later in the year. Pushed it back any further, and Destiny's latest effort could get bogged down by major year-on-year releases like the popular football simulator FIFA, or the everlasting war-based first-person shooter Call of Duty. Both are juggernaut franchises that blow competitors out of the water without even needing to flex a muscle.
If Bungie brings forward its content, to around August, that could solve some problems. There's a month ahead of Borderlands ripping apart any competititon in the market, and people can crack through the Destiny content before dropping it for a few weeks for the world of looters, crazing robots, and psychopaths.
Do you think Bungie should bring forward their content calendar to avoid a major showdown? Or do you think Destiny has enough popularity and power to fight it out in the September slot with the much-hyped, and massively preordered Borderlands sequel?