Since the release of Destiny: The Taken King and the introduction of microtransactions, it's been heavily speculated that Bungie's old model of DLC was going out the window.
We now have confirmation that this is indeed the case. Instead of multiple expansion packs per year, players can now expect one large expansion on a yearly basis, to be supplemented by free DLC events with microtransactions (as Kotaku suspected months ago). Here's what Bungie designer Derek Carroll told Eurogamer over the weekend:
"With Taken King we are moving to a more event-based model — things like Festival of the Lost and Sparrow racing, which is our winter event, and then smaller events such as Iron Banner and Trials of Osiris every weekend.
"Rather than doing these giant, monolithic DLC packs, this way everybody who's an owner of Taken King can enjoy these things."
Such is the case with the Sparrow Racing League, which is now live for all Destiny: The Taken King players until Dec. 29. When asked if players would ever need to buy access to these events, Carroll responded by telling the reporter to "extrapolate" from how recent events have been implemented. In both of those cases, the Sparrow Racing League and Festival of the Lost, the events were open to everybody, with various new cosmetic items and emotes added to the game's microtransaction vendor.
Seems like this will be the practice moving forward, as Bungie scales down from shipping multiple expansions to shipping one major expansion per year (and a lot of little, free event DLCs). As for why? Carroll wouldn't say, only telling Eurogamer that there's "lots of different reasons."
The question now is whether or not these free events can keep players occupied in the time it takes for Bungie to release new zones, raids and strikes. The Taken King has been out for close to three months, but already, players have conquered everything Bungie can throw at them. If Bungie can keep the free updates coming frequently and keep them interesting, players likely won't mind having to spend more money on expansions. However, if the new content is forgettable, Destiny's large and vocal player base might not be too happy.