The Prismatic Matrix was a system of some importance in Destiny 2. For those who are unfamiliar, it was the system by which interested individuals could get their hands on cosmetic rewards. Bungie Entertainment put a fair amount of effort into emphasizing that the Prismatic Matrix wasn’t a loot box-based system, but the fact that this had to be emphasized made it clear that there were a lot of people who saw similarities to such systems.
How Did the Prismatic Matrix Function?
Regardless, players received a Prismatic Facet each week when they leveled up with the Well-Rested buff after reaching level 30. Afterwards, they could use it in the Prismatic Matrix to get their hands on one random item out of the ten potential items in its weekly pool. On the one hand, this meant that interested individuals were guaranteed to get one item per week free of charge; on the other hand, this meant that interested individuals couldn’t be sure of getting the exact item that they wanted because the odds started at 10 percent. Having said that, players could use additional Prismatic Facets to get more items out of the weekly pool, which was particularly useful because the way that the system was set up meant that they couldn’t get duplicates. Unfortunately, there was still one issue in that interested individuals couldn’t just save up ten Prismatic Facets to give themselves a guaranteed chance of getting the exact item that they want because the limit was set at 3 Prismatic Facets. Of course, if they were willing to spend money, it was possible to buy Prismatic Facets at the exchange rate of one Prismatic Facet per 200 silver.
By this point, it should be clear that the Prismatic Matrix was very much designed to encourage players to spend money on cosmetic rewards. However, it was nowhere near as bad as some of the systems that have been set up in other games, as shown by the relatively decent chances for interested individuals to get what they want as well as the cap set upon the spending needed to get what they want. Still, the Prismatic Matrix was very much based on the same principles as loot box-based systems.
When Did the Prismatic Matrix Get Removed?
In Season 6, Bungie Entertainment made the choice to remove the Prismatic Matrix system in preference for putting in something much simpler and much more straightforward in nature. As a result, it is no longer in Destiny 2, thus making it nothing more than a point of minor curiosity.
Why Did the Prismatic Matrix Get Removed?
It is unclear why Bungie Entertainment removed the Prismatic Matrix. After all, it isn’t exactly obligated to tell interested individuals everything about why it does what it does. However, that didn’t stop people from speculating on the matter, which resulted in a number of very popular lines of speculation.
One, it is possible that Bungie Entertainment believed that its player base preferred to buy their desired items in a direct manner rather than make use of the Prismatic Matrix’s random system. This is because there are plenty of people out there who dislike anything that seems exploitative to them, particularly when that happens to be aimed at them rather than some other segment of the population. Yes, the Prismatic Matrix was kinder than a lot of other chance-based systems that have been built into games for the purpose of setting up revenue streams. However, that doesn’t change the fundamental fact that it meant to encourage interested individuals to spend more money than what they would’ve done under normal chances so that they could get their hands on their desired item in spite of the random nature of the whole thing. As such, it isn’t difficult to see why some people might’ve seen it as being exploitative in nature, thus making them less interested in making purchases in relation to Destiny 2.
Two, it is possible that Bungie Entertainment wanted to avoid any legal complications that might be coming down the road. Basically, there are more and more games out there that offer online purchases. On its own, this is fine. However, it is common for game-makers to use a wide range of methods to encourage interested individuals to make more online purchases. For example, there are some games that provide their players with a considerable amount of in-game currencies in the earlier part of the game before cutting off that supply, thus causing said individuals to become accustomed to using those in-game currencies before setting up a sudden drought to come along unless they are willing to pay. Likewise, there are some games that offer limited-time rewards for players to spend their in-game currencies on, thus providing them with incentive to buy more in-game currencies while such opportunities still exist. Unsurprisingly, there are governments that have been turning their eyes on how game-makers monetize their games, particularly since there have been more and more stories about games directing these practices at children as well as other segments of the population who are particularly vulnerable to them. As a result, while it remains to be seen exactly what will happen in the future because this is still a matter that is being worked over, it isn’t particularly speculative to say that various governments will pass various pieces of legislation to regulate the matter. Under those circumstances, Bungie Entertainment could be just getting out of the way beforehand as a precautionary measure.
Three, Bungie Entertainment might be seeking to prevent a PR problem of some kind from popping up in the future. This is important because how Destiny 2 is perceived can have a huge impact on whether people are willing to make online purchases or not, which has become particularly important now that it has switched over to a free to play model. Theoretically, Bungie Entertainment might’ve been able to defend the Prismatic Matrix by pointing out how it is a relatively kind chance-based system. However, there are a couple of practical problems with that. First, other people could’ve countered by pointing out that something isn’t good just because there is something even worse out there. Second, the fast-paced nature of communications in the Digital Age means that it is very easy for outrage to build up before facts can catch up, meaning that the latter isn’t necessarily a particularly useful form of defense.
Ultimately, we don’t really know why Bungie Entertainment removed the Prismatic Matrix system. However, what matters most is that it is now gone, leaving behind in its place something much more straightforward but perhaps less interesting.