In an update on the studio’s website, assistant game director Joe Blackburn explained that the move was motivated by a desire to prioritise the health of Bungie’s staff and to meet the quality bar the company strives for.
Last summer, Bungie revealed three Destiny 2 expansions and committed to the game’s long-term future as a service title.
The first of those expansions, Beyond Light, launched in November 2020. It was scheduled to be followed by The Witch Queen in 2021 and Lightfall in 2022.
Announcing the Witch Queen delay on Thursday, Blackburn also confirmed plans for another expansion beyond Lightfall.
“Last summer, we outlined our ambition for the next era in Destiny 2 by announcing the full arc, starting with Beyond Light, followed by the Witch Queen and Lightfall,” he said.
“As we began to scale production on the Witch Queen last year, we made the difficult but important decision to move its release to early 2022; we also realized we needed to add an additional unannounced chapter after Lightfall to fully complete our first saga of Destiny.”
Bungie also has a lot in store for the game before The Witch Queen arrives, Blackburn said.
“Our ultimate vision for Destiny 2 still stands – a definitive action-MMO, a unified global community where you can play Destiny anywhere with your friends.
“For 2021 this means upgrading our approach to keeping Destiny’s weapon and armor game fresh, refining our vision for PVP, implementing transmog, and adding Crossplay.”
Blackburn’s post goes into further detail on these new features, including how and when Bungie expects to implement them.
Earlier this month, Bungie announced major expansion plans to help drive the creation of new game franchises and its multimedia ambitions for the Destiny series.