The timing of the announcement is too close to the VGAs for it to be a coincidence, but I'm still trying to figure out why they would announce it on their own a day before, instead of revealing it at the VGAs during their presentation.
The 9.9.2014 date, while aesthetically pleasing, should not be treated as a firm deadline. "9.9.2014" should be more reasonably interpreted as "Fall-ish 2014" since Bungie still reserves the right to move the release date around as necessary. So you might ask "why even bother to give a specific date then?" It's a PR game. Consider this situation:
Bungie knows Destiny is not where it needs to be for a Q2 2014 release (or, more accurately, a Jan-Feb beta... more on that in a bit). The VGAs is a big platform for them to show off Destiny and prepare people for it. Part of preparing people for it is telling them when they can expect to buy it. If they stick with a "Q2 2014" date they know they can't deliver on, that's bad for reasons that should be obvious. If they close with "Fall 2014" instead, the only thing people take away from it is "oh, boy, it got delayed." There's very little upside to that kind of news. However, if instead of "Fall 2014" you say "Sept 9 2014," you've ameliorated things: people aren't upset because it's been delayed, people are happy there's a (as far as they know) solid date. Bungie can still change the release date if it needs to; doing so would present its own problems, but it's a risk they're willing to take.
Related: does anyone know when Bungie announced solid release dates for Halo 2, Halo 3, and Reach?
With the beta so close (originally slated for sometime around Jan-Feb 2014), you have to imagine Bungie has been pouring a lot of resources into getting it "beta-ready" as of late. With this in mind, it's possible and even likely that the impetus for the delay had as much to do with the beta not being ready as the full game.
Let's be honest: Bungie hasn't shown us much of Destiny, and what they have shown (hyperbolic praises from employees aside) hasn't really been impressive. You could totally be forgiven for thinking the Old Russia demo was a re-skinned Borderlands expansion. Compare this to something like Titanfall, whose debut gameplay trailer showed immediately why it's different and why you should be hype (jetpacks! wall running! pilotable mechs!) with no necessary indulgence in apologetics, speculation or having to take people at their word.
Considering this, a delay is definitely a good thing.
If Bungie were still on track for a Q2 release, the two most plausible reasons for the scarcity of gameplay footage/info at this point would be (1) what we've seen is what we're getting, a depressing proposition, or (2) the theory with the most buy-in from members of this board: if they showed stuff, we just wouldn't get it. Neither is particularly inspiring.
A delay like this is an admission on Bungie's part that, yes, the game isn't where it needs to be. They're not showing us stuff because they don't have stuff to show (at least stuff that's ready for public consumption anyway). I think that's a good thing.
I alluded to it earlier in this thread, but I think we might be seeing Destiny taking COD's coveted Fall release slot. If you assume that Activision has an interest in Destiny and COD not stepping on each other's toes, a Spring/Fall setup makes sense. Fall is obviously the prime spot, and would likely go to the game that is predicted to sell better. This would relegate the other title to Spring.
I wouldn't be surprised if we're seeing a switch here brought on by COD: Ghosts' poor sales, poor reviews, and poor outlook.
Another explanation is that COD will remain ACTV's Fall blockbuster, at least for 2014. Destiny's early September release date (not the usual time frame for a big holiday release) might just be a compromise between giving the game the time it needs and not stepping on COD's toes.
- Destiny launches 9/9/14 -
- Exciting! - SigbiasSilva, 2013-12-06, 16:23
- Beta Launches Summer - breitzen, 2013-12-06, 16:25
- That's too far. - GrizzNKev, 2013-12-06, 16:27
- So who won Xenos's game? -
- I did by posting this before he had the chance to *NM* -
- I did by posting this before he had the chance to *NM* - Xenos, 2013-12-06, 18:23
- Looks like marmot1333. -
- Right on the Money! Nice! - breitzen, 2013-12-06, 16:37
- Looks like marmot1333. - roland, 2013-12-06, 16:50
- WHOA -
- Congrats marmot 1333! - INSANEdrive, 2013-12-06, 18:01
- Congrats! - Xenos, 2013-12-06, 18:09
- WHOA -
- WHOA - marmot 1333, 2013-12-06, 21:43
- WHOA - DeeJ, 2013-12-09, 16:36
- The important result. - uberfoop, 2013-12-06, 17:11
- Yeah!? I mean I know I didn't. But I've lost the link -
- Here. -
- Here. -
- Here. - Claude Errera, 2013-12-06, 16:45
- I was only 10 days off? I'm proud of myself. Congrats M! - Atsumi, 2013-12-07, 07:21
- Here. - Schooly D, 2013-12-06, 16:36
- Here. - Claude Errera, 2013-12-06, 16:34
- I did by posting this before he had the chance to *NM* - Avateur, 2013-12-06, 16:30
- Destiny launches 9/9/14 -
- Destiny launches 9/9/14 - GrizzNKev, 2013-12-06, 16:31
- I'm so excited! - breitzen, 2013-12-06, 16:40
- Here's what I'm taking away from this: - GrizzNKev, 2013-12-06, 16:47
- Yay! - Kermit, 2013-12-06, 17:42
- Destiny launches 9/9/14 - Egodude, 2013-12-06, 17:44
- I totally almost kicked everybody's ass - Grizzlei, 2013-12-06, 22:10
- INT. KOTICK'S PALACE - THRONE ROOM - ncsuDuncan, 2013-12-06, 23:44
- NINE MONTHS!? -
- NINE MONTHS!? - Cody Miller, 2013-12-07, 13:52
- Another 3+ months? Awww... -
- Oh, and 15 years to the day after the Dreamcast's launch! -
- US launch* - Schooly D, 2013-12-07, 15:12
- Oh, and 15 years to the day after the Dreamcast's launch! - ShadowOfTheVoid, 2013-12-07, 13:55
- Thoughts - Schooly D, 2013-12-07, 15:53
- Destiny launches 9/9/14 - LostSpartan, 2013-12-07, 19:54
- Destiny launches 9/9/14 - Hyokin, 2013-12-09, 03:15