Why Bungie killed off Cayde-6 in Destiny 2

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Why Bungie killed off Cayde-6 in Destiny 2

In one of E3 2018's most shocking moments, it looks like the Hunter Vanguard's luck has finally run out.

Of all the characters in the universe of Destiny, Cayde-6 has been one of the series’ most popular. The wise-crackin’ Hunter Vanguard has been one of Bungie’s most recognizable faces (and voices, thanks to the inimitable Nathan Fillion) for years — so why did they just kill him off during our E3 2018 Showcase?

We caught up with the project lead on Destiny 2: Forsaken, Scott Taylor, to get some answers.

Destiny 2: Forsaken

PlayStation.Blog: Tell me about the internal discussion about killing off Cayde-6. Who pitched the idea first, and what was the room’s reaction?

Scott Taylor: There wasn’t a single lightning moment where someone unveiled a grand design about killing Cayde. It was much more organic than that and developed from a series of ideas we were trying to explore. We wanted to tell a story with huge stakes, but have those stakes be really personal to the player. We’ve done aliens trying to destroy the universe with the consequences of failure resulting in catastrophe. What if we could get that feeling with something closer to home, and more relatable? That was appealing.”

We started discussing what we cared about as Guardians, and it became clear that the Vanguard had really come alive as characters for our fans. So each of the expansions over the last year have focused on them: Ikora in Curse of Osirsis, Zavala in Warmind and now Cayde in Forsaken. We haven’t taken a player off the board like this before, and we realized that the loss of Cayde would mean more to the Player than any other possible external threat we could think of. All the ideas came together and formed what became Forsaken.

Reaction to this has been all over the place across the studio. Some people are mad, sad, frustrated, excited. We think that’s appropriate. It’s a big deal, and we’re taking it seriously.

PSB: Is this going to be the main thread that carries us through the story of Forsaken?

ST: Cayde dying sets everything into motion. The Player wants revenge and as they seek it out they begin to blur the line between what is right and wrong. The Player makes alliances they normally wouldn’t in order to wipe out their enemies. You see who killed Cayde – all of them, from the Barons to Uldren – and now they’re on your list. As you check the names off you learn more about Uldren and what he is looking to achieve.


PSB: This feels like a pretty big shift for Uldren — in the first game we knew he was kind of a jerk, then he kind of disappeared after the events of The Taken King… now he’s made quite the reappearance. How long has the team been planning for this to be where he returns?

ST: We’ve been working on this direction with Uldren for awhile. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there’s more going on with him than meets the eye. He’s the hero of his own story. You learn a lot about what’s motivating Uldren, and where he’s been, as you play Forsaken.

PSB: Any word on his sister’s status / whereabouts?

ST: I don’t want to get involved in the family affairs of the Sovs. You saw what happened to Cayde.

PSB: Were any other characters on the chopping block initially when the Forsaken story started heading in this direction?

ST: Cayde always felt right once we landed on this story. His death sets the table for the journey we want to take players on. I can’t imagine any other character hitting with as much impact. It’s striking to me that we’re leading with a character death for a Destiny game, because I think it shows that we’ve established characters that are meaningful to people. It’s sad to say goodbye to Cayde, but this raises the stakes for everything. This is a living world and we are pulling Cayde out of the Tower forever. Now we have to challenge ourselves to bring in new characters that can flesh out the universe even more. We need to be taking chances with our storytelling and not playing it safe.”

PSB: This may be the darkest, most personal premise we’ve seen in Destiny thus far. Why did the team decide to take the story in this direction?

ST: It’s important to grow and stretch different muscles. We need to be able to surprise players and evolve the universe. The stories of Uldren, Cayde and the Player came together in this really powerful way that felt like it could only be told by getting personal. Grittier than before. We are excited to embrace it and we hope our players are, too.


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  • Jesus Christ, I know it’s not a big deal to everyone but I actually haven’t made it that far through the game yet. Maybe don’t post a SPOILER as the headline on the main page of the damn blog! Are you gonna give me a refund on the game you sold me AND THEN SPOILED FOR ME? No. Didn’t think so.

    • They are talking about the E3 trailer for the new DLC coming in September. The trailer appears to have Clyde 6 being shot and killed.

    • It’s literally in the trailer. Also it doesn’t spoil anything in the game’s story as it doesn’t even relate to anything that happens in it. And it’s been out since September man.. If you haven’t even made it through the campaign by now you obviously don’t care any way.

    • i’m baffled how you manage to even get likes. You can clearly see they’re talking about the E3 trailer for the upcoming DLC jheez. Plus your reading a blog about something you aint even completed ( Released date September 2017) and yet you wanna say its spoilers haha

    • Yes because everyone plays a new game as soon as it’s released and finishes it in the same month. Maybe the 13 year old players with near unlimited free time sure. I’m lucky if I can even get an hour on some days to play any game.

    • For you people that are being rather rude towards PJB-11 about it being in trailer, and its on the blog and so forth…

      It’s in the headline of a blog post that is on a site that handles information about tons of different games. PJB-11 may not even have looked for Destiny 2 info when he went on but he is greeted with a big fat headline saying “Why Bungie killed off Cayde-6 in Destiny 2” It is spoiler, and it is ruining the story content for people who do not want story information about upcoming DLC’s.

      test4eman you are a perfect example of people not using their brain.

      “You can clearly see they’re talking about the E3 trailer for the upcoming DLC” – You see that when you are on the blog post.

      “Plus your reading a blog about something you aint even completed” – They already ruined it by having it in the headline on the front page of the blog. If we follow your logic we should not read on playstation blog at all. Even though it is a place that should share lots of other info than spoilers.

      Playstation Blog staff could EASILY avoid this by making a headline stating “Destiny 2 Forsaken story interview (spoilers)” or something similar. Anyway point being you people are not smart at all, downtalking a person for voicing his opinion that they spoil story on the blog. Also Bungie in general is so far gone that they show these type of plot info in trailers. That tops the stupidity. The stories of Destiny 2 and DLC’s are so short that by giving such a spoiler they have made the story worthless aspect of a DLC that they put rather high pricetag on.

    • There’s a reason I don’t watch anything E3 related and avoid trailers. I’m “baffled” as to how you presume I’d already watched it.

  • Always a good idea to get rid of the best character in the game…

  • Cause they want the game to die? Killing the best character. GG bungie you morons.

    • I think you miss the point of writing 101, killing a loved character draws you if it’s done correctly. Noone stopped watching game of thrones when Ned, Rob stark died. They just became more emotionally determined that the killers got what’s coming to them.

      Get mad all you like, i think it’s crucial the destiny world changes and evolves, Gauls invasion failed to do that as all was alright in the end. This one you know WONT be okay and things will change, I am perfectly happy with that.

    • What??? Rob Stark dies? [DELETED]

  • I really do like the comedic wit Cade brought to the game,especially the banter that started in the taken king. Cade and eris morn are by far my favourite npc’s and it’s sad he’ll be gone.

    that said as a player with over 2000 hrs of playtime I actually care surprisingly little about the story and this isn’t actually going to make me care more as perhaps bungie would hope ?

    The game is,has and always will be about gunplay for me and it has that in spades (sorry Cade for you and your ace of spades) it’s about playing with people and shooting stuff in a community of like minded people and that’s not going to change for me.

  • Am like, you’re like, it’s like, we’re like, they’re like….. For f**ks sake give this damn ‘like’ business a rest. Sick of hearing it, kids to adults, US to UK, it’s become an epidemic.

    Coupled with the voice fry and constant upspeak (that’s just as bad), it’s becoming unbearable to hear or have a conversation with anyone these days. Half the time throughout that video I didn’t know if they were telling or asking me something. There is nothing remotely ‘cool’ about the pathetic ‘Hill Valley Girl’ way of talking, especially in adults. Grow up.

    But about the game, haven’t bought Destiny 2 after telling myself never again. The underhanded behaviour of Bungie from the first, the constant grind, dumb loot drop system, sneaky microtransactions, no proper teaming mechanism and the savagely rip-off DLC prices poisoned my whoe view of Destiny.

    Heard a lot of bad about Destiny 2 and how it’s still a mass grind and that a fair bit of the first game has been re-used again.

    After many of you here have played it, would you say it’s worth a purchase in a sale or stay well away?

    • I too get frustrated by the word “like” overly used not in context. I used it in it’s original meaning as it was also used correctly in the article. Who is this rant aimed at ? Oh the video oops face palm !

      i agree first 10 seconds used twice and continued there on. So bad

    • To answer your question about if it’s worth picking up I would say depends on if you enjoy FPS and also if you enjoy repartition. It’s VERY repetitious by nature the other game that is just as grindy and fun that I play is Diablo 3. If you are curious pick it up cheap without the dlc and form your own opinion and forget about the stuff people say who don’t even play the game. It’s a great game at it’s core but definitely not for everyone. It’s easier to get into than the division due to the lack of complexity in builds but that is either a potential good or bad thing and completely down to personal preference.

    • Oh you are a d1 player sorry I am bad at reading today.

      bungie have been trying to improve the game at it’s core and the last two patches actually made the game much better overall. The latest patch added extra perks to the exotic weapons that previously were very underwhelming and transformed them into true exotics. It’s more of a spoilt for choice scenario now, the patch before that made movement much faster I know that sounds small but actually made a big change in how slick and powerful you feel as a guardian.

      It’s been rough for d2. I think activision has to take some blame with greed and micro transactions and the word is the development had a major overhaul that really made the game suffer and continues to do so. It’s similar to the d1 story and slowly getting better over time.

    • Wait for the “legendary edition” of Forsaken. At least you’ll get your money’s worth (base D2, expansion 1&2, Forsaken) then you can mull over wanting to pay another £30 for the “annual pass” for the possibility of Gjallarhorn being added to the loot table…

  • First it is stupid to Kill a character during a trailer, it would be so much more meaningfull and imapctfull during Gameplay, secondly the new arrivals on destiny 2 (never palyed destiny before) do not even know who Uldron is or have any connection to cayed-6. It seems bungie that set destiny 2 for the casual player and those that have never played destiny before seen all of them leaving and now focusses on old players, that is not a bad thing but companyes that set back theyr word stop on seem realiable…

    • You forgot the scannable ship in Warmind in the glacial drift lost sector*

      *Yes, they’re expecting you to have bought the first expansion pass to have a slight idea who Uldren is lol

  • Theyre 9-11’ing the disenfranchised fans in the hope of distracting them and fleecing them of their money LMAO

  • Honestly I didn’t watch the trailer of Forsaken DLC so putting it on the headline is actually an annoying spoiler.

    I know it adds more interest by having it in the trailer (still haven’t seen it) but personally I think that trailers shouldn’t include such plot twists.

    Anyway thanks for letting know the story in Forsaken, what is the point of buying it now?

    Just kidding I know there will be content but really they talk about meaningful events yet they spoil said meaningful event several months before…

    Just my thoughts.

  • Shouldn’t it read: Why Bungie killed off Destiny 2

  • I agree with bungies decision on this….change is an important factor in story telling and destiny has been terrible in the story telling department, this is an opportunity to give the story meaning.

    Since day one destinys story is vanguard sitting behind a desk say ‘gaurdian, there is this imminent threat, go out and kill it’s. It was boring, lazy and made me not care about anyone in destiny, just loot loot loot.

    Now there’s a chance to do something worthwhile, they killed the best NPC to do it, they better not screw it up.

  • Ah, the most memorable game character of the generation, Cayde 6……. from some game called Destiny 2, apparantly there was a Destiny 1 too?

  • I was gonna buy Destiny 2 soon cause i liked the first one, but niet without the best thing about the game being gone im not gonna anymore.

  • But didnt everyone love that character over all else?

    And dont you normally save shocks so they can be shocks?

    unlss you wanted to draw people in with a shock?

    so this was a cheap stunt to get poeple playing again?

    you killed off the most beloved character to incite anger in the player and then expected them to be angry with the fictional culpret rather than you? … :facepalm:

  • Sorry Bungie. You have not created charaters. You’ve created a single character, and now you’re killing it. Writing 101 does not apply here, because your story has no other character easily relatable to. You will fail utterly in developing any of the existing living characters to fill the void left by killing Cayde because we just donĺ care about souless Zavala Ikora etc. I’m more invested in Saint-14 than these bland characters. Your one option would be Mara Sov. But again, she is not someone people relate to, just someone people are interested because she has absolutaly no story, just a mystery. Waiting to see what happens. But it looks like Destiny will become Counter Strike. No real emotional investment left. Just some pvp matches every now and then. And just as i’m finishing up, the exo stranger (Elsie) would be more interesting than Mara… But we know you’re not touching that in Destiny 2.

  • Yeah because the story is why people play destiny. I am still not sure what happened in the first game and I played it through for each class. Now this time I know what happened, but i dont care, and the end game is sorely lacking.

  • The story so far: blah blah, the guy from firefly likes the sound of his own voice, look there are shiny things. Not judging, I played the crap out of the first destiny. I play destiny for very different reasons to horizon zero dawn, for example. The story is inconsequential.

    • I’m more surprised there’s anyone who cares about what passes for a story in the Destiny series. It’s not anywhere near being a story-driven game.

  • He was the funniest of the bunch but there is so little story and character development in the series that they really are just fictional characters I couldn’t care less about. As much as I love the series in its technical aspects, the lore, or lack thereof, never moved me.

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