Destiny 2 game director Christopher Barrett and project lead Scott Taylor have gone on record confirming the death of the game's beloved Cayde-6, an Exo Guardian who has played a major role in the game's narrative up until this point, in the upcoming Destiny 2: Forsaken expansion. Cayde-6 also happens to be one of the series' most iconic characters, voiced by Nathan Fillion of Firefly and Castle fame.
Destiny 2: Forsaken is coming in early September, and carries the hopes of many long-time players on its shoulders. The expansion is Bungie's latest attempt to address the many Destiny 2 concerns the game's playerbase has with its direction, and is adding back random weapon rolls, Destiny 1's old weapon slot system, and a new gameplay mode in the form of Gambit that are all features implemented based on the feedback the studio has gotten over Destiny 2's first year in existence.
In the interview, conducted by Eurogamer, Barrett and Taylor were asked about the decision leading up to Cayde-6's death. The duo explained that the character is known for his witty one-liners and campy behavior even in the face of death, and that Destiny 2: Forsaken is Bungie's earnest attempt to steer the series away from that action-hero trope. The studio is hoping the expansion will set a darker tone for a series that grapples with a lot of big, brooding questions, and it appears Cayde-6 was a necessary fatality to ensure that the Guardians' nadir was successfully reached. When asked if Cayde-6 was really dead or dead "like in a superhero movie," Taylor said, "No, he's definitely dead."
They're certainly not beating around the bush when it comes to the death of a fan-favorite. According to Taylor, the team always knew it was going to be Cayde, and that his death had been planned for a long while. Fans had previously datamined information regarding Cayde's death, but Barrett and Taylor said that info was actually unrelated to the Forsaken expansion. Clearly, Cayde's death wasn't just a Forsaken-only event - Bungie had been tossing the idea around for much longer.
Now that Cayde is officially dead, it will be interesting to see how the Destiny 2 playerbase responds. Cayde was always a polarizing character who had just as many vocal detractors as he had supporters, and the event has people buzzing. If the aim of Destiny 2: Forsaken is to make things darker while also attracting some lapsed players back into the fold, it appears Bungie has found the right mix of intrigue and outrage to do so. Whether or not the expansion can actually retain its players is a whole other argument, but it's one that will have to be had on another day - and without Cayde-6, who likely would have had something very witty to say regarding the whole thing.