UPDATE: Bungie community manager Deej made an official statement on the leak on Bungie's forums, claiming that the leaked images simply contain placeholder icons for the upcoming missions and that Destiny's DLC is still being worked on.
When Destiny player Ben Kinsella fired up his game to slay some Fallen, he probably wasn't expecting to get a glimpse at what could be all of the downloadable content headed to the upcoming shooter. That's exactly what happened, however, as a strange bug that locked the player out of all of the game's planets also revealed new menu icons for a trove of potential new missions.
Kinsella recorded and shared his findings on YouTube over the weekend, revealing a Destiny mission map loaded with far more challenges than those currently available to players. The leaked content includes new Story, Strike and Raid missions for the game's core areas (Earth, Mars, Venus, the Moon and the Reef), as well as new multiplayer playlists for the game's co-operative Vanguard and competitive Crucible modes.
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Most of the new missions have an "expansion required" notice that corresponds to either The Dark Below or The House of Wolves, which are the names of the game's first major DLC packs set to start rolling out later this year.
So why is all of this upcoming Destiny content seemingly coded into the game already? It's actually nothing new to the industry. Downloadable content is sometimes included and locked away on a game disc at launch, allowing gamers to access new missions and maps the instant they're officially released instead of waiting for long downloads.
Some gamers view this as an unethical practice in which publishers purposely release incomplete games in order to charge for extra content, while others enjoy the convenience of instant access to DLC so long as the core game offers a meaty experience.
The potential of Destiny's DLC already being on the disc is backed up by an official listing on the Xbox Store. Microsoft's marketplace claims that the House of Wolves expansion only takes up 9.5 MB of storage, which is minuscule for a package that's meant to add new story missions and multiplayer arenas to the popular shooter.
Despite this, Bungie claims that Destiny's upcoming expansion packs are still being worked on, and aren't on the disc already. A post from community manager Deej on the Bungie forums says that the bug unveiled "placeholder nodes" for the upcoming missions, and that the team is still hard at work on The Dark Below and The House of Wolves, the former of which releases in December.
"Soon, we'll detail it out for you so you can see exactly what we've been working on," wrote Deej, regarding The Dark Below.
While you won't be getting any Destiny expansions until the end of the year, the game is getting some big fixes this week as part of its version 1.0.2 patch. In the current iteration of the game, finding a Legendary Engram (a special item that is decoded into a piece of gear) would sometimes result in getting some not-so-Legendary gear. After the patch, the game will always give you an item that matches the rarity of your Engram, essentially making rare goodies easier to acquire.
Mike Andronico is an Associate Editor at Tom's Guide. When he's not writing about games, PCs and iOS, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter. Follow Mike @MikeAndronico. Follow us @TomsGuide, on Facebook and on Google+