The hottest upcoming gaming title Destiny will cost $500 million, as reported by the publishing company’s CEO Bobby Kotick. The staggering amount could prove a new record for the industry, overshadowing even numerous big budget film productions. However, not all of the money will be spent on developing the game alone; a company spokesperson explained that the full figure includes marketing, packaging, royalties, infrastructure and other costs as well. Regardless, the huge investment is shaping a promising title.
Destiny is a new IP published by Activision Blizzard and developed by Bungie, responsible for the popular Halo series. It is a cooperative shooter mixing in some role-playing game mechanics such as player customization, different equipment, and special traits. It takes on a massively multiplayer format as well, by bringing players from all around the world together to complete missions or take down larger opponents.
With varied game play, shiny graphics, and massive multiplayer, the game has been one of the highlights of this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. The latest E3 trailer shows a player exploring a large destroyed city, the abandoned ruins of a human civilization taken over by alien enemies. It further reveals many new features, such as an online arena called the Crucible. This dedicated space will allow the players to fight each other, putting individual skills and hard-earned equipment to the test. Another new feature is the Director, a mission navigation panel for tracking active quests with potential rewards. However, such an information screen is often typical to many video games.
The new title definitely shows the ambition of the publisher. With all the bells and whistles, the $500 million dollar cost behind Destiny may not seem as surprising, but is still a big jump compared to Activision Blizzard’s past. The company has a long history of blockbuster titles, including the Call of Duty series, which have been dominating the first person shooter market for the past decade. Kotaku reported that the latest Call of Duty: Elite cost around $50 million, just one tenth of the new title’s cost.
The publishing giant is also responsible for the World of Warcraft, one of the most popular massively multiplayer online role-playing games. It was created in 2004 and remains very active today. The experience developing and managing such a huge undertaking definitely bodes well for Destiny, and many tested multiplayer mechanics seem to be making its way into the title already. Bungie, the actual developer, has also won the hearts of many gamers with its Halo series. The sci-fi first person shooter has proven a big milestone in the history of the genre, spawning a whole suite of sequels, books and merchandise.
Destiny seems to be in good hands and reflects the history of its developer and publisher. The team behind the title includes some 500 talented people across a variety of disciplines. Kotick expects it to be the publisher’s “next billion dollar franchise,” and the $500 million cost of Destiny clearly shows his commitment. The game is scheduled to release on September 9 across a number of platforms, including Playstation 3, Playstation 4 and both XBoxes as well. However, the public beta should launch as early as July.
By Jakub Kasztalski