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Destiny Has a $500 Million Budget


Activision CEO Bobby Kotick revealed at the recent Milken Conference that the company will invest half a billion dollars into the upcoming “shared-world” shooter, Destiny.

This figure, almost twice the budget of the massive Grand Theft Auto V, includes development and marketing costs. The high cost is apparently correlated to a 10-year contract signed with Bungie over control of the franchise, which means Destiny is expected to stay around for a while.

“Bungie’s very ambitious plan is designed to unfold over a 10-year period,” Said an Activision spokesperson. “The depth of creative content, scope and scale is unprecedented and is required to bring Bungie’s vision to life.”

Activision expects Destiny to become one of their most profitable franchises along with Call of Duty and Skylanders. However it’s also expected that this budget will be placed on a single game rather than a series.

If the budget wasn’t a harrowing enough figure, it’s expected that the game will have to sell around 15 to 16 million units just to break even. Compare this to the approximate 32.5 million sold by Grand Theft Auto V, a game in a long running franchise.

“It’s a head scratcher,” Said Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia. “For brand new IP, it’s tough but it could post a big surprise.”

Destiny is set to launch on Playstation 3, 4, Xbox 360 and One.

Source: Reuters

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  1. anon says:

    Can we stop counting marketing as part of the budget, you don’t see any of that money back in the quality of the game.

    • Max says:

      That’s actually kinda debatable, as marketing usually translates to more sales. A game that has a successful initial run usually means support and bug fixes for a longer period of time (If it’s on a platform that allows that). Plus games that are multiplayer centered (As this one sounds like), the amount of people playing will have a very strong effect on the game’s longevity and quality of gameplay. Heck, I remember owning several gameboy games that had tons of multiplayer features that never got used because literally no one around me owned the same games; pokemon on the other hand, it was almost a guarantee everyone had some version of it.

      • anon says:

        Interesting thought. Still when you see 500m without knowing that most of that will be marketing you might find yourself wondering why the graphics aren’t cutting edge, the music isn’t perfect and gameplay isn’t made by a team that knows perfectly to make a game that is both easy to get into and really deep in the long run.

  2. Crowley says:

    Looking at this budget in the context that it will be spent across a timeframe of 10 years makes it seem more practical. It’s not like they’re going to be burning through the whole thing working on the initial release.

  3. serpen1 says:

    50 million a year is huge, don’t get me wrong, but it’s still not as incredible as Activision is hyping it up to be.
    There’s still not going to be a fucking PC port, meaning any “total reinvention of the shooter” is going to be limited for a decade on hardware already bursting at the seams with load times and shit frame rates.
    Regardless, Halo 1-3 were some of my favorite games of the last 2 generations and I hope Bungie can prove me a cynic and do something to prove me wrong.

    • Kyle Lawrence says:

      I actually really love the Halo series. Probably one of the most enjoyable game series I’ve ever played.

    • Comment Section Guy says:

      O look, another entitled PC gamer. How’s paying off that second mortgage on just your PC alone? Never mind the fact that it will become immediately out of date in a few months and you will never be satisfied with it’s performance.

      • Freakydemon says:

        Who’s this commenter and why does he say such mean things? Please do not bully ;_;

      • SpartusTana says:

        Oh, you mean the PC I built myself, that kicks the Xbox One’s ass three fold in terms of performance and graphics capability, for under the cost of that same Xbox? It’s going wonderfully, thank you for asking :) Also my PC is about a year and a half old, on a graphics card 2 generations old, and it still outperforms the PS4 and Xbox One…how bout that. :)

  4. goombagore says:

    This is fucking disgusting. I hope this game tanks and goes down in glorious multicolored flames. $500 million on the budget and here is the storyline: “Destiny will center around the journey of the Guardians, the last defenders of humanity, set to protect Earth’s last city. Guardians will be divided into three distinct races: Humans, Awoken, and Exo.” WOAH HOW BLISTERINGLY CREATIVE

    I wonder how much of that $500 million will be going to video game “journalism” websites so that they can get extra exposure and the vaunted ’10/10′

    • Zach Muzzio says:

      What about this game are you so mad about?

      • goombagore says:

        Glad you didn’t read my summation of its brilliant storyline.

      • goombagore says:

        Actually my bad. I failed to note its “post-apocalyptic setting” or exquisitely-named “the Collapse” of the “Golden Age”. But don’t worry–the “guardians of the city” will save the universe with “The Light”! OMFG so excited for this obviously not attempt to make boatloads of money.

        • Anon says:

          Did you really expect a massive publisher like Activision to take risks by being creative?

          Even something like this is a big risk for them. Also who gives a shit about a story in a FPS? Isn’t gameplay all that matters? Stay mad, friend.

          • Erik says:

            I think he is mad because for that kind of money you could get 500 million talented Indie game makers to make 500 memorable, fun games. Or just one FPS Stinker a la Bungie.
            If that doesn’t make you mad – why are you here and not on IGN or Gamespot?

          • Erik says:

            *I meant 500 million games of course.
            (Which is an exaggeration, considering Indie discipline. But still, you get the picture)

          • goombagore says:

            This chap Erik has it. You could go so many other directions, and still fund the gameplay competently, without resorting to “this is a bland Halo-esque world where you’ll shoot things and save the galaxy, and oh here’s some token RPG elements like picking a race because that’s stuff people do.”

          • Zach Muzzio says:

            You’re talking about the setting. Lettuce on cheeseburgers so to speak. You all failed to mention that that the developer (which tends to be more influential in the game creation than the publishers being that they’re developing the game) is Bungie. A company that has, more or less, made fun games.

  5. nabil says:

    atleast they put some money in a new ip for once, i guess

  6. Aeiou says:

    It looks like Borderlands mixed with Halo.

    Two overwhelming reasons not to play it.

    • Anon says:

      How is this Borderlands? I mean look at it, it has a proper artstyle that wasn’t stolen.

      • Richie King says:

        The whole looting system combined with a FPS screams Borderlands, at least that’s what previews have been saying.

      • EdgeWeiss says:

        It’s annoying that when an upcoming game includes features or ideas that can also be found in or were created by a shitty game, people give it zero benefit of the doubt, or at least some skepticism, such as “Maybe they’ll do it better than that game.” Right now there are a lot of people proclaiming that since it has co-op, loot, and is an FPS, it will be as shit as Borderlands, ignoring the evidence that Bungie has proven themselves to be a competent studio.

        God forbid someone trying to take existing concepts and improve on them.

        • EdgeWeiss says:

          Dammit, I meant to say “or refuse to give it at least some skepticism”

          • Aeiou says:

            I too think we should give Activision the benefit of the doubt, the makers of such fine titles as…


          • EdgeWeiss says:

            Of course you’d shoot back with “Oh but it’s Activision, any modern game they publish will be a pile of shit no matter what!”

            Yeah, I get it. You have to mouth off in practically every article that involves a big-name developer or publisher or a AAA title or else you can’t achieve orgasm, and you hate Activision for putting out shit in the past, which is a justified had in my opinion. But that doesn’t mean that this particular game they’re putting a lot of stock in (both figuratively and literally will be some sort of half-assed, rushed rip-off.

    • CaptainKing says:

      500 million and the best they could do was Grind-to-hold-triggers-less Shootan: Online, wow.

  7. For everyones information 500 Million USD is the gross domestic product of a small island nation like Dominica.

    Still waiting on EA to one-up them with the GDP of Somalia.

  8. Gatheryourtroll says:

    I have a feeling that this is will sell a good amount, but no-ware near the brake even point.

  9. To be honest, I have no idea how to feel about any of this.

    Destiny looks only decent for an FPS but Bungie’s track record and years of experience might make it better than expected. But then this info comes out and it seems like an unnecessarily high budget, but this is one that will work its way over the course of an entire decade. Then there’s Activision who has a tendency to be a terrible publisher, although Bungie wasn’t bought out for them to make this game as a subsidiary developer which suggests they have more creative liberties than Treyarch.

    If this indicates anything, the 8th generation is going to get crazy real fast.

    • :B says:

      Would enough people actually play for long enough time, to return the investment of $50 mil a year + profit? Would enough people really buy a game from 2015 seven years down the line for an eight year-old console, and enough of them to roll in $50 million just to break even?

      I can’t think of a last-gen console-only FPS that is still sold and played today, assuming it came out with consoles’ release. I can’t see this returning the investment, let alone make profit.

      • Richie King says:

        That’s what I was wondering, the only way I can think of is if they used a subscription model. And I recall in an interview that they were shying away from that.

  10. [Edgy Shit] says:

    Ah, the invaluable “put all your eggs into one basket” stratagem. It often pays off in the long run, from what I hear.

  11. a says:

    what if all todays video-game industry is just a big and complex money laundering scheme

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