Destiny Might Be The Most Expensive Game Ever Made

Destiny Might Be The Most Expensive Game Ever Made

CEO Bobby Kotick has revealed that Activision is spending $US500 million to try and make Destiny a hit. That’s half a billion dollars, which is very likely more money than has ever been spent on a video game before. Dang.

Kotick’s remarks — which came in an interview with Reuters are a big deal, given how tight-lipped big video game companies are about financial matters. Anyone following the timeline of Bungie’s in-development game already knows that the expectations and ambitions for Destiny are huge. Among other things, there’s a ten-year publishing agreement and contract details that reveal just how much control Activision wants over the shared-world shooter. But, up until now, putting an estimate on the amount of money going into the game has been difficult.

To put some perspective on this, the money being spent on Destiny is more than twice the amount EA reportedly spent on Star Wars: The Old Republic and a little less than double the $US265,000,000 Rockstar paid to get GTA V made. The Reuters article cites analysts saying that Destiny will have to sell 15-16 million copies at $US60 to break even. So, the final game has to make a very, very good first impression.


  • That means it’s going to be extra hilarious when it only sells as well as Titanfall did (less than 1 million).

    • I’ll head off to New Mexico to get stared on digging a hole……….

    • This is our chance! We can finally bankrupt activision if no one buys this game!

      • I originally upvoted you, but then I thought about it. Activision is a multi-billion dollar company, they can stand to lose $500 million, sure it’ll hurt a bit, but they’ll survive. If this game fails, the one’s it’ll hurt the most will be us gamers, because they’ll decide to only make things like Skylanders and Call Of Duty sequels/clones, and not risk investing in any new IP’s.

        Myself, I’ma buy 2 copies, one for Xbone and one for PS4.

        • This is sadly true, I just wish, like, to be honest I’m happy they are taking the gamble by pouring such an amount of money into the game hoping it pays off but also at the same time I wish in the times where it doesn’t pay off that they atleast keep trying to innovate instead of retreating inside their box of what’s safe for the next 3 years.

          I’ll be getting it on PS4 anyway

      • Bankrupting Activision would be bad. For one, they employ thousands of people and it would suck if they all lost their jobs. Two, they do actually occasionally bring out some good, original games.

      • Can we also not forget that Activision and Blizzard are now one and the same? You’d have to kill Starcraft and WoW and Diablo in order to get rid of CoD clones =[

        • Don’t tempt me – blizzard have been peddling the same crap for decades now – COD is wildly innovative compared to Blizzard’s glacial output

          • I hear you, WoW has just been expansion after expansion with various quality of life improvements, D3 with the always online requirement pretty much ruined late game for me and I dropped it before they introduced Australian servers and SC2 while a very solid game brings basically 50% of the original SC with it in terms of units and mechanics.

            But even with all these faults for their 3 main IP’s I’ve got to say that WoW is still the most polished and easy to enter MMO out there, D3 has addressed a lot of their initial issues with RoS and the corresponding patch making for one of the best top down RPG’s on the market and finally SC2’s story completely and utterly sucked me in like no other RTS has done in quite a long time (especially with the HotS campaign). Blizz have been playing it safe but even while playing it safe they’ve been doing a better job than the other alternatives out there =\

    • Pretty sure that over PC, XBone and 360 Titanfall has sold over a million.

      This will sell on reputation alone and they are basically going to make something like a FPS WoW. They might not make their money back for 2 years, but it’s a long term investment.

    • Titanfall sold nearly a million (just physical copies) in the first three weeks, considering that was before the 360 release and the fact it was number one on the UK charts for some time in May I’d presume it was and is well and truly over 1 million.

    • Ima gonna buy myself a PC copy on release day.

      Im sure that day will never come.

  • What scares me about this is this. If the game bombs, that will make publishers even more anal retentive when it comes to publishing anything not titled with “Call of Duty”

    • That’s why Bungie has a 10 year contract with Activision guaranteeing them to make Destiny 1,2,3 and a bunch of DLC/expansions

      • From when that contract was leaked however, if after the second game has been released, that the franchise is not hitting sales targets, activision can pull destiny without penalty. Although while saying that, alot of what was in that initial contract has changed since but i wouldn’t be surprised if that get out clause was still there.

  • I wonder how much that’s split between development, production, projected ongoing hosting and marketing.

    That’s still a ridiculous amount to spend, and I wonder what lengths they’ll go to in order to get a reasonable ROI – getting into the top 5 best sales of all time probably won’t even be enough on that scale.

    Ah well, expect season passes galore and DLC in every corner – gotta get that money back from somewhere. Maybe massive sponsorship deals, with real time updating billboards in the game as you play.

    Ooh, ooh. Mountain Dew™: it’s your Destiny.

    • Can’t wait to get me some Dew, Doritos and Destiny. Sign me up for those season passes, DLC’s and skins.

    • That’s exactly what I was thinking. I’d draw a distinction between the cost of making a game and the cost of marketing it.

      • From what I understand, the general rule of thumb is that your marketing budget should be twice as much as your development costs. I imagine that Activision is big on ‘playing things safe/by the industry standard’ so you could guesstimate that their marketing budget was somewhere around the $300-350 million mark.

  • Does anyone happen to know for sure that Bobby is talking about $500 million for this first Destiny game? Or maybe his comment was referring to the 10 year contract they have with Bungie and therefore that’s the budget for multiple games.

  • All that money and they can’t spare a bit to develop a PC version? I’m completely uninterested in this on consoles, but a PC version I could possibly get behind. Until then, it’s a no-sale for me.

  • I’m not sure if we should boycott this and the next COD (double-whammy to Activision, two COD’s bombed in a row) or not …

    • I get more of a Borderlands feel from Destiny than a CoD one to be honest =\ I had high hopes for Destiny until I saw the most recent gameplay trailer which basically made it look like Borderlands with a new take on artwork and graphics.

  • $500 million is a lot but marketing/advert is going to be where the majority of the money is spent.

  • you should give destiny a chance; and buy it if it actually turns out to be a good game…

    ….and not buy the next COD regardless. speak with your wallet. 😛

  • Yet they still wont spend just-that-bit-more for a PC release….yet. Weird marketing focus this industry has, discrediting an entire platform.

  • This is why some people believe in another videogame crash coming. We’re spending way too much money on games that obviously won’t be able to make it back.

  • $500million and they can’t do a PC port.

    Ignore the platform with the largest install base. Wow.

    I just… I just don’t… Wat… I’m sorry, but that company’s logic baffles me.

    • I think it goes to show you how little Activision rely on PC sales. Then again they have always treated the PC as an afterthought and that’s how the PC market has treated them

  • Given how many “press events” there have been for this game I reckon you could flag about a $200m marketing budget easily

  • It seems like Borderlands minus the fun; I remember the last game I thought that about… Rage. Here’s hoping Bungie can pull of what id couldn’t.

  • what scares me is if this succeeds most other companies will copy the game style and we can kiss singleplayer goodby

    no way i am buying this game (doesn’t look that good anyway)

  • 15-16 Million copies minus however much they intend to milk out of people in DLC.

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