According to Activision, Destiny has managed ship $500 million worth of units on day one of launch. This makes it the biggest launch for a brand new video games franchinse in history. Note the word franchise.
"Based on extraordinary audience demand, retail and first party orders worldwide have exceeded $500 million for Destiny," said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. "This industry milestone marks another blockbuster success for our company and demonstrates our unique ability to create some of the most successful entertainment franchises in the world. The success of Destiny, along with the recent introduction of Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone, is further validation of our unique capabilities to create great entertainment franchises from the ground up."
The key word there is 'franchise'. The Activision press release is rife with it. Because Activision doesn't necessarily launch games, it launches franchises. That mentality has always served them well. With Destiny they may well have birthed their next golden goose.
"Since the beginning, we’ve been confident that our investment and belief in Destiny would pay off. But not many people believed we’d be able to say it did so on day one," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. "Destiny is officially the biggest new franchise launch in our industry’s history. It’s also the highest-selling day one digital console release in history. We have more confidence than ever that Destiny will become one of the iconic franchises of this generation, and Activision’s next billion dollar brand."
There it is again — the 'F' word.
I get the impression that, for Activision, the true value of Destiny won't be in its launch day or even its launch year. It'll be in Bungie and Activision's ability to sustain and serve a broad audience with new content over the next five years. Is it feasible? In the long run will Destiny be as successful as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft or even Skylanders? Currently Destiny is riding a big wave of hype bolstered by a marketing budget that's seen the game on every advertising space known to man. The real question will be in Destiny's sustainability over the next decade.