Escapist News Now: Destiny Costs $500 Million

Destiny Costs $500 Million

In an interview with Reuters, CEO Bobby Kotick revealed that Activision Blizzard intends to spend at least $500 million dollars developing and promoting Destiny.

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Well the bulk of that sum will go into marketing the god damned thing and also bribing video games journalists so...

500 million dollars on a post-apocalyptic sci fi FPS MMO that only looks mildly different from past sci-fi shooters. And it's still probably going to make a lot of money.

This is making me cry, 500 million on a game? That is such a waste of money. My god if I had that kind of money, the things I could do with it. I'd be happy, I wouldn't be freaking out about student loans and finding a good full time job, I wouldn't be so depressed right now, fucking god damn it

That's just insane. whyever would you expose a studio to that much risk for a game? Can you imagine how many copies will need to be sold to recoup the investment? And on the front edge of a new console generation without truly deep penetration yet? It might pay off, if they are lucky. But it's still an insane degree of unneeded risk for any publisher.

faefrost:
That's just insane. whyever would you expose a studio to that much risk for a game? Can you imagine how many copies will need to be sold to recoup the investment? And on the front edge of a new console generation without truly deep penetration yet? It might pay off, if they are lucky. But it's still an insane degree of unneeded risk for any publisher.

It's not inconceivable at all, though. Each generation of consoles drives up game budgets, it's no different here. More players, more fidelity, more money necessary to break even. It's not like they're just throwing cash at a screen somewhere, it's a huge operation, only made bigger as games get bigger. Unless it bombs spectacularly (and it really cannot bomb spectacularly), they'll be fine.

faefrost:
Can you imagine how many copies will need to be sold to recoup the investment?

The estimate from the other article was 15-16 million, which is more than any Halo game. Seems like a risk.

Ferisar:

It's not inconceivable at all, though. Each generation of consoles drives up game budgets, it's no different here. More players, more fidelity, more money necessary to break even. It's not like they're just throwing cash at a screen somewhere, it's a huge operation, only made bigger as games get bigger. Unless it bombs spectacularly (and it really cannot bomb spectacularly), they'll be fine.

No, it doesn't need to bomb spectacularly for it to be at issue. Even if the above numbers are wrong, they're going to need a huge amount of sales just to see any return. And that's the problem with the current model.

I never understand these production costs. Crysis 1 was done one a 15 million or so budget the total war games are supposedly done on less than that. Both of those are technically far more demanding, at least at the time of development, on the developers than destiny.

so where are the costs coming from. voice acting? marketing? executive bonuses? :s

I was interested in Destiny....

But now Star Citizen's Arena Commander (Dog Fighting Module) is going to be released soon.

All over games are dead to me.

Zachary Amaranth:

faefrost:
Can you imagine how many copies will need to be sold to recoup the investment?

The estimate from the other article was 15-16 million, which is more than any Halo game. Seems like a risk.

Ferisar:

It's not inconceivable at all, though. Each generation of consoles drives up game budgets, it's no different here. More players, more fidelity, more money necessary to break even. It's not like they're just throwing cash at a screen somewhere, it's a huge operation, only made bigger as games get bigger. Unless it bombs spectacularly (and it really cannot bomb spectacularly), they'll be fine.

No, it doesn't need to bomb spectacularly for it to be at issue. Even if the above numbers are wrong, they're going to need a huge amount of sales just to see any return. And that's the problem with the current model.

Oh, I don't disagree at all, I just think that it's not all that weird that budgets of games - marketing or otherwise - are hilariously high. Give or take a couple of years, either the market's going to go through a restructuring ("crash" or whatever), or the majority of publishers and their properties are going to see a similar rise to this same figure. Most of the "big" names aren't that far off already.

But you're right, even if it does just above average it won't be enough to justify this kind of money spent. It all depends if this game's supposed to be a one-off installment with long-term support or a prospect of another re-usable IP. (Given Activision's history, probably the latter). I suppose it also has to do with how big their net is supposed to be for who might be buying this game (so far it's apparently everyone with functioning eyes and fingers).

id so get Destiny if thay make a PC game

Zachary Amaranth:

The estimate from the other article was 15-16 million, which is more than any Halo game. Seems like a risk.

It's also more units than the ps4 and the xb1 combined sold until now.[1]
And it's 5-6 million more units than WoW had subscribers at its peak.

What business model have they planned for Destiny? Buy to play or subscriptions?

Edit: I just realized that Destiny is going to be released for last gen as well... Now I think it's only a highly overblown budget instead of downright bonkers.

anima110:
id so get Destiny if thay make a PC game

I would probably too. Depending on the reviews.

[1] 7.4m PS4, 4.4m XB1 as of April 26th according to VG Charts

Sewa_Yunga:

Edit: I just realized that Destiny is going to be released for last gen as well... Now I think it's only a highly overblown budget instead of downright bonkers.

anima110:
id so get Destiny if thay make a PC game

I would probably too. Depending on the reviews.

This is precisely why I don't get the surprise people are expressing - last gen also had a dry run at the start due to its predecessors having a solid amount of steam still (one example I can think of is GoW 2 for the PS2). Just because the devs can develop for both since the leap isn't quite as great (at least for now) then who cares. I doubt the people they hired to do their market analysis are so shit at their job that they can't work within the estimated figures, even if it's not going to be the second coming of jesus. They have a reliable dev team, they have a reliable publisher, they have a good budget and have solid hypuu (and obviously have the money for it). Can it fail? I mean, yeah, but it's not likely that it'll be a disaster.

Especially given this is still the people who rake in annual CoD and WoW revenue. ActiBlizz is unlikely to have a shortage of income. If anything they're double-tapping both console generations right now (which is a shame, because Destiny could probably be a system seller).

Elder Scrolls Online costs 200 Million but has gamebreaking Bugs and input Lag so massive that after up to four seconds you wonder if it is still the lag or whether your command is ignored.

Throwing money at something does not automatically improve the situation. The only way to find out whether a Game is good is to watch its Youtoob playthrough.

It'll be an utter mess of a hype-fest. And, yes, it will very probably be a massive success, but I still expect a very average experience.

Sewa_Yunga:

It's also more units than the ps4 and the xb1 combined sold until now.[1]
And it's 5-6 million more units than WoW had subscribers at its peak.

What business model have they planned for Destiny? Buy to play or subscriptions?

Maybe they're hoping people will buy it on their last-gen systems? But that doesn't make sense either, since one of the reasons it costs so much is all the shinies.

Hm. I'm still going with "They didn't think this through very well."

[1] 7.4m PS4, 4.4m XB1 as of April 26th according to VG Charts

Stupid decisions like this is why I have decided that when I graduate in December, I am steering well clear of the game industry even though working in the game industry was my plan 4 years ago. Way too much risk, the games industry crash is going to come again soon. Lots of money = very little risk going to be taken = bland and unoriginal game. The Old Republic had meh sales, ESO for all its Elder Scrolls paint job is just another bland MMO. Too much money and zero room for innovation. I really do hope that I am inevitably wrong as I truly do love this industry and want it to succeed, but as someone who tries to learn from the past, I am not very hopeful about the future.

 

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