Recently thousands of copies of Atari’s infamous E.T. video game were recovered from a New Mexico landfill, meanwhile Activision, a company founded by Atari employees, continues full steam ahead on the game that very well may be the modern day equivalent of E.T. Time really is a flat circle.
The Activision game I’m talking about is, of course, Destiny, Bungie’s new open-world MMO-meets-shooter that Activision hopes will replace the rapidly aging Call of Duty franchise. Now, don’t get me wrong, Destiny is a promising project. Activision has mostly kept the game hidden from public sight, but the basic premise is intriguing!
Here’s the thing though — I should probably be more than “kind of intrigued” by the game considering how much Activision is spending on it. At a recent business conference, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick revealed that his company is planning to spend 500 million dollars on Destiny. By comparison Grand Theft Auto V, the current record holder for most expensive video game production, cost 260 million. The most expensive Call of Duties cost around 200 million. Oh, and that kind of lavish spending only started once those franchises were firmly established (GTA3 or the first Modern Warfare sure as hell didn’t cost hundreds of millions).
Destiny will have to sell 15-16 million copies just to break even, a number which is bordering on physically impossible. Yes, Destiny comes out on the Xbox 360 and PS3, but much like Titanfall, the next gen version of Destiny will be seen as the real version, and there aren’t 15 – 16 million Xbox Ones and PS4s on the market yet. Not even close. It doesn’t help that recent previews of Destiny have been rather unenthusiastic.
But hey, if things don’t go well for Destiny at least Activision knows where they can find some free landfill space.