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#1 Edited by mikey87144 (1664 posts) -

Saw this over on Polygon and I'm a bit floored by that. That's a lot of money to throw at a new IP. Granted Bungie is a proven studio but still, that's A LOT of money to throw at one game. This story reminds me of Avengers. Believe it or not the Avengers' movie cost Disney $1 billion all told to make. Patrick said something smart about it when that number was released. I can't remember the exact quote but he smartly questioned why any studio would want to make a movie that essentially cost them a billion to make. To Activision, why are you spending 10 games worth of budget on one game? The amount of pressure that's going to be put on Destiny, a new IP, and Bungie is ridiculous.

#2 Posted by Marcsman (3118 posts) -

Their gonna need GTA V sales numbers for that budget.

#3 Edited by Salarn (463 posts) -

I think your numbers are off for Advengers, all the googles put the budget more around a quarter of billion. Do you have a link to that $1b cost report?

On the topic of games, Destiny is closer to twice the cost of most top tier AAA games than ten times. A good chunk of that money will be marketing which will be spent at a flexible rate as the game is selling. The key words in the article is 'Will Spend' and not 'Have Spent' as in they are committed to supporting the product post launch with continued marketing, subject to change based on the games performance.

#4 Posted by xyzygy (9894 posts) -

Not only that, but I know people who thought that this game was a PS3/PS4 exclusive. And with the way they revealed and marketed it, I don't blame them (though it is pretty easy to find out that it's multiplat).

@marcsman Just looked up GTA5 numbers, and it cost roughly 265USD million to make. Destiny is almost double. Crazy.

#5 Edited by crithon (3081 posts) -

a lot of that money is spent on the studio, maybe the servers, the talent..... I mean for crying out loud SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY Doesn't even do movies. Like could you imagine Pixar trying to hire Paul McCartney for a film? But anyway, they intend to make this franchise last over 10 years. So really maybe Destiny part 1 costs 100 million and the rest is just R&D.

#6 Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) -

That's like double what Rockstar poured into GTAV? Hopefully it'll be worth it. For them, and us.

I for one am loving what I'm seeing in Destiny - both mechanically and lore-wise. I think the feedback loop of its RPG systems and the tightness and immediacy of its core gameplay might replicate what World of Warcraft was back in the day, just for the much broader FPS audience. If they can hook up 20 million players on yearly expansions, as well as whatever tasteful microtransactions there will be, they'll make hefty returns on the initial investment.

The world is ripe for a new sci-fi brand, and Destiny has a lot going for it. Looking forward to being part of it. Let's hope it'll be as grand a time as its budget is.

#7 Posted by TruthTellah (8537 posts) -

I hope Destiny is amazing, but uh... I guess if it doesn't work out.... Activision had to crash sometime, right?

#8 Posted by Jesus_Phish (621 posts) -

@mikey87144: The Avengers cost $220 million to make and earned them well over a billion at the box office. Never mind merchandise sales, blu-ray and dvd etc. It didn't cost them a billion to make.

As to why a company would spend so much? Because they can. Because they think they can earn it back and then some. As @salarn said, this is only about twice, maybe three times what most AAA titles would cost to make, not ten times. From a business stand point, it sounds safer to bet on Bungie making a new IP than three other studios also making good selling new IPs.

#9 Posted by Marcsman (3118 posts) -

@xyzygy: here are the sales numbers.

Within twenty-four hours of its release, Grand Theft Auto V generated more than $800 million in worldwide revenue, equating to approximately 11.21 million copies sold for Take Two,.[101][d] The numbers nearly doubled analysts' expectations for the title.[102][103] Three days after release, the game had surpassed one billion dollars in sales,

#10 Posted by DrDarkStryfe (1087 posts) -
#11 Posted by Tom_Scherschel (120 posts) -

Yeah, I initially thought that was a crazy number, too. Then I did some research and found that Black Ops 2 made over $500 million in its first day of release. Granted, Destiny doesn't have the built-in following of CoD, but it indicated that Activision isn't insane for spending that amount of money.

Keep in mind that number includes marketing costs as well, making it hard to compare to other game or even film budgets, as the ones that are published never include that. Marketing can cost as much or more than the game/film being promoted.

BTW, Patrick's "$1 billion dollar Avenger budget" comes from the combined cost of making the film ($250+mm), promoting it, and then paying out profits to RDJ, who got a significant cut of box office gross.

#12 Posted by Hailinel (23905 posts) -
@marcsman said:

@xyzygy: here are the sales numbers.

Within twenty-four hours of its release, Grand Theft Auto V generated more than $800 million in worldwide revenue, equating to approximately 11.21 million copies sold for Take Two,.[101][d] The numbers nearly doubled analysts' expectations for the title.[102][103] Three days after release, the game had surpassed one billion dollars in sales,

Still, that's Grand Theft Auto, not a new, unproven IP.

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#13 Posted by mikey87144 (1664 posts) -

@jesus_phish: Disney said when they factored in everything it cost them $1 billion to make. It only became profitable after it crossed that threshold. I doubt Destiny actually costs $500 million but when everything is factored in Activision considers it a $500 million gambit. My wording could be a little better.

@salarn: I never said ten times a AAA game. I just said 10 games. For $500 million I can see 10 studios dividing that up based on scope and getting 10 games out of it.

#14 Posted by Jesus_Phish (621 posts) -

@mikey87144: That's fair enough, I understand what you mean now. Still, they'd have had an idea that they could spend a billion to make more. If they made a profit off the box office alone, imagine just how much money they've actually made when you factor in everything else? Toys, hats, shirts, blu-rays, dvds, probably a spike in people deciding to try out comic books.

Acti are looking at this as a long term investment and they obviously think that by putting in that much money, they'll see it back.

And even if they don't, if any company in video games could survive blowing that much money its Activision

#15 Edited by Corvak (902 posts) -

Does anyone know if GTA V's numbers include marketing?

Movies (Like Avengers) generally don't report these costs as part of the film's budget, but they are generally equal to it.

#16 Posted by afabs515 (1011 posts) -

That's bonkers.

#17 Posted by SingingMenstrual (327 posts) -

Ridiculous..

#18 Posted by spraynardtatum (2606 posts) -

whooaaaaaaa

#19 Posted by GaspoweR (2807 posts) -

I think it actually makes sense since Infinity Ward had been assisted by other studios (e.g. Sledgehammer, Raven, Neversoft) ever since after MW2 when a lot of their staff had left following the West-Zampella dismissal.

#20 Edited by Solidsnak (123 posts) -

the sad part is the marketing probably costs more than the development, so if destiny just sells just okay it could probably recoup development costs but marketing will keep it in the hole.

#21 Edited by Gaff (1651 posts) -

An Activision Blizzard spokesperson confirmed the amount with Reuters earlier this week, according to the publication, who said the figure also includes "marketing, packaging, infrastructure support, royalties and other costs."

Credit: http://www.polygon.com/2014/5/6/5686268/Destiny-costs-activision-500-million-to-develop-promote

It's not just development costs. I'm going to guess that even if you take away everything else, the bulk of that cost is going to be the new engine they're running on.

On a side note: I really hope that developers and publishers are going to be more open about the costs.

#22 Posted by Gamer_152 (14051 posts) -

@corvak said:

Does anyone know if GTA V's numbers include marketing?

Yeah, they did, that was actually one of the things that got neglected in a lot of the talk over the budget. You had a lot of people going "Wow, all that to develop one game" and not that Rockstar didn't put a huge amount of money into producing it, but about half that cash was just marketing costs. This story is still insane though. I mean video games are by no means cheap, but even with the scale and polish of that Destiny I didn't expect it to come in that high, especially not as a new IP. I guess this is kind of where Activision is right now as a company and in general it's not like AAA games are getting any cheaper to make.

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#23 Posted by AMyggen (2546 posts) -

Analysts said $500 million would likely be a record spent on a single game - especially one without an established track record. To break even, Activision would have to sell about 15 million to 16 million units of a $60 game, analysts said.

From the Reuters link. That's fucking insane, especially since the game isn't even on PC.

#24 Edited by Jesus_Phish (621 posts) -

@amyggen: It's on four different consoles though. It'll most likely cost $60 on the old ones and $70 on the new ones.

#25 Posted by Hailinel (23905 posts) -

@jesus_phish: That's still a ludicrous expectation, though.

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#26 Posted by Gaff (1651 posts) -

@amyggen said:

Analysts said $500 million would likely be a record spent on a single game - especially one without an established track record. To break even, Activision would have to sell about 15 million to 16 million units of a $60 game, analysts said.

From the Reuters link. That's fucking insane, especially since the game isn't even on PC.

To be fair, they're probably trying to make Destiny (the franchise) a household name (which probably bloats the marketing budget by a fair bit). On the other hand, the insane part is that Activision is releasing Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare two months after that. You would've hoped that Activision learned a lesson after oversaturating the music genre with Guitar Hero...

#27 Edited by Jesus_Phish (621 posts) -

@hailinel: They probably wont make their money back off selling $60 copies of the game no. They'll maybe get around half that many sales across those four platforms, unless it turns out that Destiny is absolutely the bees knees and everyone goes to get it.

But what the line from Reuters isn't mentioning is DLC. Which Activision are big fans of.

It's obvious that this game is setting up a franchise. Activision don't do one offs any more. They rarely ever did unless it was a movie tie in. Tony Hawk, Guitar Hero, CoD, Skylanders. They're building Destiny up so that over time they'll make their money back. They can afford to do that. They can take an initial hit on selling copies of the game, as long as they get people buying the game and then subsequently whatever DLC/expansion program/microtransactions they attach to it.

#28 Edited by DrDarkStryfe (1087 posts) -

I imagine that the first television presence will come in June. The NBA Finals tend to fall around the same time of E3, so it would only make sense to have that first, large scale teaser during the biggest television event of the summertime.

#29 Posted by mosespippy (4034 posts) -

Saw this over on Polygon and I'm a bit floored by that. That's a lot of money to throw at a new IP. Granted Bungie is a proven studio but still, that's A LOT of money to throw at one game. This story reminds me of Avengers. Believe it or not the Avengers' movie cost Disney $1 billion all told to make. Patrick said something smart about it when that number was released. I can't remember the exact quote but he smartly questioned why any studio would want to make a movie that essentially cost them a billion to make. To Activision, why are you spending 10 games worth of budget on one game? The amount of pressure that's going to be put on Destiny, a new IP, and Bungie is ridiculous.

It's not just for one game. Activision has a 10 year, multi game deal in place with Bungie. I have to imagine that Bungie took a large sum of cash up front as part of that deal. Other publishers probably made offers as well and that forced Activision into making a larger offer than they would normally. Activision has all that CoD money to spend so it's not as much of a risk to them as it would be for say EA or Take Two.

#30 Posted by Jesus_Phish (621 posts) -
#31 Posted by ripelivejam (3541 posts) -

pee cee :'(

#32 Edited by Karkarov (2984 posts) -

I am not concerned at all. I have a few friends who have already played an Alpha of the game that was capped at level 10. They told me when they got to level 10.... then just kept playing the missions over anyway cause it was that fun. They described it as Borderlands only with far superior graphics, more depth, a serious tone and story, and tighter gameplay.

I can only speak for myself but I don't play Borderlands for Tiny Tina and fart jokes, so even if all it turns out to be is a true next gen Borderlands with better gameplay I am already sold. Hence why I have already pre-ordered. From what they told me though calling it a "next gen Borderlands" was just scratching the surface.

#33 Posted by Dallas_Raines (2135 posts) -

They should have named it Destiny 2 to get that sequel boost.

#34 Posted by senrat (312 posts) -

While that is a lot of money, they are establishing an entire franchise, best not pinch pennies with the first game in a potentially 10 year long franchise.

#35 Posted by Nasar7 (2606 posts) -

@karkarov: If that's true then that's a plus in my book. I disliked borderlands for many of those reasons but I'm optimistic about Destiny.

#36 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4594 posts) -

half a billion for a Borderlands riff?

Does that seem sketchy as hell to anyone else?

#37 Posted by Yummylee (21255 posts) -

half a billion for a Borderlands riff?

Does that seem sketchy as hell to anyone else?

I think it's meant to be more than just a Borderlands-ish shooter RPG thing. The way they've been talking about it makes it sound like a mini-MMO or something.

#38 Posted by CorruptedEvil (1753 posts) -

Still no PC version

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#39 Edited by Oldirtybearon (4594 posts) -

@yummylee said:

@oldirtybearon said:

half a billion for a Borderlands riff?

Does that seem sketchy as hell to anyone else?

I think it's meant to be more than just a Borderlands-ish shooter RPG thing. The way they've been talking about it makes it sound like a mini-MMO or something.

You just described Borderlands 2.

#40 Edited by Yummylee (21255 posts) -

@yummylee said:

@oldirtybearon said:

half a billion for a Borderlands riff?

Does that seem sketchy as hell to anyone else?

I think it's meant to be more than just a Borderlands-ish shooter RPG thing. The way they've been talking about it makes it sound like a mini-MMO or something.

You just described Borderlands 2.

Well, I mean with regards to the multiplayer. You'll apparently encounter people wandering around out in the wild, sorta like Journey.

#41 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4594 posts) -

@yummylee said:

@oldirtybearon said:

@yummylee said:

@oldirtybearon said:

half a billion for a Borderlands riff?

Does that seem sketchy as hell to anyone else?

I think it's meant to be more than just a Borderlands-ish shooter RPG thing. The way they've been talking about it makes it sound like a mini-MMO or something.

You just described Borderlands 2.

Well, I mean with regards to the multiplayer. You'll apparently encounter people wandering around out in the wild, sorta like Journey.

So visible players in your game are the big game-changing mechanic for Destiny? So it's Borderlands and Dark Souls?

I'm not being an ass, I'm trying to figure out how exactly a company could spend half a billion dollars on a game that does what other games already figured out how to do. It doesn't make a lick of sense to me. At all.

#42 Posted by Jesus_Phish (621 posts) -

@oldirtybearon: By being a mix of Dark Souls, Borderlands, Mass Effect while supposedly (we'll have to wait and see) establishing a rich world full of original art and story, a lot of advertising and running servers, printing and shipping discs and collectors editions etc etc. By building it on a new engine which is most likely future proofed for whatever expansions and DLC and sequels they intend to do so they can push those out at much reduced costs compared to this.

#43 Edited by Karkarov (2984 posts) -

@yummylee said:

@oldirtybearon said:

@yummylee said:

@oldirtybearon said:

half a billion for a Borderlands riff?

Does that seem sketchy as hell to anyone else?

I think it's meant to be more than just a Borderlands-ish shooter RPG thing. The way they've been talking about it makes it sound like a mini-MMO or something.

You just described Borderlands 2.

Well, I mean with regards to the multiplayer. You'll apparently encounter people wandering around out in the wild, sorta like Journey.

It is way more complex than that. "Next Gen Borderlands" is the easiest thing to say so people get the basic idea but that is not what the game is going to "be" from what I have been told. It supposedly will have mmo or co op elements.... Like imagine Warframe with a real story, Borderlands gameplay, no microtransation/grindy aspect, better missions/enemies, and a actual hub city. Oh and like Yummy said... open world drop in drop out missions like a Public Event in an mmo against things like the equivalent of a Raid Boss or small army.

#44 Edited by Sanj (2352 posts) -

It'd like to know exactly how they're spending that money. I've yet to see anything about this game that makes me think "wow they're spending a lot of money on this".

#45 Posted by mrfluke (5092 posts) -

i wonder if thats an investment for the whole 10 years, or just primarily this first game.

#46 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@amyggen said:

Analysts said $500 million would likely be a record spent on a single game - especially one without an established track record. To break even, Activision would have to sell about 15 million to 16 million units of a $60 game, analysts said.

From the Reuters link. That's fucking insane, especially since the game isn't even on PC.

For really big games like for example GTA IV, the PC sales make up for less than 5% of total sales, and usually the game is pirated by 4x more people than it sells to. Sure, not every pirated copy is a lost sale, but it certainly doesn't make a case for spending time and ressources to cater to that audience - at least not with any priority.

Online-centric games can sell very well on PC of course. My guess, they'll first see how successful it is, and how much demand there is for a PC version, before they go and build the server backbone for Destiny on PC.

#47 Posted by slyspider (1155 posts) -

Dumping that much money into it and still not PC version? Fuck off

#48 Edited by YukoAsho (2001 posts) -

$500 million? Hmmm, there was another game that had a $500 million budget...

I hope for Bungie and Activision's sake that Destiny doesn't go the same way.

#49 Posted by Bombanana (36 posts) -

I love bungie and all...but there´s way too much disgusting money in this industry these days. It´s sad. Really sad.

#50 Edited by GunslingerPanda (4633 posts) -

Should have thrown some of that into a PC version.