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Devil's Daily: Destiny

10. July, 2013Tags: Destiny, MMO Blog

It was revealed today, through the grape vine, that Bungie's next game, Destiny, will have cost so much at launch that Activision will need to sell as many as ten million copies to strike even. Ten million copies! That would make it one of the biggest launches of 2014, and it's a huge gamble to take. Few games manage to get more than ten million units, and Destiny is a new IP.

I don't know that I'd specifically call Destiny an MMO, but there are a lot of people that are. It's use of a persistant world, I suppose, is the biggest factor. If it manages to sell as many as it needs to strike even, it'll make it a game changer for the entire genre. If it doesn't, it still will influence everything else in the industry.

Will Destiny Strike Even?

That has to be the question on everybody's lips. Can Destiny strike even?

It is, for all intents and purposes, just another shooter, with a little more background work. Well, that's not entirely true. It's the first new IP in over a decade from the people who created Halo, arguably one of the biggest FPS games ever, and part of the reason online gaming became so successful on consoles. We've seen with The Last of Us that new IPs from established developers can do incredibly well, but ten million units worth of well?

The important thing to remember is that Destiny is coming to Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. It's not only multi-platform, but it's multi-generation as well. If you own a console, with the exception of the Wii U, you'll be able to buy Destiny. And you probably will. There was a time when 50% of the people who owned 360s also owned a copy of Halo 3. There can be no better example of a system seller, and no doubt Bungie will be using their new ties with Sony to demonstrate that Destiny is the must-have game on PlayStation 4.

Does it Matter?

The more traditional MMO players amongst you might be reading this and asking why anybody should care. Destiny isn't, strictly an MMO, as I said above, although it's similar enough that a successful game may end up influencing actual MMOs. It has its persistant world, its social features, it's massively multiplayer modes - if Destiny is a hit, expect some Chinese developer to try and take a piece of the pie for the free-to-play market.

If it's a failure, the opposite will happen. People will start to actively avoid things that make up Destiny, even things that MMOFPS players have taken for granted for ages. Worse than that though, it'd be a blow to platform holders, an early sign that things might not be peachy for next-gen consoles and a bad omen for future MMOs that want to do things on this scale. Any game that tries to take multiplayer gaming to a new level is a game that the MMO community should support, even just passively, and one of those games failing would likely mean another eight years of World of Warcraft and its comfortable kin.

Final Thought

Destiny didn't impress me at E3. I was more interested in Titanfall, and even that didn't jump out at me. I can definitely see ten million people, out of a possible 160 million current gen console owners and probably ten-to-twenty million next-gen owners, deciding to give it a go though, and that'll be a good thing all round.

Ten million needed to break even is a ridiculous amount, and it's not something that we as consumers should be encouraging. We don't want it to get the point where MMO games need that much marketing, that much in engine costs, to hit the big numbers, but as AAA budgets drastically soar, Destiny might just be the game that that starts a new trend.

It won't end well, but enjoy it while it lasts.

What do you think?

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