Destiny cost $500 million to develop, Activision made that back at launch

At this point it doesn’t really matter how you manage success, because the launch of Destiny has proven to be an huge hit. On top of launching all around the world without a single significant issue, Activision is reporting a day-one launch that pulled in $500 million.

Activision’s launch of Destiny is big on several levels. To start, the game pulled in half a billion dollars in sales in just one day. This means that not only was the game tremendously successful, but it shattered existing records for games sold in a digital format on games consoles. It’s also worth pointing out that Destiny cost roughly that same amount of money to make, which means when you add in marketing and extras, the game has more or less already paid for itself. This is a huge success financially, but perhaps even more impressive than sales is how well the launch was handled for users.

When a big game is launched nowadays, there’s an expectation that the first day isn’t going to be a great one. Maybe they are sold out by the time you hit the game shop after work, or the volume of users at midnight causes the servers to slow to a crawl or crash. Of course, there’s also that day-one patch to deal with. These are things we mostly have just come to expect from a major game launch, and for the most part we accept it because after that first day things are usually pretty great. The launch of Destiny marks what needs to be a turning point, resetting our expectations and welcoming a world where game launches aren’t terrible.

Destiny Voidwalker

If you walk into most games stores right now, you’ll see Destiny on the shelf. The game is available digitally, and worldwide the Destiny servers have done a great job handling the first wave of players. Aside from a few minor hiccups that toss individual players back to the main menu temporarily, there have been no real complaints regarding the quality of Destiny gameplay. Xbox Live and PSN have also held up well, which is also a huge deal when you consider the load these systems must be under. It’s clear that everyone involved in the launch of Destiny learned from the alpha and beta releases of the game and were prepared for the launch.

Destiny has managed to be a huge success without all of the usual day one negativity that surrounds a major game launch. This is something that should be celebrated, and pointed to as the new golden standard for big game launches. We know it is possible, and that should make the future of major game launches even better.


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