Activision Blizzard's $500 million bet on former Halo
developer Bungie appears to be paying off after the first day. The company's Destiny
launched this Tuesday, bringing in more than $500 million
in sales for the Activision-published game. The sales figure that Activision claims makes the game
"the biggest new video game franchise launch in history."
While the $500 million in sales is an impressive number, Activision had already sunk $500 million into the development of the game. Destiny
claimed the crown of the most expensive video game to develop, passing 2013's Grand Theft Auto V
. However, according to Guinness World Records
, single day sales for Destiny
still trail behind Grand Theft Auto V
. The latter action-adventure game generated a revenue of $815 million on 11.2 million units sold in the first 24 hours of its release.
Activision made a big bet on Destiny's
performance, as the $500 million funding on the game also included a 10-year franchise deal for the game. The publisher stated earlier that it wouldn't normally have taken such a large bet out on an intellectual property (IP) that it didn't have control of. In order to come to a decision, Activision most likely weighed the cons of an unknown IP against the pedigree that Bungie holds.
"Based on extraordinary audience demand, retail and first-party orders worldwide have exceeded $500 million for Destiny
," said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. "This industry milestone marks another blockbuster success for our company, and demonstrates our unique ability to create some of the most successful entertainment franchises in the world. The success of Destiny
, along with the recent introduction of Blizzard Entertainment's Hearthstone
, is further validation of our unique capabilities to create great entertainment franchises from the ground up."
On top of being the biggest launch of a franchise in history, the publisher also claims that Destiny
is the "highest-selling day one digital console release in history." The catch is, the revenue generated doesn't appear to be directly related to consumer sales. In Kotick's statement, he reveals that retail and first-party orders are included in the figure. It just means that the more than $500 million worth of copies are in the hands of gamers and sitting on store shelves.
The idea that it's the highest-selling digital release for a console is a little murky as well, as the number most likely includes pre-orders that saw the game pre-loaded before its actual release. The use of "sell-in" numbers here can be a little misleading, but even if the company has sold a combination of units to the tune of $500 million, Activision is already cashing in on its wager.