Bungie’s Destiny Will Cost Activision $500 Million

bungie destiny

According to a story published by Reuters, Bungie’s upcoming sci-fi shooter RPG thing Destiny could wind up costing Activision Blizzard $500 million in development and promotional costs when all is said and done.

The next game out Bungie in their post-Halo days is no doubt a big deal, but I don’t think anyone’s leaning on its potential success quite as hard as Activision. With Call of Duty: Ghosts’ weak showing last year, Activision is no doubt hungry for their next hit shooter. $500 million could wind up making Destiny the most expensive video game in history, which is a significant gamble for a company that often seems like it likes to play it safe.

$500 million is quite an insane number to be spending on development and marketing, but a lot of that is going towards the development of Destiny’s next-gen engine (which is in-house, a tradition for Bungie) and a lot of back end infrastructure costs. I don’t know about you guys, but with $500 million behind it, Destiny’s servers better not crap out on launch day.

What do you guys think? Is Destiny worth this price tag? Are you going to pick up the game on September 9, and for what platform?

Source – Reuters

Random Encounters III

Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag

Time for another edition of Random Encounters, where I share my thoughts on a variety of subjects that are currently on my mind:

1. I have no proof and only baseless Internet speculation, but I can’t help but wonder if Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag was originally a side-story like the Ezio trilogy and was rebranded as a numbered sequel in order to take people’s mind off the bitter disappointment that was Assassin’s Creed 3. It just seems odd that the AC 4 is in roughly the same time period and is a prequel, which means it might not even forward the Desmond story set in the future. We will have to wait and see, but if that is the case, it’s kind of disgusting, akin to Square Enix allegedly releasing Final Fantasy Versus XIII as Final Fantasy XV. Continue reading Random Encounters III

Bungie’s Sci-Fantasy Game Destiny Revealed in Infinity Ward Suit

Bungie Destiny reveal

An unintended side-effect of the long-standing legal battle between former Infinity Ward head honchos Jason West and Vincent Zampella and Activision is the reveal of the specifics behind Bungie’s contract with the publisher. Brought to light as part of the court-case, the 27 page agreement between the Bellevue, Washington studio and Activision details the plans for the studios’ new shooter, code-named Destiny.

There’s plenty of legalese in the document but the basic gist of it is that Bungie has signed on for a four game deal, the first of which is set to drop in 2013 for the Xbox 360. Subsequent games will be released on the next generation systems (aggravatingly, the agreement calls the 360 successor the “Xbox 720”) including the PS3 follow up and PCs. The games will be spaced to come out every other year with additional content packs called “Comet” filling in the gaps. Destiny is not strictly a “sci-fi” game but rather a “sci-fantasy” shooter. What that means exactly isn’t clear, so we’ll have to wait for a more specific reveal on that. The contract also stipulates that Bungie is working to revive their classic Marathon franchise.

Bungie’s official response, entitled “Well, that just happened” all but confirms this as fact, promising that the official reveal is coming soon and we’ll be seeing them starside in 2013.

What do you guys think about this? Is it unfair to Bungie to have their secret work revealed without much fanfare? Is this a low blow by West and Zampella’s lawyers to expose another developer? What do you think of the working conditions Bungie is under in the contract? Thoughts on what “sci-fantasy” means?

Source – LA Times, Bungie.net

Review: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Modern Warfare 3

After the well-publicized falling out of Infinity Ward and Activision, the Modern Warfare franchise returns with (presumably) the final chapter in the world-devastating saga. There is no question that this game would sell a ton of copies, but the real question is can the remnants of Infinity Ward, along with a little help from their friends at Sledgehammer, maintain the quality that the fans demand? Continue reading Review: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Random Encounters

Dragon Age II

When playing video games, all manner of thoughts usually pop into my head. Some are far too graphic to share here and are off-topic besides, but I’ve decided to post my thoughts in a quick-thought format about a variety of topics. Sometimes things don’t warrant a full post by themselves, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still talk about them right? Continue reading Random Encounters

Today’s WTF: Call of Duty Elite Will Add A Monthly Subscription

Call of Duty Elite

In a move that’s sure to raise eyebrows, Activision Blizzard (via the Wall Street Journal) have announced that they will finally try to add the long-rumored monthly subscription to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 when the game launches this fall. While the exact services and price are still being discussed some portions are suspected to be things like in-depth stats-tracking and a Facebook-like webpage.

Call of Duty Elite will not be mandatory, at least not at this juncture, as Activision confirmed that non-subscribers will still be able to play online, but the company is being very hush-hush about what capabilities the hold-outs will have. Call of Duty Elite purchasers will get access to post-launch map packs as part of their subscription.

Call of Duty is one of the only video game franchises that can pull this off, having an enormous player base that seems content to drop sixty plus dollars on the titles every year. Call of Duty Elite is said to be an enormous investment for Activision, despite the fact that similar services are provided by Bungie for the Halo franchise for free.
Continue reading Today’s WTF: Call of Duty Elite Will Add A Monthly Subscription

Activision Responds To Modern Warfare 3 Leak

Activision

Other than releasing several teaser trailers confirming what we already knew, Activision has been strangely silent, like a slumbering giant, regarding the leak of tons of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 info. But that giant is now awake and…is surprisingly docile about the whole thing.

In a candid and open interview with Joystiq, CEO Eric Hirshberg basically said that when life (or the Internet) hands you lemons, make lemonade:

“We woke up with a marketing crisis and wanted to go to bed with a marketing win. “So what we did was we kind of took that exact conversation we were having in our conference room outside and had it publicly in social media. Through our various channels, through Robert Bowling at IW, through Facebook and through our YouTube channel, we reached out to our fans and we said, ‘Look, we didn’t schedule this. This wasn’t something we had planned. But everyone seems excited, so we’re just going to roll with it. So here they are, a couple of assets that weren’t scheduled to be out for another couple of weeks, we’re going to release ’em to you today.'”

The interview goes on and he says obviously they aren’t happy with it and are investigating the leak, but until then, he doesn’t want to comment on it. He also didn’t mention Kotaku or any possible consequences the website may be facing from Activision for their role in the leak.

We all know what I think about this, but I am pleased to see that Activision didn’t let it bother them and decided to roll with the punches and make the most of a forced opportunity. What do you think? Are they being too soft or just right? GO!

Source: Joystiq