Activision CEO: Total budget for Bungie's Destiny will be $500 million

Developer Bungie and publisher Activision will be spending a ton of money to launch Destiny, an all new sci-fi shooter game franchise, later this year. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has revealed that the total budget for Destiny will be a massive $500 million. Kotick revealed that figure during an analyst conference last week.

Reuters reports that, according to an Activision spokesperson, Kotick's $500 million number includes non-game development costs for Destiny such as marketing, packaging, infrastructure, royalties and more. Even so, the amount of money that is being spent on an unproven game series is still massive and may end up being a record breaker for the game industry.

In 2013, it was reported that Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto V had the biggest game budget of all time at $267 million, which included development and marketing costs. That game went on to sell over 32 million copies but the GTA series had a long and profitable record prior to the release of GTA V. Analysts expect that Destiny, an all new IP, will have to sell between 15 million to 16 million copies just to break even.

Activision first signed Bungie, the original developer of Microsoft's Halo series, to a 10 year publishing contract back in 2010 that involves multiple games. Unlike the Halo series, which was owned by Microsoft, Bungie will retain the IP rights to Destiny. The game is due for release on September 9th for Sony's PS3 and PS4 consoles, along with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Xbox One. A beta test will be held sometime this summer.

Bungie recently released a new gameplay video showing off more of Destiny. It's expected that Bungie and Activision will reveal a lot more about the game in June during E3 2014.

Source: Reuters | Image via Bungie

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56 Comments

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PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Covering both generations of both platforms is pushing up development costs for sure...but we're still talking about half a billion dollars for *one* game.

This will probably make or break Activision.

Jesus Christ, that's way too much money on the line.

Activision: "We don't want you to succeed, we're just saying that we bet 500 million on you guys. You CANNOT FAIL. AT ALL. No pressure, of course."

Don't put all your eggs in one basket, Activision. I know they have a bunch of franchises that generate millions every year, but still, 500 million? I mean, really? That's way too much.

Wow, was that the most boring and generic FPS ever, or what? No wonder they aren't releasing for PC. They'd be laughed at.

I'm extremely excited for Destiny and I expect it to do really well, but even I think that is a ridiculous amount of money to bet on a single game. I guess the big publishers still haven't learned their lesson.

In the ether. It's there along with Red Dead Redemption PC (and hell, GTA5 PC at this point) and other such games.

They might as well flush it down the toilet, this game has no Buzz or hype and looks horribly plain and generic.

Bungie complains about having to make Halo games, then the first thing they do when they break off is make a generic Halo game.

I don't even feel the game overall development worth a total 500 million just by looking at the gameplay trailer. Impression was just lame or not groundbreaking at all.

theyarecomingforyou said,
It's not really impressive when you consider that 90% of the budget will be for advertising.

Not impressive when you consider how much DLC will be released for this game.

Somehow I have a feeling they are not going to make that money back very fast.
I could be wrong, but I don't think this will ever be as big as GTA.

kaotic said,

It's not Halo.

Just because it's not Halo doesn't mean Bungie can't deliver. I'm tired of all the lack of confidence in the gaming community.

It is not about confidence, but about a potentially generic shooter that would deliver nothing new to the genre, thus not making itself worthy of the investment (by customers).

I don't think theres anything generic about this game, it looks to break a lot of norms and give a truly new style of gameplay.

Mr.XXIV said,
How can you assume it's potentially generic..

This is Bungie we're talking about, again, it'll be great.

Oh, you mean that company that was doing Xbox-only generic shooters for almost a decade?

Yes. Halo IS the reason Xbox made its way up. The PS2 couldn't compare any gameplay to the Xbox as far as Multiplayer went Live or LAN.

So lay flat when you land.

Did I even mention football or driving. Jezus Chwist you're ignorant right now. You can't even grasp how simple I was talking about multiplayer and gameplay. WHICH the PS2 didn't have (online/LAN multiplayer I mean).

Mr.XXIV said,
Did I even mention football or driving. Jezus Chwist you're ignorant right now. You can't even grasp how simple I was talking about multiplayer and gameplay. WHICH the PS2 didn't have (online/LAN multiplayer I mean).

Again don't see why you're mentioning the PS2. The subject was Halo and generic shooters and you keep mentioning the PS2.

Mr.XXIV said,

Just because it's not Halo doesn't mean Bungie can't deliver. I'm tired of all the lack of confidence in the gaming community.

then I suggest you stop paying attention. the gaming community is nothing more than a bunch of kids swayed by every other reddit thread and manipulated by gaming companies at will.

Mr.XXIV said,
Did I even mention football or driving. Jezus Chwist you're ignorant right now. You can't even grasp how simple I was talking about multiplayer and gameplay. WHICH the PS2 didn't have (online/LAN multiplayer I mean).

Yes it did, there was a network thing for the expansion bay, a few games supported multiplayer or cross-link games from it. It worked well on lan parties to just connect a bunch of PS2's together to a hub and play "online" with 12 or so people in games.

But were there any good games for the PS2 to do LAN!? That's the point of this multiplayer topic I'm trying to point.

Mr.XXIV said,
How can you assume it's potentially generic..

The same way you can assume it's going to be amazing. Just because you're obsessed with Bungie doesn't mean everyone else feels the same.

Personally, I'm excited for Destiny, but I'm not going to assume they'll magically recover that $500 million. Rockstar for instance only put in roughly $265 million into a game that already has a large fan base; I couldn't imagine them putting $500 million into a new IP, even with their name being on it.

It's not about what we think though; the internet is hardly representative of the general consumer market. Many people buy what they know.

I would never downplay new titles, but if we're going to be realistic here, it may be difficult to make that money back, just as Thief000 said.

Or how about the known reputation of the developer. At least the majority of the gaming community will acknowledge that.

I think you also have to take into account that this $500 doesn't need to be fully recouped form this single first game, a lot of the cost is setting up the complex backend and story along with the (what seems like) tones of settings that artists would have needed to think up and create. They are contracted for 4 releases so a lot of that initial investment can be made back over time.

Mr.XXIV said,
Or how about the known reputation of the developer. At least the majority of the gaming community will acknowledge that.

Reputation wont save the developer from getting shut down if they don't sell the 20+ million copies(@$60) they'd need to for this to be slightly profitable.

They obviously have the confidence of the publisher here, and after taking a decent look into the game I agree it seems like a massive undertaking that 'should' do well, I personally love what Ive seen and cant think of any other game that comes close to what this is promising.

Mr.XXIV said,
Or how about the known reputation of the developer. At least the majority of the gaming community will acknowledge that.

Rockstar has a stellar reputation too, but the name Destiny itself is not a title that has had over 10+ years establishing its name like GTA has. That's the difference.

dead.cell said,

Rockstar has a stellar reputation too, but the name Destiny itself is not a title that has had over 10+ years establishing its name like GTA has. That's the difference.

Microsoft used to have a wonderful reputation as a game developer :) (not even sarcasm)
Even reputation says nothing about upcoming titles.