When publisher Activision announced during their financial report in February that they expected Destiny to “become the best-selling new video game IP in history,” there were plenty of skeptics but few were up in arms over the claim as there was a good chance that Activision would be right. Making all of the right noises, Destiny is a bombastic new IP in a familiar genre (first-person shooting), from a familiar and proven developer (Bungie) who were taking on a concept that they knew like the back of their hand (sci-fi) but ultimately, the proof would be in the pudding.
It’s Destiny’s ambition that has mostly come under attack from waves of doubters as not only is the game’s (questionably) massive world incredibly detailed, it’s also connected all of the time meaning that perhaps with the right amount of pressure applied in the wrong places, the cracks would being to show like a pair of chapped lips in the desert.
That’s exactly what the Destiny beta was for, meant to dispel concerns whilst showing off its blast-y, jump-y, hoverbike-y wares and how they tie together to come up with gameplay as fun as all of the multiplayer modes in the Halo games that Bungie became known for. And although Destiny has come under fire for the size of the locations in the beta, most of the almost 5 million strong Destiny beta players certainly weren’t complaining.
Including giant team fights and a slice of the major action that the full game will unleash on our character-created Guardians this September, the draw of the Destiny beta proved strong like the inescapable pull of gravity for 4,638,937 players, according to Activision’s official figures.
Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, says that “This is the biggest beta of this console generation by a wide margin and the largest console beta ever for a new video game IP to date”. Any skeptic worth their salt will point out that “this console generation” is a very vague term especially when companies like Ubisoft have referred to the PS3/Xbox 360 as current gen despite the PS4 and Xbox One both being on the market for almost a year, but the fact that this is the largest console beta for a new IP can’t be disputed.
What’s also important to point out is that the popularity of Destiny’s beta does not necessarily indicate the full game’s success. While the majority will have gotten themselves into the beta via the pre-order program, as of July 24th the beta was open to any and every PlayStation Plus (or Xbox Live Gold) subscriber meaning that anyone who braved the whopping 12GB of the beta download would be able to play in its somewhat post-apocalyptic universe.
That said, Bungie still has a lot to shout about and although the stats aren’t something for gamers and fans to frame and put above the mantelpiece, the fact that Bungie will have hovered a lot of data up from this which they can use to make the game more stable at launch will be very good news indeed.
Destiny will be out on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One from September 9th, 2014.