As a hugely ambitious online shooter from the team behind Halo, Destiny was always destined for success. Early on, gamers took to its first person shooting and its team based gameplay that encouraged us to shoot alien beasties for fun as much as it encouraged us to team up and have silent dance parties.
And so far, Bungie’s vision for the game has paid off, financially. It was plagued by middling reviews at first as some felt that the game fell short of its mark, but having racked up over $300 million worth of sales in just five days of its release, that doesn’t seem to have hindered the game too much thanks to its record-breaking pre-order numbers, which in part, my be thanks to Activision spending half a billion dollars on the game and marketing it.
This is good news for Activision who predicted the the game’s massive success some months ago but most of all, it’s good news for Sony who scored exclusive Destiny content for PlayStation consoles. This is especially the case as Destiny’s release has led to the biggest PS4 sales week of the year so far. I guess, Sony did benefit from buying exclusivity in this case…
While the success isn’t entirely unexpected – Sony was calling the game a system seller when Destiny had been out for just one day – the fact that it appears to have blitzed through sales predictions completely is. SCEA’s VP of developer and publisher relations Adam Boyes explained that,
“The game broke records for being the fastest purchased and most played PS4 game during its first week on sale. In fact, last week was our single biggest PS4 hardware sales week since Christmas 2013.”
Boyes even went on to say that Destiny is “the fastest purchased and most played PS4 game [to date].” That would usually be bad news for other console exclusives like inFamous: Second Son as people would ask ‘what went wrong for those games for them not to sell a huge amount of systems’ but here it’s quite the opposite.
Instead it highlights a smart business move from Sony. Arguably the thunderous chatter surrounding Destiny and the fact that it’s “the most shared and most broadcasted PS4 game during its first week on sale” were helpful to PS4 sales but the exclusive Destiny content and the PlayStation beta, along with the fact that Microsoft were prohibited from marketing the game for Xbox consoles, were likely the biggest factors.
This all said, Boyes didn’t disclose the exact PS4 sales figures as Sony will likely not reveal these until the end of the quarter, but we do have a few stats regardless. According to Gematsu, Destiny sold 91,277 units on PS4 in Japan (where the game is a PlayStation exclusive) and it saw PS4 sales go from 7,299 in the week before to 23,623. In comparison, the Xbox One only sold 25,674 at its Japan launch so Sony’s strategy is absolutely paying off.
Whether or not the Destiny deal will be able to continue when Activision inevitably turns it into a franchise and releases a sequel, is up for debate. Now that Destiny has garnered huge sales, huge awards and a huge fanbase that’s rapidly vacuuming up the shooter’s content, it would be far more expensive for Sony to do the same next time around. But, should they choose to, it could be very lucrative for them indeed.