It may be one of the most expensive video game productions in recent memory (or ever), but Destiny is now also one of the most successful.
Activision has today revealed their recently released shooter is the biggest new video game franchise launch in history. According to the publisher, more than $500 million worth of Destiny copies (regular, Limited, and Ghost editions) have been shipped to retailers.
Obviously, it's worth pointing out that these are only "shipped" numbers and not "sold through" numbers for Destiny. For those who may not know, sold through means that a copy of a game passed through the retail chain and was sold to a consumer, while shipped means that the copy made it to retail but may not have been sold. Emphasis on may not.
Even so, shipping $500 million on the first day of release is mighty impressive. Clearly Activision believes that they have a huge potential install base with Destiny, or they wouldn't have unloaded so much product to retailers.
Coincidentally, that $500 million also happens to align perfectly with the full, reported production and marketing budget for Destiny. In essence, it means that Destiny is already turning a profit after only its first day of release, despite a massive marketing push that included, among other things, massive city banners and a live-action trailer.
Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg further echoed his company's enthusiasm for the record-breaking launch, saying:
"Since the beginning, we've been confident that our investment and belief in Destiny would pay off. But not many people believed we'd be able to say it did so on day one...Destiny is officially the biggest new franchise launch in our industry's history. It's also the highest-selling day one digital console release in history. We have more confidence than ever that Destiny will become one of the iconic franchises of this generation and Activision's next billion dollar brand."
While few doubted that Bungie's first game in more than a decade would be a success, we were never quite sure just how successful Destiny might be. Sony was obviously betting big on the title with platform exclusive content and a white PS4 bundle, but even then it was hard to predict where public opinion lay with the game. Now, however, it seems pretty clear that Destiny is the major fall release that Sony and Activision – and even Microsoft – hoped it would be.
Unfortunately, it won't be until October - when September NPDs release - that we truly learn just how successful Destiny's first month was. Much like they do with Call of Duty, Activision likes to use whatever sales numbers make their new game look best. And in most cases shipped does the trick.
Did you pick up Destiny on day 1? Where do you think Destiny will rank among this year's top selling games?
Destiny is available now for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.