Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Bungie: Destined For Failure?

Activision recently announced that it's going to cost them half a billion dollars to create Bungie's new game "Destiny". $500 million. That's even more than the rumoured cost of BioWare's Star Wars online game "The Old Republic".

There are about 7 million Playstation 4s in the hands of consumers, and about 5 million Xbox Ones that have been sold. As has already been pointed out, the only way Destiny will be make a profit is if every single human being who owns a Playstation 4 and an Xbox One buys a copy of Destiny.


The game that's just Borderlands without the flavour, personality, art direction or comedic appeal.

The game where Peter Dinklage boredly tells you to go over here and shoot bad guys, then go over here and shoot more bad guys.

The game that marks the point where Bungie fired one of the great video game composers, for apparently no reason(my guess is to cut costs somewhere).

A game with no readily apparent characterization, no indicator of a compelling story, and no one talking about it. Other than how expensive it is, because why else would anyone talk about it?

For reference, Call of Duty Ghosts is the best-selling game on any next-gen console, and sales estimates I've seen through a quick google search indicate MAYBE 14 million copies sold, across the PC and major home consoles. That's an average of 2.8 million copies of this game per piece of hardware it's played on. Destiny has to beat that, despite being a new IP that seems to offer absolutely nothing new to the space of video games.

And I thought The Old Republic and Elder Scrolls Online were disasters. If this game makes $400,000,000, it will be a failure and a loss to Activision. If it sells 4 million copies it will be one of the biggest financial flops in video game history(Titanfall has sold a little over 1 million copies on the Xbox One). That is an unthinkable situation, even for the penny-pinching idiots at Square "Why aren't all of our games selling as much as Dragon Quest" Enix.

I said a couple of years back that Bungie will cease to be a company. Activision has taken other, more successful established properties out behind the shed and shot them. Developer and publisher hubris has devoured other companies before. Especially the ones that were "too big too fall". I've already seen comparisons to E.T. for the Atari, but I still think the picture this paints looks more like John Romero.

When this game falls, I hope it's loud enough to finally shock people awake. Maybe then we'll all stop trying to chase Call of Warcraft.



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