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The Danger Of Having The “Most Expensive Game Ever Made” Title…

Did you see in the news recently how Destiny is on track to become the most expensive game ever made? With a hefty price tag weighing in at $500,000,000 (man that's a lot of zeroes) experts predict the game will have to sell 15 to 16 million copies of the game just to break even. Just to note, the combined sales of the Playstation 4 and Xbox One are closing in on this number, but not quite there yet. The game will also be on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, which will generate some revenue. But the lead development platform is the Playstation 4, so it will be interesting to see if there is any sort of exclusivity period before it is available on all platforms. Doesn't sound like they'll be able to hold off making it available on all platforms for too long, if they indeed do make it limited to the PS4 for a period of time. Just to note, GameStop shows they all release the same date, so I guess that answers the question if this is accurate. And just to put this in perspective, Rockstar spent about half that on Grand Theft Auto V.

I can't even fathom this revelation about the price to develop this game. I know I want to talk about it but I honestly don't even know where to begin. Of course how and why come to mind but so does what (as in, what the heck were you thinking). I apologize in advance for any rambling that may occur.

Truthfully my concern isn't so much that the company won't make the money back. I mean, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Grand Theft Auto V reportedly made a billion dollars shortly after their games released. My bigger concern is we've seen a number of studios release games that received positive reviews and were generally liked by the community, but because a targeted sales quota wasn't reached the game was sort of viewed as "not having sold well". I can't imagine what these numbers must look like in order for Destiny to be viewed as a success.

There are so many factors playing into Destiny's destiny it's impossible to predict how all of this will unfold. Of course there are the other games that are out or will be coming out around the time this game releases. Some of them might be similarly themed and direct competition for Destiny. But others will almost certainly distract from the launch...like big brother Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Warfighter arriving a short time after Destiny's release.

The other elephant in the room (or robot in the corner) is this is Bungie's big major release since departing from their flagship title, Halo. They have a lot to prove, and I think most of us would agree we want them to be successful...and we want Destiny to succeed. It just seems a bit alarming with companies like Nintendo continually making the news for their poor Wii-U sales and large profit losses, along comes a company spending a ton of money (and I do mean ton) on a game under development.

Over the past few months and possibly even years we've learned by example you don't have to spend a ton of money to make a good game. Yes, it helps to have deep pockets and big budgets, but what a lot of the independent games have been doing, and the success they've been enjoying along the way, is noteworthy. I remember when Minecraft was in the early stages of existence on the PC, you could donate like ten bucks and be set for life with future releases and updates. Years later and millions and millions of dollars later, it's definitely been a hugely profitable endeavor. Would it have been so, if it cost millions to develop and a higher price point to sell it at?

The good news is Destiny has a proven and capable team working on it. They have some grand ideas. They have the financial backing of a big name in the industry. They have millions of fans eager for its release. Let's just hope it's enough...

Cheers.

 

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