On June 19, 2000, Microsoft announced that they had acquired Bungie Software and that Bungie would be part of the Microsoft Game Division under the name Bungie Studios. “Halo,” originally planned to be released solely for PC gaming, would become a Xbox exclusive. The greatest exclusive franchise to ever land on the Xbox consoles. Acquiring Bungie would be, financially, a strong decision for Microsoft. The sequel, “Halo 2,” also left a legacy on the video game industry, and made more than $125 million on its release day setting a record in the entertainment industry. “Halo 3” would break that record, earning $170 million on its opening day.
On October 1, 2007, Microsoft and Bungie announced that Bungie was splitting off from its parent and becoming a privately held limited liability company named Bungie LLC. Microsoft would retain a minority stake and continue to partner with Bungie on publishing and marketing both “Halo” and future projects, with the “Halo” intellectual property belonging to Microsoft.
6 years later Bungie announced “Destiny” which would launch on both new and old generation Xbox and PlayStation consoles. There was a lot of hype and ambition surrounding the game, Activision spent as much as $500 million to make and market “Destiny” making it one of the industry’s most expensive games ever.Bungie halted pre-release reviews due to the fact that they felt the game should be graded only when its social aspects were operative and populated with “thousands of gamers” in order to give a proper assessment. Like Bungie’s past “Halo” franchise, the multiplayer was the key component in the video game. This move was logical, but also a known tactic for companies worried about critical reception.
Unfortunately as the days went by reviews did start to trickle in. They were generally mixed to positive reviews. The expectation was significantly higher than “generally mixed to positive.” Fans were expecting a new franchise, the next big step in gaming, the steps that “Halo 1” and “Halo 2” took in the early 2000s.
We had written earlier about the potential of “Destiny.” And how the game could easily waltz away with many of the “Game of the Year” accolades offered by various gaming publications. But now that doesn’t look so easy, even in as weak a year for video games as this.
The criticism was mostly directed toward its repetitive mission design, and poor storytelling. Gamespot described it as “a multiplayer shooter that cobbles together elements of massively multiplayer games but overlooks the lessons developers of such games learned many years ago.” The game is currently holding a modest 76 (PS4), 79 (X1), on Metacritic. This score is lower than all of their “Halo” titles. “Halo: ODST” having the lowest score of the franchise at 83.
The average gamer, no, the average person doesn’t care about reviews. It is up to them to be the judge. “Destiny” may not leave the same impact on the industry that “Halo” or “Halo 2” did, but without drawing conclusions or comparisons the reviews are still positive, which is more than can be said about most video games this year.
On September 10, 2014 Activision claimed “Destiny” was the most successful new gaming franchise launch of all time, as the game was reported to have made $500 million in revenue in its first day worldwide. “Grand Theft Auto V” generated $800 million worldwide on its first day last year; it still holds the torch as the biggest video-game debut ever.
Before this release some gamers envisioned…. something more. As we start to wrap up the first full-year of this gaming generation, there is some great potential on the horizon. Gamers will keep looking forward to the next big thing. “Destiny” is a good game, is it revolutionary? Probably not, but that is such a high standard to hold anything to. Whether it’s Bungie, Valve, or some other company, the next big thing still lies ahead.