Destiny to cost $500 million to produce

Activision is setting the expectation bar high for Bungie’s shooter, Destiny.

The publisher confirmed the cost includes “marketing, packaging, infrastructure support, royalties and other costs”, making Destiny the most expensive single video game to develop.

Activision signed a 10-year contract with Bungie in 2010 that gives it worldwide distribution rights and significant control over the development of Destiny. “If you’re making a $500 million bet you can’t take that chance with someone else’s IP,” Activision CEO told the Milken conference. “The stakes for us are getting bigger.”

This indicates Activision will have a tight grip on the future of the Halo creators next game, echoing the omnipresent guidance it’s had over Activision’s main money maker: Call of Duty.

Although Bungie themselves have an excellent track record for developing games, half a billion dollars is still a large punt to take on a game that’s yet to establish itself on the market. Even the mega hit GTA V, with it’s gargantuan back catalog and awards, was estimated to have a $260 million production budget.

If sold at $60 a pop, Activsion would need to sell around 15-16 million units of Destiny to break even. With some industry analysts prediction the game will only sell around half as many, it looks like Activision has high hopes for it’s next blockbuster franchise.