Technology

Activision commits $500m to Destiny game

Screenshot from Destiny Image copyright Activision Blizzard
Image caption Destiny gives players the job of defending the last human city from alien invaders

Games-maker Activision Blizzard has committed $500m (£295m) to making, updating and promoting its Destiny video game.

Bobby Kotick, Activision's boss, revealed the cash commitment at an industry conference last week.

But industry analysts questioned whether an entirely new game like Destiny would prove a hit with fans.

The science-fiction themed game is scheduled for release on 9 September this year.

"If you're making a $500m bet you can't take that chance with someone else's IP," Mr Kotick said during his speech at the Milken Institute's global conference. "The stakes for us are getting bigger."

Big bet

Destiny is being made by the Bungie studio which is best known for its work on the Halo series of games.

Set in a post-apocalyptic future 700 years from now, Destiny gives players the job of defending the last human city from invaders and, eventually, expanding mankind's sphere of influence. Bungie has said the game will mix elements from both massively multiplayer games and single-player shooting games. So far, the game is a console-only title.

Activision has billed Destiny as a next-generation game that will constantly change over its predicted decade-long lifespan. The game will be an "open world" and place far fewer restrictions on what players can do than other titles.

Activision Blizzard is believed to be putting so much money behind Destiny to help compensate for the falling interest in some of the other game franchises it owns and runs. In particular, the 2013 sales of Call of Duty: Ghosts were lower than those in 2012 and subscriber numbers for World of Warcraft have been on a steady downward slide for some time.

With Destiny, Activision hopes to emulate the success of the well-known Grand Theft Auto game. The latest version- GTAV - sold more than 32 million units.

However, said analysts, the GTA's long history and its dedicated fanbase contributed to its huge success. Neither of those would apply to a new title such as Destiny.

"Over time, Activision's Destiny could hit large numbers but there's no way they would come close to Grand Theft Auto," said analyst Mike Hickey from the Benchmark Company.

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