Destiny won’t have launch issues. Well, that’s the message coming from the Bungie and Activision camp.
Obviously, Bungie will encounter various minor bugs and problems but what they hope to avoid is a disastrous launch that has plagued dozens of high profile multiplayer games such as Battlefield 4, Grand Theft Auto 5, Diablo 3 and Sim City. Destiny’s online alpha test, which saw over 6.4 million player games played, will go a long way to ensuring that the game runs smoothly. The alpha code may be old to the studio but it will certainly help in gathering player data and how they interacted with the environment. To add a further counter measure, Bungie intendson having a Destiny Beta on the PS4/PS3 this July, shortly followed by a Xbox One/360 Beta.
Bungie COO Pete Parsons was quoted in GamesIndustry International as saying;
They’ve really learned a lot over the last year, so we take it super seriously and we’ve been planning for a long time….We’ve been investing to make sure that we have the best experience possible……We will ultimately see what happens but we have every expectation of from moment one having a great experience.”
Destiny is also rumoured to have a 500 million dollar budget at its disposal and, while this is perhaps a harsh estimation, the alpha certainly didn’t look like a 500 million dollar game. The game was incredibly beautiful to look at but $500m should make me forget that I’m actually looking at a game and that the possibility of space aliens in my living room is actually quite plausible. However, Pete Parsons also dispelled that rumour;
For marketing you’d have to ask Activision people, but for development costs, not anything close to $500m,” he clarified. “I think that speaks a lot more to the long-term investment that we’re making in the future of the product…..We sat back, long before we even came to our partnership with Activision, thinking about, ‘We wanted to tell a story over ten years.’ We wanted each one of these things to have its own beginning, middle, and an end, but we really wanted to step back and we can do it.”
So Destiny may be a high budget game but unless it fulfills its ten year tenure, they may not even get to a figure close to $500m. Destiny launches in September and we’ll be keeping an eye on whether Bungie can avoid the pitfalls of a online launch nightmare. Afterall, how many of those high profile games actually planned a disastrous launch?