Bungie Confirms Destiny, a Sci-Fi Action Shooter Out in 2013 as an Xbox Timed-Exclusive
Written Tuesday, May 22, 2012 By Lee BradleyView author's profile
Bungie’s next game will be called Destiny, the first title in a “sci-fi fantasy, action shooter” series set to launch on Xbox 360, with later ports and sequels planned for multi-platform and next-gen systems.
That’s according to a 2010 contract between the former Halo developer and publisher Activision. Made public thanks to the ongoing lawsuit between Acti and ex-Infinity Ward heads West and Zampella, the contract states that the first in the series will launch in the Autumn next year.
Beyond that, the contract details a four game deal, with a new title in the series set to release every other year from 2013 to 2019. Then in 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020, major expansions - called “Comets” - are planned to plug the gaps.
Between Destiny game releases and Comet add-on releases, interim DLC packages will also hit. The contract states that the game and it’s expansion content will be available via a mix of packaged goods, subscriptions, downloadable content, value-added services and micro-transactions.
The Xbox 360 will be the lead development platform for the first Destiny game, with a version also set for the console’s successor, referred to in the contract as the “Xbox 720.” Based on technological and financial feasibility, a PlayStation 3 version of the game is also planned for 2014.
That particular decision should already have been settled upon, as the contract states that the technical feasibility of a PS3 version of the game should be made “no later than January 31, 2011,” with the business feasibility decision coming “no later than March 31, 2011.”
“In no event” will Bungie be forced to ship a PlayStation 3 version of the game in 2013, alongside the Xbox 360 version, says the contract. So while the series will eventually be available across all platforms, with future releases enjoying synchronous releases, the first game is a timed Xbox exclusive.
Under the terms of the deal, Bungie will get royalties of between 20 and 35 per cent of the "operating income." That’s what’s left of the revenue once Activision deducts development, production and marketing expenses.
In addition to this, Activision will pay Bungie $2.5 million a year in bonuses between 2010 and 2013 if the studio meets various quality and budget milestones. Plus there’s a further $2.5 million up for grabs if the first Destiny game achieves a 90+ review score average on GameRankings.com 30 days after launch.
The stakes are high then, with the contract stating that Activision can terminate the deal without penalty if Destiny doesn't sell at least five million units in the first six months of release. It’s worth noting, of course, that the details of the contract may have changed in the two years since it was signed.
Bungie has confirmed the news. Or some of it anyway. Reacting to the leak the studio confirmed the 2013 release date for Destiny, saying "Well, that just happened..."
"So, yeah. While we're not ready to show you what we've been working on, we can reconfirm that we are hard at work on our new universe. We can't wait for you to see it. See you starside in 2013."
The title “Destiny,” alongside various snippets of information, has followed Bungie around for quite some time, much of which suggests that Destiny is heavily MMO-influenced.
It all kicked off in January last year when Bungie advertised for MMO designers. That was followed in Feb when a disgruntled ex-employee revealed that the game was called Destiny, describing it as “WoW in space.”
That was followed by Bungie’s Lead Network Engineer, David Aldridge, telling GDC 2011 that the studio's next game is an action MMO, before later denying it.
Then, in May last year, a trademark for “Destiny” was discovered from a company formed by Bungie staffers Harold Ryan and Marty O’Donnell. An icon filed with the trademark also appeared on Jonty Barnes’ shirt at PAX. You can check it out below.
No confirmation, either from Activision or Bungie, has been forthcoming regarding the MMO-like nature of Destiny. However, based on the evidence, it looks like that's what we're getting. Expect more, much more, in the coming weeks and months.
[via LA Times]