Rens Plandsoen: Have you heard about Destiny?
Most likely: you haven’t. In case you do know this new game, you’re prone to have boys aged 13 to 16 years old.
Destiny is a traditional first-person shooting and role-playing game in which its gamers play characters in a real-time online world. They become one of the “Guardians”, who must protect the last city standing within a post-apocalyptic Earth.
Its design is excellent, the original score is made by Paul McCartney and the trailer boasts the “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin. The artwork is truly one-of-a-kind. Altogether with the music, this game is mystifying. Become amazed and dazzled by watching the first footage right here:
Why am I bothered sharing this about Destiny? Quite simple, I’m intrigued about this phenomenon: the fast time to market, the extraordinary design and the spin off to different sorts of channels. Let me explain why.
The tension, the power of sharing.
On the Internet you’ll find trailers and reviews, opinions from excited fanatics who’ve been talking about Destiny, months in advance. The developer, Bungie, carefully shared artwork at set times, which looks astonishing, hightening the excitement and promise of a great game.
On YouTube, the promotion trailer aggregated seven million viewers in less than four months. Since its launch on September 9th, an incredible amount of video’s have popped up on YouTube with again, millions of viewers. Those video’s were put online by the gamers themselves, where you -as a spectator- could watch them play the game.
These first movers are ambassadors, “advertising” for the game, for free. They’re part of the “Digital share generation”. Some of them have more than one million followers on YouTube.
The most intriguing about Destiny is their enormous success in their time to market: within 24 hours in distribution as well as in marketing and advertising by using the power of their followers, technology and creativity.
Who’s behind all this and what are the numbers?
Bungie, the game developers, specialised since 1991 in game development and bought by Microsoft in 2000. The development of Destiny took nine years and started shortly after the last person abandoned Second Life.
Activision is responsible for game distribution. They claim to have distributed Destiny to stores worldwide worth 500 million dollar in the first 24 hours after the release. The first week showed a whopping sales turnover of 325 million dollar.
Neither of the companies have made statements about Destiny’s developing cost. There have been unconfirmed estimated ranging from 140 million dollar for development up to 500 million dollar including marketing efforts.
What lessons are there to be learned?
You need to spend time and money to make more money. To break even a total of 16 million sold games is needed. Despite all development and marketing efforts its the people who wil seal Destiny’s fate.
Nine years of development have paid off, given the fact that influential players post video’s of their efforts on YouTube, reaching millions of potentially interested people. In the end, Destiny sells itself, by providing their fans with an unrivalled gaming experience worth sharing. And the impact on Destiny’s sales figures of those digitally sharing their accomplishments cannot be matched, not even by the largest amount of marketing dollars.
The launch of Destiny is an other sign that the marketing and advertsing game is rapidly changing. What an exciting decade to work in!
For those who’d like to know more about how gaming industry captains think, here’s a nice interview with Bungie’s COO:
a new kind of agency from Amsterdam.